Support is on the rise for a courageous Bergen County woman diagnosed with a terminal and incurable form of breast cancer as she works through a living list of dreams.
Cassie Romano of Emerson — a behavior therapist who worked with children with autism — was initially diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in January 2020, according to a GoFundMe that documents her difficult journey.
Romano was recovering after undergoing a double mastectomy when her father was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer himself, called Burkitt’s Lymphoma, she says.
“So while he was going through intensive chemotherapy, I was undergoing 6 weeks of radiation at the same time,” Romano writes.
Romano and her father thought their battles had come to an end — but just four months later, she discovered that her cancer was back and had spread to her liver, leading to a diagnosis of terminal metastatic breast cancer.
Since then, Romano has endured a whirlwind of treatments, including two surgeries and radiation for the cancer, which has also spread to her spine, she says in the fundraiser.
“I continue to take a clinical trial medication daily, get monthly injections, bloodwork and routine scans, in order to monitor and slow the spread of this disease that has a 3-5 year survival rate,” writes Romano.
This time, the courageous Bergen County native is asking for donations, not for her treatments, but for a “living list” of dreams she wants to fulfill — notably, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit Italy.
Nearly $2,100 had been raised on the campaign by more than 25 donors as of Friday, June 10.
“…This disease is so unpredictable that I don’t know how much time I will be healthy enough to travel and make beautiful memories,” writes Romano.
“My entire life I have wanted to visit Italy. I would be forever grateful and overjoyed for any help on my journey. It would be amazing to have the opportunity to put this last trip on my calendar other than ‘cancer stuff.’”
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