It is with both tremendous honor and great sadness that we introduce you to our beautiful warrior, Missy. We adopted Missy and her family just days before she ended her courageous four-year fight with cancer.
In May 2010, after returning home from her first year at college, Missy developed a stomachache while playing softball – a game that she loved and at which she excelled. When she began to vomit the following day, her mom took her to the doctor. What was anticipated to be a routine doctor visit, resulted in a six day hospital stay. What followed was a virtually unheard of diagnosis for an 18 year old, non-smoking, young lady: esophageal cancer.
Missy began aggressive chemotherapy treatments, followed by radiation. While the summer was nothing close to what this tight-knit family had expected, Missy’s positive outlook and support from the community helped them move forward with optimism. As a member of Future Farmers of America (FFA), Missy was delighted to receive the “OK” from her doctors to show her pigs in the Racine County Fair in July.
While the cancer raged through her young body, rarely allowing for a reprieve from tests, surgeries, chemicals and treatments, Missy LIVED her life throughout the four years of treatment. She made it her mission to fight the cancer with every part of her being – she knew she still had so many things yet to enjoy. She relished precious time with her beloved family and friends, attended many musical concerts, and celebrated her birthdays. Missy also worked at a local senior living facility, where was loved by patients and staffers alike. Even when the pain seemed like it was too much to bear, Missy pushed through, cherishing every experience, every moment, and every loving embrace.
Early this spring, Missy began to experience severe complications associated with the years of grueling treatment. Physicians told her she needed to have her kidney removed. Just after Easter, Missy and her family traveled to the University of Illinois Hospital, fully prepared to continue her fight. Days after her kidney was removed, Missy experienced complications unrelated to the surgery. On May 4th, surrounded by her family and close friends, in a room packed so full of love she couldn’t help but be lifted up, Missy ended her battle.
Missy lived her life with incredible courage and unyielding grace. Wherever it is that beautiful souls roam, we hope our beautiful girl is running wild and free. We remain committed to Missy and her family, now and always. May they feel the strength and embrace of our Army of PaxLove.