BENEFITING: FMCancer Inc
Smart, sassy, sexy and full of life, 35-year old Hilarey Reader was diagnosed with breast cancer just five weeks before her wedding day.
It all began one quiet evening as she and fiancé Ernie Duarte watched TV and discussed wedding plans. As he playfully tickled her and she turned away to shield herself, she suddenly felt a strange, hard lump on the side of her right breast. Deep in the tissue, the mass felt to be the size of a large green olive. A doctor couldn’t be seen for days and results seemingly took an eternity to come in, but Ernie called diligently and when he was finally given the diagnosis, went to pick Hilarey up at work to break the devastating news to his bride to be.
Aside from the overwhelming anger, fear, confusion, disbelief, helplessness and depression felt from cancer’s wicked wrath, she was physically pricked, probed and prodded by doctors who soon discovered that her cancer had been at work for quite some time and had aggressively spread to her lymph nodes. The fight needed to begin immediately.
Hilarey went into surgery with just over a month to heal before she wed, battling the initial emotional tribulations and financial woes of this kind of diagnosis during what is already an immensely busy, expensive and stressful time in a young woman's life, and which, by all accounts, should be one of the most joyous. The oncologists removed a 2.5mm malignant tumor and 22 (nearly all) of the lymph nodes in her right underarm, realizing that the cancer was worse than expected. She was Stage 3C.
Although they discussed postponing the wedding, they firmly decided to not let cancer fuck with the date they had so carefully chosen. She fiercely, and often not so fiercely, fought all of this while putting the final touches on her self-budgeted, self-planned and self-organized wedding (that turned out amazing) and while working in her extremely public retail career. But while Hilarey should’ve reveled in the excitement of dress selection, she worried about the healing and scarring of her surgery wound. Where she could’ve spent her time registering for pretty gifts to make a new home, she waited in drab offices of multiple doctors. When she should’ve enjoyed a relaxing day of primping and priming with her bridesmaids, she instead wondered who’d administer the fertility shots to harvest the eggs that chemo would later kill. On the night she should have been perfectly poised and completely carefree, she had to leave her reception, remove her wedding dress and receive another shot. And just two days after her wedding, when she should have delighted in the splendor of an unforgettable honeymoon, she lay for hours in a cold hospital receiving the first of six long chemo treatments.
Eight grueling months later, Hilarey has finished her chemo treatments and lost her hair, had a handful of obstacles and related surgeries that have caused her to collectively miss four months of work, and is now bravely completing her daily radiation therapy.
For the month of May, FMC will be raising money to help Hilarey Reader Duarte while she is going through breast cancer treatments and recovery. This isnt the time when someone should be stressing over finances. Her energy and focus should be on her health and recovery. Lets make May a kick ass month and raise lots and lots of loot for Hilarey!