Meet Our Moms

The magnificent women we’ve been privileged to bless, who have touched us and countless more along the way.

Alexis Rhoads

Alexis grew up in Grapevine, Texas and married her husband Ryan in 2003. They are an active duty Air Force family so they have lived in Louisiana, England, Australia, and Colorado before returning to Texas in 2014 when she found out her breast cancer was now stage IV. She was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 3/2013 after having our third son. He was almost three months old when she learned that she had breast cancer. Her big boys were 7, and 3. She went through all the chemo, radiation, double mastectomy and reconstruction and discovered the cancer was back and in her abdomen in May 2014. They got a special request granted by the Air Force to move closer to family in San Antonio. Surgery confirmed it was the same cancer that had spread- Metastatic or stage IV cancer. A terminal diagnosis.

Lexi’s wish is to take her family to Disney World and Universal Studies. They will travel in August of 2016.

Jenny Cooper

Jenny is 32 years old and is married with 2 boys age 3 and 7 years old. She was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She has gone through chemo, radiation and a double mastectomy. Six months later she was told that she was stage IV Metastatic Breast cancer that has spread to her chest, diaphragm and lymph nodes. She now has brain mets. She tells her story on a youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/Coopdizzle

Her wish is to take her 2 boys whale watching in California and to experience Disney Land. They will make their trip in July of 2016.

Liz Bates

Liz is a 36 year old wife and mother. She has been married to Evan for 10 years and has a beautiful 4 year old son, Will. She received her PhD in 2010 and moved to Waco to pursue her professional dream as college faculty at Baylor University.

Liz was in the seventh month of her pregnancy when she first noted a breast lump which her doctor attributed to pregnancy changes. Valentine’s Day of 2012 was her happiest day when Will was born. Seven months later her life was shattered with the diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer, with metastatic lesions in her liver and lungs. She has faced bilateral mastectomies(10/10/12), three different chemotherapy regimens and multiple medical procedures with courage and conviction. She has had 7 metastatic lesions in her brain and has undergone stereotactic (gamma knife) brain surgery twice.

Liz’s wish was to take her son to Disney World and to make memories there with her family. They went to Disney in June of 2016.

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Tanya Norris

Tanya is originally from San Angelo, Texas. Tanya and Brian have a daughter named Paige. She is in fourth grade this year. Last year, Tanya was diagnosed with glioblastoma. She had surgery to remove the tumor and treatment following that. Recently, she found out that she has an aggressive tumor on her brain stem. This has affected her vision, mobility, and ability to work. Tanya was recently featured on the NBC news. http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/health/Keller-Mom-Battling-Cancer-Prepares-For-Wish-To-Be-Answered–377504971.html 

Her wish was to take her daughter to Nashville. They love music and got to attend the CMA Festival while they were there in June 2016.

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Avery Harrison

Avery (at age 38) was originally diagnosed with stage IV HER2+ breast cancer in Jan. 2014. Things were going well and there was no evidence of this disease until this March 2016 (at age 40) when she was diagnosed with brain metastasis. The news was devastating and heartbreaking. She’ll continue on her Herceptin from the neck down and has completed a craniotomy for one trpublesome brain lesion. Avery is a wife to Ben and mother to 4 yr old Corrine. Her hopes include celebrating her upcoming 41st birthday, 6th wedding anniversary and 4th mother’s day in May 2016, to be around to see her daughter, Corrine enter Kindergarten in October 2017.
Her wish was to take her family on a Disney cruise. Her wish was granted in May of 2016. AveryHarrison3 AveryHarrison2

Kelly Hayes

Kelly is 34 years old and a dedicated wife and mother of 3 & 6 year old girls. She is originally from Oklahoma but her husband’s job took them to Wisconsin in 2014. She was a long way from her family when she received a diagnosis of Stage 4 adrenal cancer in October of the same year. Adrenal cancer is extremely rare and occurs on the adrenal gland, which is attached to the kidney.  You can read more about her journey on her blog: https://warriorshamrock.wordpress.com

Her wish was to take her family on a vacation. In February 2016 they traveled to the Bahamas.

