By Tom Scalera
My wife, Dr. Rebecca Timlin-Scalera, is the definition of an American hero. After being initially diagnosed at Stage 4 – Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) and learning that the average prognosis remains at just 3 years, because so little of breast cancer research money has been dedicated to studying this stage of the illness, the one that kills you – that after being miraculously upgraded to Stage 3C and getting a “chance” at a cure – she selflessly started a foundation to dedicate 100% of funds to MBC. No longer able to work as a Neuropsychologist, rather than rest after her multiple surgeries, months of difficult chemo and radiation, she got hard at work raising money so that others might have a chance at a cure too. Unfortunately two months ago, she got a “real” Stage 4 MBC diagnosis and will now be in treatment for the rest of her life. Her cancer has mutated to triple negative and is now the most aggressive form with no treatments on the market. She is relying on clinical trials and trying to stay alive long enough for research to catch up to her disease. She is now fighting for her life along with all the others she had already been fighting for. 113 women in the US die from this disease every single day. Over 41,000 Americans each year, men and women. Every 13 minutes a woman dies from MBC in the US, every minute worldwide. Donate to The Cancer Couch Foundation today www.thecancercouch.com and help us actually cure breast cancer because 30% of those with early stage breast cancer will metastasize – no one is really “cured” until everyone is. That’s all Rebecca ever wanted, everyone to have a chance to live. I knew she was amazing when I met her, I know she was incredible when I married her, I knew she was smart when I saw her complete her PhD, I knew she was compassionate watching her work to heal others through her work, I knew she was brave when she fought through five pregnancies and losses to have our two beautiful children, but I never knew what an actual hero looked like until I saw what she has been able to do with the most difficult challenge of her life. Without hesitation she made this about others and not leaving anyone behind. To date, she has helped put 1.5 million dollars into MBC…and she is just getting started. That is how my wife, Rebecca Timlin-Scalera, PhD inspires me.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.