#MollysKids: Michelle Tester September 8th
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - At 25 years old, Michelle Tester is not a “kid.” But this Lenoir woman was diagnosed with a pediatric cancer that has ripped her life apart and being that our goal is to feature pediatric cancers in September, her story is worth sharing.
I’d never heard of neoplasm of the Ewing's sarcoma family, Stage IV. I’ve since learned it’s extremely rare and nasty. So rare and nasty that when Michelle first discovered the masses in her abdomen, doctors had hoped it was lymphoma.
“I remember thinking that was the craziest idea, why would they hope it was cancer?” says her sister, Rebecca. “Apparently, it’s because lymphoma is more common. They’d have more options. More knowledge. More case studies than what Michelle was diagnosed with. To say we cried that day would have been an understatement.”
There are only around 200 known cases of Michelle's cancer.
It seemed impossible to be getting such a diagnosis, her sister said. That Michelle is a brilliant writer, human rights activist and lover of all things four-pawed and furry. No way could she be suddenly facing a less than 15 percent survival-rate for five years.
“Doctors gave us that last fact,” says Rebecca, Michelle’s only sibling. “A quick Google search confirmed it. Michelle immediately started chemotherapy.”
That chemo is taking a hard toll.
“Most days Michelle stays in bed because of pain and exhaustion,” says Rebecca. “It’s hard to watch her suffer.”
In July the suffering became too much for this generous, kind, full-of-heart woman. Those things, combined with her scans not showing much progress, pushed Michelle to quit the chemo and instead focus on the quality of her life.
That’s where things remain today.
This photo shows such life. Some more below in comments.
Pediatric cancer must stop.
Share Michelle's story. Share all these kids this month. Their families want you to know them and it helps create ACTION to do something to fight the battle.
Michelle, hope you feel an extra massive hug today. And thank you, Rebecca. The sisterly love is radiant.
**Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.**
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