Meet our beautiful board member and Thriver
Hi! My name is Cara and I am a fighter! I always have been! I’m the youngest of five kids, which makes me super scrappy, loud and carefree. I’ve always had have to speak up for what I need and advocate for myself. When you come from a large family, you learn quickly that the squeaky wheel gets the most attention. My family is the center of my universe and will do absolutely anything to help me tune down that squeak! I’m so blessed!
I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer when I was pregnant with our second son. I started IV chemo while on an immunotherapy trial when he was 3 weeks old. I followed it with surgery and radiation. I celebrated making it to my 40th birthday, cancer free!!! …. or so I thought. A few weeks later, not even a year from my original, early stage diagnosis, I lost use of my left leg. We discovered that my breast cancer metastasized to my brain.
It was in a risky area to operate, so we did 3 days of SRS brain radiation and I went on oral chemo. I had a major reaction to the chemo and ended up inpatient for a week. After a 2 month recovery, I restarted at a modified schedule/dose and I resumed treatment for 6 months. I started experiencing issues with my left foot and we pushed up my routine brain MRI. The tumor was regrowing. We met with our team and decided that we should proceed with surgery. I had a craniotomy the following week. They debulked the tumor but they weren’t able to get the entire mass due to risk of paralysis. My follow up scans showed quick regrowth, so we had to radiate as well. I did 5 days of gamma knife. After the 2nd session, I started experiencing seizures. 3 months afterwards, I ended having a grand mal and was admitted in the hospital for 4 days. I’m three weeks out and still recovering.
I consider myself a Thriver because I make the best of my moments! I try to focus on positivity, happiness and overall healing. I LOVE helping others and doing so brings me SO MUCH JOY! That’s why I joined the board of 412Thrive! To give back to the amazing community when they need it most! I’m so honored to be part of something so special!