Trumbull mother with stage 4 breast cancer raises money, awareness for research
A Trumbull mother who has stage 4 breast cancer is on a mission to help find a cure for it.
Kara Rizzardi says she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in December of 2017 when she was 34 years old. She says she learned a large mass on her chest was a tumor, and that the cancer had already spread beyond her breast to her spine, rib and liver.
"I did three months of chemotherapy. I also froze my head... I did the DigniCap to keep my hair. My children were really young and we didn't want them to know what I was going through and wanted them to recognize me still as mom," Rizzardi says.
Her daughters, now 8 and 4, have seen the treatments continue. Rizzardi gets an infusion of hormonal agents every 3 weeks, which keeps the cancer under control for now.
"There's no cure for this disease," she says. "It's an emotional roller coaster."
Rizzardi says within the past year, she has lost two close friends to the same disease she has. One of them, Rebecca Timlin-Scalera, started a local nonprofit called the Cancer Couch Foundation
Every dollar raised goes to research for metastatic breast cancer.
"The best part of the Cancer Couch Foundation is that the money that is donated is actually matched," she says.
This October, Rizzardi and her husband wanted to help. He designed T-shirts and sweatshirts
that they're now selling online.
All proceeds will go to the Cancer Couch, which could be critical for her survival.
"Women that are diagnosed with this usually have like a one-to-three-year life span," she says.
With two young girls whom she wants to see grow up, that's simply not enough.
"This is why advocating and funding for this research, for breast cancer, is so important," Rizzardi says.