Cynthia and her two boys

“My work day just ended when I received the call from my doctor,” says Cynthia. “He gave me the terrible news that I had breast cancer and my first thought was ‘what about my kids?’”

Cynthia, a loving wife and mother to two incredible boys, ages 5 and 6, was diagnosed with Paget’s Breast Cancer in October 2017. This is a rare form of cancer that only affects 1-4% of all breast cancer cases. After genetics testing and more life-altering factors, Cynthia underwent a bilateral mastectomy.

“I told my kids that I was going to have surgery to remove toxic stuff from my body and that I might not be myself for a while,” Cynthia says. “It took them a few days to get use to my bald head, but soon after, it didn’t phase them.”

Defying odds

“My family had never been touched by cancer before,” says Cynthia. “I’m the first born of my generation and the first to experience this terrible disease.”

Prior to her diagnosis, Cynthia recently started a new job and was going to school for her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Sadly, due to her multiple surgeries and treatment plan, she had to stop both. Her husband was also unable to work overtime as he became the primary caretaker for Cynthia and their kids. The lack of income and increase in medical bills quickly took a toll on the family.

“No one is prepared for cancer. I was terrified to take time off. Since I had just started my new job, I didn’t qualify for FMLA right away,” says Cynthia. “We immediately felt the financial burdens of cancer.”

Looking on the bright side

Thanks to our generous community, we provided Cynthia and her family with a grant to cover their mortgage. This allowed the family to stay in their home and gave Cynthia time to heal.

Last month, Cynthia had breast reconstruction surgery and still receives treatment every three weeks. She feels less worrisome as she tries to regain a sense of normalcy in her life.

“I was fortunate to have found Family Reach and the grant they gave us helped to keep our family afloat. I’m trying to set goals and get back to my old routine. I don’t take life for granted anymore. I hope one day it will all be okay again,” she concludes.


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