Every so often, we get the pleasure of hearing a truly moving story of someone that has been impacted by Breast Cancer or IBC and has changed the world around them. Well, Rachel Midgett and her family have done just that.
Rachel was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer at age 37 and was told she would only have two years to live. She happened to live just ten minutes away from MD Anderson in Houston that has the World’s first Inflammatory Breast Cancer clinic. So for her to get cancer treatment there, it was far easier that most who have to travel and pay for hotels and transportation.
Rachel Midgett and her husband Clint decided to purchase a condo a mile away from MD Anderson solely for out-of-town cancer patients to live in, for up to three months free of charge, so they can focus on their cancer treatment worry free. Clint Midgett said, “She realized there are people who are not in clinical trials and not participating in research that ultimately could lead to a cure because they can’t afford to be here.” Thus, Suites of Hope was started.
Clint and his friend, Nathan Bane, started a fundraiser called Pink Pigeons, a sports shooting competition, to raise money for the condo and other breast cancer programs. The Pink Pigeons skeet shooting competition raised $115,000 in just three short years.
Toni Thurlo, a 51 year old from Kansas City, Missouri was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in April 2013 and is staying in Rachel’s condo while she undergoes her cancer treatment at MD Anderson in Houston. “I had no idea where I was going to live. I just knew I needed to be here at MD Anderson to receive the best treatment possible to fight this devastating disease,” Thurlo said. Rachel’s mother Faye Brown explains, “When you go there to stay, there’s everything. You don’t have to bring anything but your clothes and food.”
Four years after Rachel Midgett’s diagnosis, she succumbed to the disease on August 14. “Everywhere you look in the condo, you’ll find reminders of Rachel, most prominent are the keys she left behind.” (Crystal Galny)
“It’s just amazing that this woman has done this for other patients. She had so much to give people,” mentioned Toni Thurlo.
Her mother, Faye Brown, said through tears, “She’s going to be missed, but she’s going to be remembered and that’s what’s important.”
“At Suites of Hope, you’ll find the keys to hope.” (Rachel Midgett)
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Click here to read a related article from KBTX.com in Bryan/College Station, Texas