Cancer – The six-letter word that we all hate and want to escape, yet it is something we all have a connection to and a desire to understand. Whether it is a family member, friend, or co-worker, something we all learn at a certain point in our lives is that cancer does not discriminate. It affects us all, and the moment you receive the call that someone you know and love has been diagnosed, your perspective and everything that truly matters in life becomes so clear.
Several people received that heartbreaking call in July and learned that Nicole Body (Gerlach), wife, daughter, friend, co-worker, and sister in faith, had been diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 27. For those of you who know Nicole, she is truly a light in the lives of so many and her heart has always been to serve others. Her faith has never wavered in believing God’s promise. Nicole is facing the most difficult season of her life, and now is the time to love and support her through this, just as she has done for so many of us. She and Wes are not in this fight alone. Together, we can help her beat this!
For the past few years, Nicole has experienced frequent stomach aches, tiredness, and other symptoms that would come and go. After numerous visits to the doctor and false diagnoses of either food intolerances or viruses, the symptoms worsened and became more prevalent. The doctor finally called for an ultrasound to test her gallbladder and a lesion was found in between her gallbladder, pancreas, and small intestine that was unable to be defined. After further testing by CT scan of her abdomen, it was determined that the lesion found was a tumor that needed to be removed. It was too soon to tell if it was benign or malignant, but the next step was to have Nicole undergo surgery to remove the tumor laparoscopically, along with her gallbladder that was failing. The surgeon said that her gallbladder failing could have possibly saved her life by bringing awareness that the tumor was there especially if the tumor turned out to be malignant.
The 3-hour surgery took place in Colorado on July 6th. The tumor was difficult to define, so in addition to UniPath in Denver looking at it, it was sent for testing to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Struggling from severe pain post-surgery, Nicole spent two nights in the hospital until it was manageable enough to recover from home. Over a week had passed, and still there was no pathology report on the tumor. Nicole and Wes continued to trust in Jesus and chose to rest in Him with whatever result was to come.
On July 18th, the pathology report came back to reveal that it was sarcoma; an aggressive cancer that occurs in soft tissues. The doctors also said that a part of the tumor is still resting on her pancreas and that it will require further surgery and/or treatment. The team in Colorado highly recommended that Nicole seek treatment at MD Anderson in Houston since it is a rare type of cancer that they specialize in and have the technology for. Wes and Nicole made the decision to leave for Houston immediately in order to seek more answers and hopefully instant treatment at one of the top cancer centers in the country.
There are still so many unknowns and a difficult journey lies ahead. Both Nicole and Wes will have limited pay on their leave, while also having to manage the normal month-to-month living expenses in Colorado, on top of the treatment and medical costs.
Any gift you are able to give today will be a blessing to Nicole and Wes. It will go directly towards their medical expenses as well as monthly living expenses, including rent, utilities, car payments, etc.
Nicole and Wes have experienced God in countless ways over the past few months, and they continue to praise Him for his goodness to her in the midst of these difficult times. With your prayers and support, Nicole will beat cancer!