July 12, 1980 – May 25, 2016 (Age 35)

 

Heather Gladbach

Heather and Tom have two beautiful children, Vincent (12) and Caroline (7). Heather hasn’t worked for 3 years and is on disability, and Tom is a Chef and consultant. Heather has had Stage IV breast cancer for 5 1/2 years with brain mets, starting at age 37. 2015 brought much uncertainty with brain cancer. In April she underwent a craniotomy and another round of radiation, and due to swelling and necrosis in her head doctors are administering another round of steroids.

Heather’s wish is to travel to the west coast and take her family to California. They will get to spend time with family and take their kids to Disney Land in January 2016.

Isabel Minaya

Isabel is 34 years old and has 4 children.  She has a 15 year old son, a 9 year old son, a 3 year old son, and a 1 year old daughter. Isabel is very close with her family and she remains strong, brave and optimistic even with a few months to live. Isabel was diagnosed July 7, 2015 with colon cancer. She was admitted onto hospice care in January and was told there was no further treatment available.

Her wish was to travel to the Dominican Republic to see family. However, she was unable to travel so Ally’s Wish flew her aunt to the United States to spend time with family.

1982–February 15, 2016

Brandi Schroeder

Brandis father, 3 aunts, uncle, 2 cousins and both grandparents all died of lung and breast cancer. Pediatricians warned her and her brother to start checking at the age of 30 for signs of cancer. 6 months after Brandi turned 30 we discovered she had breast cancer, Stage 2b. True to her nature, she hit it headstrong. She was so very sick yet she was inspirational to so many people. After complete mastectomy and hysterectomy, doctors said she was in remission, and Brandi began to regain some normalcy in life.

Brandi started having migraine, and once when driving her 13 yr and 9 yr old and 2 yr old niece she came to a stop. She began having seizures and could not change gears to park or talk. Doctors discovered she had stage 4 breast metastatic brain cancer. She had the gamma knife radiation which shrunk the tumor by 50%, making life at least manageable for this condition. Now she has found another lump and will continue to receive routine catscans every 8 weeks for the rest of her life.

Brandi’s wish is to go to Disney World with her family. They went as a family in November 2015.

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Rachel Gittins

Rachel is a single mom who in the beginning of 2013 was diagnosed with stage IV Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Since the very beginning she knew the only way to battle this dreadful disease was unwavering positivity and living every moment to its fullest with her amazing children, Maggie (8) and Connor (5). Rachel was diagnosed in March of 2013 when she started chemo followed by a mastectomy, radiation and then was placed on a treatment plan of tamoxifen. The cancer was at bay for about 8 months, until it retuned and metastasized spreading to her lungs and lymph nodes in October of 2014. She was then put on a trial hormonal drug for about another 8 months before the cancer then spread again to her bones and additional lymph nodes this past August. A few weeks later we learned the cancer has yet grown again and has moved into the fluid in her pericardium around her heart. She has started chemo therapy again and was told last week that her prognosis was now 6 months.

Her wish is to to take her kids camping in the Grand Canyon. They will fly into Vegas and see the Mystere show. Then they will rent an RV to spend a few days at the Grand Canyon. Rachel will also get to take her kids on a helicopter ride over the canyon.

Ashleigh Range

Ashleigh is married and mother to two boys, Noah (age 2) and David (11 months). She is highly educated and went to school at Georgia Tech for undergrad and MIT for graduate school. She was first diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer when she was 34 weeks pregnant. She then began chemotherapy in the midst of completing her pregnancy.  She was immediately started on chemotherapy pregnant and delivered at 37 weeks. Her disease then progressed to stage IV and was only given weeks to months to live.

Ashleigh’s wish was to have a “Life Gala” called WISH GRANTED. HOPE LIVES. The event was held Thursday, August 13, 2015

You can read more about her story on http://myjourneywithibc.blogspot.com

November 23, 1984–July 19, 2015

Julie Whaley

Julie Whaley, a 38 year old mother of three, has been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer. In 2010, Julie was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple Negative/Inflammatory breast cancer and again in 2014. After 7 months of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, the cancer was thought to have been in remission. But in February of this 2015, the doctors determined Julie’s cancer spread to the lung, liver, spine, femur and pelvis.

On July 13, 2015 Julie peacefully passed away. Her wish was to have a memory garden in her backyard for her children. Julie drew up the plans and helped design it. This was project was finished in 2016 for her family after she passed away.