A born and raised Wacoan, Alison attended Midway High School and went on to attended McLennan County Community College and Texas State University. After her college years, Alison returned to Waco and currently works as the Development Specialist for the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children. With a heart for giving back, Alison has been involved with the Central Texas Cattle Baron’s Ball for many years in several capacities, to include chairing the annual style show for five years. She never imagined that her experience with the American Cancer Society would come full circle when she became a cancer Thriver herself.
In the summer of 2019, Alison was scrubbing for a spray tan when she noticed a lump in her breast. After an ultrasound appointment, 3 needlepoint biopsies and a long weekend of waiting, Alison received the news of positive carcinoma results. It wasn’t until the next day, August 28, 2019, when she received her official diagnosis of Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. She was just 38 years old.
Alison began treatment immediately with the placement of a chemo port and the removal of three lymph nodes. Just under a month later, doctors found a metastasis. On September 16, 2019, Alison was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. The cancer had spread to her liver through her blood. This devastating diagnosis was, at the time, what doctors called incurable, but her medical team was going to try a protocol. In addition, she developed Heart Failure due to one of the chemo drugs (1 in 4 patients experience this) but she is happy to say its under control with meds and lifestyle changes. Almost two years later Alison has defied the odds, her last scan showing the cancer is stable, meaning no new signs of detection. She is what her doctors call, a walking medical miracle.
Alison has made incredible progress through her diagnosis and continues to not just survive, but “thrive” as she says. Every day it’s meds, every 3 weeks its chemotherapy plus what she calls the shots of shots (a 6 gauge needle to her stomach, eek) but this is just her new normal, this protocol keeps her living life to the fullest. She has remained an open book through her online presence, creating a hashtag, #myopencancerstory. She says, “I believe we ALL have battles in life, some bigger than others and one of my missions in life it to inspire others, in whatever they are facing… we ALL need support during this stage called life.”
Stories like Alison’s are reminders why the American Cancer Society continues to fight everyday against this devastating disease. Through measures such as life-saving research, access to care and screening, the American Cancer Society works every day for a cure. We are so grateful for Alison, her courage and her drive to inspire others through her incredible story.
If you would like to donate to this year’s Restricted Mission Gift for Breast Cancer Research, please click below. You can also make your donation in honor or in memory of a loved one. Thank you for your support of the American Cancer Society and our mission to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer.
For more than 100 years, The American Cancer Society has been leading the fight to end cancer. With your support, we have helped usher in an era where more people survive cancer than ever before. By translating our research findings into action, we've seen a 20% decline in US cancer death rates since the early 1990s.
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