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As we wrap up Ivy Sanchez's story, the 33-year-old mother of five who is battling a rare form of breast cancer tells me that so far, her treatment is going well.
“My body is reacting well. It (the tumor) went from 8 centimeters on my first chemo treatment and now it's down to about the size of a half dollar. My body has been responding well.”
Right now, Ivy’s focus is on figuring out and getting through all the challenges of the weekly trips from Raton, New Mexico, to UCHealth Memorial Hospital North in Colorado Springs for 119 more hours of chemotherapy 7 hours at a time.
Going through chemotherapy has been a learning experience. Ivy says, “My first day of chemo I was scared out of my mind.”
But, a gift from a stranger has had a huge impact on Ivy, and the time she has already spent and will spend in treatment. “I was given this little bag. I didn't know it was gonna be freezing in there (infusion suite) and thank goodness I got a blanket. I got some word searches and Jolly Ranchers - I already ate those. There were some socks, it just lifted my spirits so much. I'm here for seven hours so I do my word searches and there's also a journal and pens and a cool bandana.”
When Ivy asked the staff who the bag was from, she was told simply, ‘A Boy Scout.’ But the items in the bag touched her heart deeply. With a little more digging, she learned the name of the Boy Scout, Shane Jewell.
The many bags donated to UCHealth Memorial were the result of Shane’s Eagle Scout Project which involved fundraising to cover the costs needed for materials and items for each bag. It was a project that not only helped Shane earn his Eagle Scout Award, it also helped him process his own grief.
Shane says, “The reason that I chose this project was that in 2018 my grandmother passed away from pancreatic cancer. After that, I realized exactly what I wanted to do for my Eagle Project. I wanted to help others and give back (to the cancer patient community) and try to do anything that I possibly could to maybe ease someone's pain.”
Shane had the opportunity to meet Ivy before her fourth chemotherapy treatment, and Ivy was able to thank him personally for the gesture which has become one more reason she has to fight the good fight. Shane says, “I'm just glad that I could meet her, and do something for someone in need.”
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