Written and Contributed by Jenny Hawley
I'd like to tell you about one of the strongest, most optimistic women I know. Her name is Mary Jo (Morgan) Rantanen, and she is 30 years old. On September 9th, 2013, Mary was diagnosed with Stage 4 HER2 Positive Breast Cancer that had metastasized to her lymph nodes, bones, and liver.
In October 2013, she began 12 weeks of chemotherapy. At the end of which (January 2014) she was able to have a mastectomy of the right breast. That month, she also had radiation performed on the tumors in her bones.
In May 2014, Mary's scans all came back clean. The cancer had been stabilized, and chemotherapy was scheduled to continue on a weekly basis until August 2015. In September 2014, she had both overies removed as a preventative measure since her cancer was estrogen based, and estrogen is produced in the ovaries.
On May 12, 2015, Mary was diagnosed with metastic cancer of the brain. The breast cancer had spread there. Because the tumors are numerous and small, surgery isn't an option. She is scheduled to receive 10 days of full-brain radiation. She began the treatment on May 15, 2015.
Throughout the entirety of her battle, Mary has stayed devoted to her two children (Presley-9, and Wolfe-5) and her husband of nearly 10 years, Josh. She works at KSDK in St. Louis and has continued to work full-time as much as her health has allowed.
Both, in the office, and among her lifelong friends, Mary is seen as a hero. She is determined to keep beating every challenge that this cancer beast sends her way.
On May 16th, she ran a 5k at Jefferson Barracks to celebrate Armed Forces Day. This was the day after she began radiation on her brain!
Mary is unstoppable. She is an undeniable survivor. With ruby red lipstick, and Van Halen pulsing in the background, she is a true rock star in her battle to beat this disease.
In order to show Mary that her fight is not waged without the support and love of many, many cheerleaders, I would love for her to be considered as a future recipient of Fight the Fight.
She is certainly a fighter, and she exemplifies the strength and endurance of what is really means to Fight the Fight!
Thanks so much,
More than 50% of the proceeds from all Fight the Fight purchases made between November 22nd, 2015 and December 12th, 2015 will be donated to Mary to help cover her medical related expenses.
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