The Bride Who Wore A Mask

This lovely young bride noticed her dream wedding dress was not fitting correctly. Something was wrong. Only 29 years old, Casey had been to the doctor a few months earlier. She was worried that one breast had undergone some unexplained changes, so an ultrasound was performed. The doctors were not too concerned, and her condition was chalked up to “fibrocystic changes.” With a sigh of relief, she went back to her wedding plans.

Who worries about serious health threats at 29 years old? For most young women, breast cancer is not even on their radar. They are focused on fulfilling dreams: wrapping up college, launching careers and starting families, and Casey was no different. Or so she thought. But something very different was happening in her body. Casey had Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), a rare and highly aggressive form of breast cancer, but she didn’t know it yet.

Her nagging concern led to a second visit to the doctor. More testing was ordered, and then she learned the news- – she had IBC and the cancer was a stage 4, now in her bones. With no time to waste, she immediately began treatment.

One month later, the day Casey dreamed of arrived– her wedding day. Casey and her husband smiled for the photos, and hope for the couple was high. With her best face forward, she braved the future. Naturally, her smile must have masked at least a tremor of fear. What was to happen to her, fighting a cancer, with a very low survival rate, a cancer that most have never heard of?

Casey was ready and determined to beat this cancer. Although treatment had begun, the cancer continued to show its highly aggressive nature, moving quickly into her brain.

The battle was raging, and Casey then put on a real mask, a mask to hold her head in place as she was given radiation for the large tumors growing in her brain. So, Casey, the bride went from the smiling mask at her wedding to the mask she had to wear to try to save her life.

Why are we telling you this tale?

To scare you? No.

To move you? Yes. To move you to care. To move you into action.

Casey is fighting the most fatal form of breast cancer. There is no such thing as early detection with IBC and it often strikes younger women. Casey has allowed us to share her story with a purpose in mind, one- to educate, two-in hopes you will donate to fund research.

Hope always,
Terry Arnold

IBC survivor and founder


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