Meet Rachel...our hummingbird. September 26, 2015 00:34
Rachel Westlake is a beloved sister, daughter, friend, and aunt. All of us who are lucky to have her in our lives know that her smile and spirit can instantly light up a room. Rachel beat non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma as a teenager and no one expected she would ever have to face that fight again. After graduating from Penn State, Rachel has found diverse work and life experiences, and has made California her home for the past 11 years. Her life has been committed to making the world a happier and healthier place to live. She has a passion for holistic and sustainable health, of our bodies and our planet.
Almost exactly 20 years had passed since Rachel's first fight with cancer. She was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. As a long-term cancer survivor, no one was prepared for this news. Rachel experienced a knee injury about a year ago and was starting to have increased knee pain. She went to have an MRI to determine if there was substantial soft-tissue damage requiring surgery. There she learned the pain was not due to a lingering injury, but rather lymphoma throughout the bone marrow of both her legs. After diagnostic testing and receiving her formal diagnosis in California, Rachel made the very difficult decision to uproot her life there, leaving friends who had become like family to her, and return to Upstate New York to seek high quality medical care with the support of her immediate family and friends.
Leaving California left Rachel with no job or income - certainly a scary prospect for someone battling a very serious illness. Rachel plans to take a comprehensive approach to treating her cancer, working with her physicians to determine the best therapy options for her case while also focusing heavily on nutrition, stress-reduction, and complementary medicinal support to not only kill the cancer invading her body, but to fully heal her body from the inside out.
Rachel was able to quickly enroll in New York State Medicaid and is able to live with her sister and brother-in-law, and their three young children while she receives treatment. There will be numerous additional medical and living expenses she and her family will not be able to cover alone - and they will add up quickly.
We are here to help raise the money Rachel needs, to spend this time and energy focused on regaining her health.
Thank you all so much in advance for your support!