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Gold Ribbon Hero Michele B

Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: On July 26, 2013, my daughter Michele Broadley was diagnosed with a rare pediatric cancer called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). Her diagnosis was  two weeks before her 21st birthday. She was entering her senior year of college at the University of Connecticut at this time. Within one month of her diagnosis, she had fertility shots, her eggs extracted and frozen in case of infertility, had an IV port surgically placed and started the first chemotherapy regimen. She also had 6 weeks of daily radiation during her chemo treatments. This first chemo regimen was for a duration of 10.5 months and she lost all of her hair for the first time. Michele had to decrease her college credit hours to part-time and postpone her college graduation from May 2014 to May 2015. She would not let the cancer stop her from achieving her goals or bring her down. In May 2014, she was deemed cancer-free and her IV Port was surgically removed. In September 2014, the celebrations were short lived when her 3 month scans showed metastasis to both of her lungs. She then had a right lung resection surgery to remove one of the lung nodules for tumor testing. It was tested and it was the RMS that had spread to her lungs. She then needed another IV Port surgically placed & she immediately started her second chemotherapy regimen for the duration of 8.5 months. All the while she stayed on track to graduate from UCONN with her Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Minor in Women’s Studies. In May 2015, she graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from UCONN. This was a huge accomplishment all the while continuing with the chemo treatments until July 2015. When this second chemo regimen was completed, there were still tumors in her lungs. In September 2015, she started the third chemotherapy regimen and after 8 weeks it did not work. That was discontinued and the fourth chemo regimen was started in November of 2015. After 8 weeks, the fourth chemo also did not work & Michele lost her hair for the second time in two years. In the fall of 2015, she started part-time non-matriculated graduate courses while waiting for her acceptance to the Masters in Social Work Graduate Studies Program at Southern Connecticut State University. In January 2016, she had two weeks of daily radiation to her right lung & after that was completed she started the fifth chemo regimen, which is actually working to shrink the lung tumors. She’s continuing the fifth chemo and having a PET Scan next month. In April 2016, she was officially accepted into the Graduate Studies Program at SCSU. She continues to keep a positive outlook on life, her goals motivate her and she takes nothing for granted. She is my hero and I’m extremely proud to call her my daughter. She deserves a huge acknowledgement for her perseverance in consistently moving forward even with her medical challenges. She is my gold ribbon hero. I love her with all my heart.” – Valeria B




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