My name is Teresa Webster, and I want to share my personal story dealing with Cholangiocarcinoma and how Cancer Kicks helped my family during a very dark and difficult time.
I met Carrie Roberts Poppe (one of the founders of Cancer Kicks) through a secret group on Facebook. We called our group CC Wives. It consisted of 7 wives (all now widows) whose husbands had been diagnosed with stage 4 Cholangiocarcinoma, a cancer rarely survived. This Facebook group is how we all came together, and it quickly turned into a sisterhood. Having the support of the CC Wives gave me a place to vent, lean, love, support, give and receive advice.
When my husband Michael Webster was diagnosed, he was given 12-18 months to live – unacceptable! My husband was the first in our group to pass away from this horrific, evil cancer. He was 42 years old when he died. Mike was diagnosed in October of 2011, and he took his last breath on December 22, 2013.
Mike and I had four sons and one grandson at the time of his death. As our family was grieving our loss, we were also losing our beautiful home. The foreclosure proceedings were taking place as Mike was very ill. Shortly after Mike passed, we were forced to move. I moved into a townhome not far from our home.
Prior to Mike’s being diagnosed, I worked for the city that we resided in. I was laid off two weeks after Mike was diagnosed. Mike was an electrician, and unfortunately, his company also laid him off December of 2011. I told myself that this was a blessing. I collected unemployment, and shortly there after Mike started collecting his disability checks.
I was so blessed to be able to be at home with Mike. I was able to take him to every appointment and just be his wife. I was able to walk through every moment of this journey with him.
After Mike died it took me quite a while to get back on my feet. In October of 2014, I found a great job and everything seemed to be moving forward. I could see the light…finally.
Fast forward to May 15, 2015. I suffered 6 grand-mal seizures in a 7 hour period. I was admitted into the ICU for 4 days. To this day, the doctors still do not know what caused the seizures. I had to live with my mom for a month. I could not be left alone, shower alone, drive… Needless to say I lost my job. My body had to adjust to new, heavy-duty medications that cost me $700.00 per month.
During the stay with my mom, I thought constantly, “How am I going to survive once I am cleared to go home?”
I had to swallow my pride. I reached out to Carrie Roberts Poppe with Cancer Kicks. I told her my situation and asked if there was any possible way that our family could get some help. Rent….utilities….food….LIFE!
Carrie did not hesitate; she told me that she would have a meeting with the board and get back with me. Carrie called me back in a couple days and said Cancer Kicks would be MORE than happy to help our family.
Tears ran down my cheeks for what felt like WEEKS!!!!! We were so incredibly grateful and felt so blessed.
Cancer, even though it is so evil, brought not only Carrie but so many others into our lives. We are family.
I cannot thank Cancer Kicks enough! Thank you to everyone that puts their blood, sweat and tears into this non-profit organization. The kindness is something I cannot explain, and I cannot wait for the day when I am able to pay it forward.
Thank you for reading my story. I am so excited to watch Cancer Kicks grow. I love its double mission: to help families like mine and also to donate to cancer research so that we can find a cure.
Bonney Lake, WA