In a blue dress and pushing her young son down a street, you would never believe Trina Sanford destroyed a killer for her nine-month-old child.
“Walker is my inspiration,” Sanford said. “I would just look at him and know I can fight this fight for him. And I will win this battle to raise him.”
In February, Trina was diagnosed with a rare and deadly disease: non-Hodgkins marginal b-cell lymphoma. It was stage four. Tumors had spread throughout her body. After three 28-day cycles of chemotherapy, she started to question if the treatment is supposed to save your life or end it slowly.
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“The third cycle is when I had the really bad reaction. My face was so swollen. My body was swollen. I was on fire. Everything in my body ached,” said Trina. “So each time you don’t know if your body is going to react to the chemo or if it’s going to take it well.”
Trina contacted me because she had issues with her insurer. It wouldn’t cover the new mom’s treatment in the same facility the insurer sent her for a second opinion.
I tried to get the company to change its policy for Trina, but it wouldn’t budge. However, she still wanted her story told to inform others. After it aired friends, family and the community kicked in.
“There wasn’t a day that went by. I got cards in the mail every single day. Messages, phone calls, dinner delivered. Flowers and tons of money were donated for medical bills. Of course, I didn’t want any of that but as they rolled in, I was beyond grateful,” Trina said.
Then, in a meeting with her doctor, after three months of debilitating treatment, the momentum of support, prayers and love threw the situation into an unexpected orbit.
“He came in and he said, ‘I’m gonna cut straight to the chase. There’s no cancer detectable on the scan. You’re in remission!’” Trina couldn’t believe the news. “And I was like, this is a miracle. It’s almost too good to be true. After everything that I’ve been through, it was just an amazing gift”.
Now victorious, Trina will continue treatments to make sure the disease is gone forever. But for now, the first grade school teacher provides a lesson from which we all can learn.
“I love life. But that’s taken to an even deeper level. You cherish every moment. You cherish every conversation. Because you know that it could have been taken away from you. And it’s never more real than it is now. And it makes it a gift. And I just want to tell people, you are so lucky.”
Class and cancer dismissed.