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Meet Haley, a NWSF Grant Recipient

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

“At the end of July 2018, I woke up one morning with both my arms asleep—After I shook the numbness out, I was still left with a sharp “zinging” pain in the upper part of my right arm. I thought it was from sleeping on it funny and it would fade away if I shook my arms awake. The pain did fade a little, but then steadily ramped back up again several times over the next few months making it near impossible to reach my hands up to wash my hair in the shower.

On November 19th, 2018, biopsy results confirmed a high-grade Osteosarcoma and the whirlwind of treatment plans, doctor appointments, hospital stays, fertility preservation and chemotherapy ensued. My surgery ended up being quite remarkable and was called a “limb-salvage surgery with a free fibula flap”. That fancy name basically means I got to keep my arm and they rebuilt it using my right fibula from my leg. Once my incisions healed after surgery, we started chemo right back up again at full force. My oncologist said, “We do not stray from the plan. We forge ahead and throw the kitchen sink at this thing.” In August 2019, I completed treatment, I found myself without a job and needing financial assistance for the first time in my life.

I will be “on surveillance” for the next 3 years, getting full scans every 3 to 4 months to make sure this nasty disease doesn’t come back. But in the days between scans I’ll be starting a new job, running again (so I can complete that marathon my surgeon told me I’d be able to do if I wanted), enjoying playing with my dog, continuing my physical therapy rehab, planning my wedding and thoroughly enjoying my life.”

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