Fighting Breast Cancer

HealthBeat

It’s been eight years since doctors diagnosed Suzanne Meendering with stage 4 breast cancer, and she’s been fighting ever since. 

She completed chemotherapy after the initial diagnoses, and has since been on a medication plan that has now come to an end. 

Eight years of battling breast cancer may seem like a long time but it’s time that this family is thankful for. 

“It’s hard to see her go through that because I can’t take away any of that pain or any of what she’s feeling. I don’t know exactly what she’s feeling. I go to this stuff so I understand it better,” Randi Grevengoed said. 

Meendering is receiving chemotherapy treatment for the second time, with her two daughters alongside her. 

“Knowing that you get sick again, just the side effects that you go through again, no one likes to be sick and you just don’t want to be the person that’s looking sick,” Meendering said. 

But thanks to her girls, she isn’t going at it alone. 

“The past 8 years we’ve always… I’ve said it now and again that if it happened again, I’d do it,” Grevengoed said. 

Grevengoed is joining her mom in cutting off her hair, and that’s not all. 

“It was like a light bulb went off. I’m not just going to cut my hair for mom, because it’s supportive… but she doesn’t really benefit from that,” Grevengoed said. 

Grevengoed set up a fundraiser to help pay for her mom’s chemo, and the support has been jaw dropping. 

“I didn’t know what to set the goal as, because I mean it’s my hair so I wanted it to be worth it but I didn’t know how people would respond,” Grevengoed said. 

In just 17 hours the goal of $5,000 was met and now just over a week after starting the fundraiser they’re only a couple hundred away from their second goal.

That goal is $20,000 and Grevengoed says anything beyond that will be donated. 

“I was like, what could I do more than that? So, if I’m helping mom, I could also help other families that are battling as well,” Grevengoed said. 

“It is just hair, like she said but… it’s a thing. It’s definitely… but you’re beautiful without it, I always told her that. It is a hard thing and I just don’t know if she was ready for it,” Meendering said. 

Experts say support may just be the best medicine. 

“It’s not just treating the cancer. It’s your emotional health, your spiritual health. The whole person needs to be treated and so having that support system is priceless,” RN at Sanford Health Stephanie Smidt said. 

“Very proud of her for stepping up and doing this. This is something that you just don’t expect kids to step up and do on their own but, I’m very proud,” Meendering said. 

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