20 year old Emily’s huge challenge
20 year old Emily is a teacher in training that is battling a rare form of cancer that started in her salivary gland.
Hi, I'm Emily. I am 20 years old and have the pleasure of working alongside our youngest children to support them to learn and grow. I love my job and am looking forward to finishing my training so that I can become a registered Early Childhood teacher.
However, first I have a rather large challenge to overcome. At the start of the year I noticed a small lump behind my ear, after a few months I began to worry about what this was and went to my local GP who didn't think it was much, three weeks later it had doubled in size. That's when my GP sent me on to an ear, nose and throat specialist. A biopsy was then done and there was some confusion as to what it actually was, he believed it was too rare for him so sent me on to a specialist in Palmerston North who deals with more rare cases. After another biopsy and weeks of waiting, lots of scans and many phone calls it's been confirmed that I have cancer in my Salivary Gland which has also spread to some of the lymph nodes in my neck. I have now been sent on to the plastics team in Wellington at Hutt Hospital where I will be having surgery to remove the tumour, the lymph nodes and some of the things surrounding it. To ensure they remove all of the cancer they will need to take my main facial nerve which will paralyse my face but they will do their best to reconnect other nerves to my face to try and regain some movement. This will mean that I may look a bit different to what I do now but that's worth it to ensure the cancer is gone. Six weeks following surgery we will most likely be going ahead with radiation therapy in Palmerston North. This will be for a further six weeks. I know I may be unwell for a little but I'm relying on the support and love surrounding me to keep me strong to ensure I beat this.
Use of funds
Living expenses and support with travel to her appointments throughout the country to ensure she can focus on her health and recovery.
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Emily is an amazing, positive teacher in training that works alongside young children every day, to make a difference in their lives. She is determined to get through this challenge in her life so that she can continue her fantastic work. As her colleagues and friends we want to be able to give support to Emily who has a long and difficult journey ahead of her at such a young age, and ensure that her strength is put into getting herself well, than be concerned about how she is going to make ends meet. Kia kaha Emily, there is much aroha for you my friend.
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