Trying to describe Rachael in just one sentence is impossible... the first few words that emerge are strong, amazing, happy, eccentric, and loving.
She's from Saint Mary’s University of Winona, an avid Cubs and Bears fan, and always that girl you could text and know she would respond in her always happy “What’s up, dude?! How are you?!” tone, she is truly a beautiful and full of life person.
Rachael has faced more in her short 32 years of life than anyone should have to face in a lifetime. She has battled cancer, beat it, had it come back, undergone chemo/radiation/been airlifted out of the Grand Tetons after her first stroke, and now has had her third stroke and is re-learning to walk for the third time.
As Rachael continues to fight this battle, we are hoping to help her at our event this year.
Rachael’s story began in 2005 when she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor which resulted in a resection, radiation,and chemo. With 13 years of clear MRI’s she thought she had beat cancer for good, but when hiking in the Grand Tetons to see the solar eclipse she suffered her first stroke. She had to be airlifted to U of U and they found there was a recurrence on her brain stem she was sent to surgery days later where she suffered her 2nd stroke during surgery.
She rehabbed for a month in Utah where she went from being unable to walk to being able to walk with no assistance, put her hair in a pony tail, and use her left hand- after having lost all movement in it. She then went straight to inpatient rehab in Chicago and began proton radiation shortly after.
With a few months of decent scans, she suffered her 3rd stroke which appears to be from radiation damage...Her 3rd stroke, again, left her with paralysis on her left side- leaving her unable to use her left hand or walk. After 3 weeks of inpatient rehab she is now able to awkwardly walk with a brace, but has no movement in her left hand. She has exhausted all of her rehab and is working on paying off all of the medical, airlift, and rehabilitation costs, mounting in tens of thousands of dollars.
Funds from this year's outing will help defray some of those costs and support this incredible warrior!