Let's make this a reality for Erica!
In May of 2018 I was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma of the cervix which is a very rare location for this type of cancer. I underwent intense chemo and radiation, finishing treatment in September 2018 with NED. I did it! I beat cancer! Of course I knew that the next few years I’d have to get rescanned every three months to make sure that continued to be the case. But I was ready to get back to my life and my business as a massage therapist.
My dad and I started discussing a backpacking trip on the North Country Trail through Upper Michigan. In early October (2018) we did a four mile hike around a local lake which was a huge accomplishment for me just having finished cancer treatment one month prior. That’s when I first noticed the onset of symptoms. I started to become very weak in my legs and had numbness and tingling in my feet.
Over the course of the next few months these symptoms slowly progressed causing me to fall multiple times. In working with four different neurologists and undergoing multiple tests, I was finally diagnosed with Radiation Induced Paraparesis. This is a very rare side effect from the treatment I went through and completely unheard of with the dose of radiation I received.
Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done and the damage is continuing to progress. In May 2019, exactly one year after my cancer diagnosis, the weakness in my legs caused me to fall and break my left tibia and fibula. I have needed to use a wheelchair ever since. I used to be an avid hiker and outdoors woman and took nightly walks with my boyfriend. All of those things I used to enjoy have become extremely difficult if not impossible. I also live in Wisconsin and have become confined to my home during the winter months due to the difficulty of mobility in the snow with the regular wheelchair I have. Cancer and it’s treatment has caused so much collateral damage to not only my body but also to my life.
A few months back some of my best friends and work colleagues started a fundraiser for me to purchase a Grit Freedom Chair so I could get back to my favorite trails. They were able to raise $575. I am so thankful for them to surprise me with this money and to be one step closer to freedom in the outdoors. The Grit Freedom Chair will help me get back to my trail blazing, mushroom hunting, agate collecting, picture taking, waterfall exploring, lover of all things nature, self.
Click the button in the upper right of this page or email: Info@AinsleysAngels.org for a link to make a donation using PayPal and/or for a mailing address should you prefer to donate by check. We will ensure all donations appear on this page as off-line donations.
Another way to help, is to spread the word of our message and efforts:
1. Visit www.AinsleysAngels.org to purchase the children’s book, Born an Angel, written by Ainsley’s then 11-year old sister and donate it to a local elementary school library!
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Lastly, all contributions to are TAX DEDUCTIBLE under section 170 of the IRS Code, as Ainsley’s Angels is qualified to receive tax-deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code. Our tax ID is EIN 45-3576353 and our IRS tax exemption ID (DLN) is 17053067330003. Of note, all donations through this page will receive a Donation Receipt from GoFundMe_Charity upon donating and all goal overages will aid Ainsley’s Angels in mission execution!