Support for Brooke
Organized by: Brooke Tucker
Brooke Tucker via Crowdrise
January 16, 2016
When I was seventeen I was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. I had spent most of the summer before my senior year of high school in the hospital for chemo and started radiation at the beginning of my senior year. The cancer had started in my left forearm and had spread to my lungs. Unfortunately the tumors in my lungs are so small and there are so many of them that there is nothing they can do about it. Radiation was Monday-Friday for about 6 weeks. The hospital is about 42 miles away and as you can imagine was very costly. Unfortunately, I come from a very poor family in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. Somehow, my parents managed.
Before I graduated high school, I met my first boyfriend (who is now my fiance after five years!). Somehow he chose to ignore the fact that I had cancer and even the fact that I had to wear a wig. We had a deep bond and moved in together before we even graduated high school because both of us had family problems and chose to start a new life together. He chose to love me and he chose to ask my hand in marriage even though it was an extremely scary decision. Now, five years later here we are sitting in our own home, making the best of everyday together.
A lot has changed in these past five years. I had suddenly started getting very intense headaches everyday and strange episodes that felt like I wasn't in control of my body. After explaining this to my doctor I was told to immediately go to the emergency room. This is where I found out I had two brain tumors. One was very large and causing me to have mini-strokes without my knowledge. May 20th, 2015 I had brain surgery and had the large tumor removed. I have since then completed another round of radiation and am now on an at home chemotherapy pill.
I chose to create this fundraiser today because since the brain surgery I have had to drop out of college with only 4 classes left for a degree and four to five certificates in Graphic Design and Printing. Due to the fact that I am on chemo, and it has uncomfortable side-effects, I can no longer do anything but sit at home... at least that is what it feels like. My fiance is working at a fast food place and I receive SSI and Foodstamps and we still barely survive from month to month. I want a chance to start over and work from home. I would like to think of myself as an artist and I have sold a few paintings but nothing too serious.
I want a chance to make something of my life before it is taken from me. I live in constant fear that today may be my last and I have nothing to show for it after 23 years. I want the best for my fiance and I. He has recently started college and continues to work so that one day the two of us can live comfortably for once. I am never one to accept hand outs but as of right now I fear I have no other options. Thank you to all that have read up to this point for your patience and interest in my story.
Love to all - Brooke