It’s National Kidney Month!
This March, our “End of the Month for a Cause” is in honor of one of our own staff members who is a Kidney Cancer Survivor, who shared her experiences with us. With your support, we will be making a donation to Action to Cure Kidney Cancer!
Almost four years ago, with no previous symptoms, our Recording Assistant Jill Coffey woke up in extreme pain and knew there was something wrong. A trip to the ER revealed she needed an immediate surgery for a blockage. A 12 cm tumor was discovered, which is about the size of a small bowling ball.
“I was thinking- what? This is not what I signed up for,” she explained. Doctors had to remove one of her kidneys along with the tumor. “I went to bed the night before perfectly fine.”
Jill spent 10 days in the hospital and four months out of work, which she claimed felt like four years.
Jill is much younger than the average aged victim. Kidney Cancer is also less common in women. Those who are at risk are usually obese, have high blood pressure or have a family history of Kidney Cancer, all risk factors that do not fit Jill.
Jill is still fighting
A hard worker who never complains, she spoke about the lasting effects of being a Cancer Survivor.
“You live every day wondering what’s this pain or that pain,” she explained, “as the symptoms are things we have all the time.” This is the reason Kidney Cancer often goes undetected and is caught by accident when a doctor is scanning for something else. “You’ll worry and constantly be reminded you have to keep going to the doctor.”
Every six months Jill still gets a CT Scan to make sure there are no newly developed tumors. There’s been some spots her doctors have been concerned about, and they’ve even had to remove a benign tumor from her lung.
Along with living in fear Jill still suffers from lasting symptoms, she explained, like fatigue and weight gain, “Oh, I’m certainly not the same.”
But you don’t look sick…
Chemotherapy is rarely used to treat Kidney Cancer. Many victims will look healthy.
“People would tell me ‘you look fine, what do you mean?’” she said. “But that’s not necessarily the case. Since that day I’ve had a lot less energy.”
Road to Recovery
Next year will mark 5 years since her initial cancer fight, which is the usual recovery time. She’s hopeful she will no-longer need to have her six-month CT scan check-ups at that point.
With six years of industry experience and celebrating her one year anniversary at Res/Title, Jill handles recording the final documents after a closing. She enjoys spending time with her 18-year-old son and supportive friends.
“In a bad time, you realize who your friends are,” she explained. She’s gratefully for her sister, girlfriends, and home nurse who helped her through this hard time.
How to get involved
Help us fund raise for Jill’s cause! Request to be shipped a free awareness ribbon & send us your photo displaying it or wearing it! For each entry sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by the last Refinance day of the Month (March 25) we will make a donation to Action to Cure Kidney Cancer.
About Action to Cure Kidney Cancer
Our charity for this month’s “End of the Month for a Cause” is the ACKC, which has educational tools for kidney patients and their caregivers. As a result of ACKC’s grassroots lobbying efforts, Congress has been funding kidney cancer research since 2006.
Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. Overall, the lifetime risk for developing kidney cancer in men is about 1 in 48 but the risk for women is 1 in 83.
Have an idea for a cause you would like to fund-raise for?
We support a monthly charity on the last refinance day of each month! To suggest a cause for our “End of the Month for a Cause” program, please email email@example.com
Thank you for your support in this cause!