Fighter in Focus: Carrie Simpson

What type of illness(es) are you battling/have you battled?

Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1999, Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma Sarcoma in 2007, 2008, and 2011.

What types of treatments have you endured?

I have had 5 major surgeries and 4 reconstructive surgeries from all the cancer. I had chemo and radiation in ’99, surgeries in ’07, chemo and surgeries in ’08 and surgery in ’11. Over half my back, 3 ribs, and part of my spine have been removed.

carrieHow old are you?

32 years old.

How did you hear about the GPF and how has the GPF been involved with you?

Stacey saw my car on the road one day with the website I created and called to ask me about it. I created to build communication between people that have been touched by cancer. I wanted a single place where anyone could go and find the information they need pertaining to cancer and the support available. I also knew that I survived for a reason. I have a burning desire to help others as so many people helped me while I was sick. The Gregg Pearson Foundation helped me in a time of need both financially and spiritually…and for that I am forever grateful. Choose to believe in your legacy you are creating today because it will affect another person’s life in ways you can’t imagine.

In Carrie’s own words:

I am a 4 time survivor. One chapter of my life started on 9/9/99. Who could forget the day your whole life changed? This chapter of my life started my “Cancer Biography.” I was diagnosed with Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and received both chemo and radiation. I have stayed in remission from Hodgkin’s. Then in June 2007, my fear came back and cancer tapped into my life again. This time I was diagnosed with Sarcoma. My Sarcoma may have been induced from when I had the radiation treatment for the Hodgkin’s. I was diagnosed with Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma Sarcoma in June 2007 and had two surgeries to remove the tumor and excise the surrounding area. In May 2008, we found out the Sarcoma had returned. Third time’s the charm is how the saying goes, right? The day before I was going in for surgery, we had to change gears because the tumor had doubled in size and was stuck between my ribs. I had 6 rounds of chemotherapy which shrunk the tumor to almost nothing. Then the doctors went in for surgery and removed three ribs and the surrounding tissue about the size of a small football. I now have a scar that goes across my entire back that looks like a huge seven. But ironically, seven has always been my favorite number.

My wonderful friends and family are my biggest inspirations. Inspiration for me is knowing that I will always survive no matter the outcome. When I was sick, I felt that either I was going to meet my Maker or I got to live life with all of the many blessings He had given me. Everyone that knows me, knows that I have a strong faith and that my spirit cannot be broken.

It is a blessing when two people find each other and truly have an unconditional love. Some people unfortunately go through life and never share this experience. I have been blessed with an incredible husband who is always a huge support. Our two beautiful girls carry this love in their hearts. Our philosophy is to love them until it hurts and then love them more. Their daddy says hopefully, this will help them grow into strong women one day just like their mommy.