Sarcomas are a rare form of cancer estimated to be about 1% of all cancers according to recent publications from the Sarcoma Awareness Foundation. There are many sub-types of this type of cancer because they can arise from a variety of different tissue structures within the body. According to the Sarcoma Awareness Foundation, the majority of sarcomas are found in the limbs of the body where there are high concentrations of connective tissue. Since most sarcomas are not diagnosed until they are noticed (large enough to produce a bump or protrusion) by patients, often the prognosis can be a difficult journey. Early detection is key. It is important for everyone to bring any noticeable lumps or bumps to the attention of their physician so that care can be begun immediately if the area is determined to be cancerous.
Emily Powell is a sarcoma survivor that came into contact with Jenn Andrews of the Move For Jenn Foundation through a family connection. Emily’s story is similar to Jenn’s in that a small bump was also found on her foot which was found to be cancerous. Emily was diagnosed with clear cell sarcoma which accounts for 1% of the 1% of sarcoma cancers. Emily had a biopsy performed, which was the first surgery she had ever faced, in May of last year. After having the biopsy evaluated by five different pathology labs, they were able to determine that it was, in fact, clear cell sarcoma. Emily is undergoing a series of surgeries and radiation treatments to remove the sarcoma. This includes several painful surgeries to have skin grafts performed on the affected area of her foot.
Emily traveled to Texas to MD Anderson hospital to have her surgeries and radiation treatments performed by doctors who specialize in clear cell sarcomas. Jenn Andrews was an incredible resource for Emily during that time, helping her to navigate the medical system and being someone she could confide in who had gone through similar circumstances. When Emily arrived in Texas, her wheelchair was going to be her main mode of getting around due to the intense surgeries she was undertaking on her foot. Unfortunately, her wheelchair was stolen from her rental property in Texas soon after arriving.
Emily was faced with the high cost of replacing the wheelchair on top of her mounting medical bills. A Go Fund Me account was started by her sister. When Jenn heard of Emily’s circumstances, she shipped a wheelchair to Emily that day. The Move For Jenn Foundation stresses the importance of mobility to patients during recovery.
Emily has also found support from Sara’s Cure, a foundation for patients with clear cell sarcoma. Sara’s Cure was founded by Lennie Woods when her daughter Sara was diagnosed in 2016. Sara’s Cure aims to provide funding for critical research to help find a cure for clear cell sarcoma. Sara’s Cure is also helping to establish a patient’s registry to obtain a pharmaceutical code for patients. These are essential to getting funding for research.
Emily stands strong in her faith with her family and friends and is always looking to fellow survivors for inspiration. “We all have our hard,” she commented, “For some, it’s fertility or divorce. Mine is cancer” She intends to fight it at every turn.
Emily creates one of a kind jewelry at Emmy Eff Designs and is donating a portion of her sales to help Sara’s Cure realize their mission. To see her amazing collection visit emmyeffdesigns.com.
Both Jenn and Emily have faced incredible odds and many difficult and heartbreaking decisions on their journeys. Jenn and Emily stress the importance of community, faith, and strength and awareness in their continued fight against cancer.
For more information on the Move For Jenn Foundation please contact them via the web at moveforjenn.org, on Facebook at Move For Jenn Foundation, and Instagram @moveforjenn. For more information on Sara’s Cure, please contact them at sarascure.org. Follow Emily on her journey battling clear cell sarcoma at www.thrivingwithcancer.com.