"What they gave me and my family wasn’t just a check. It was another chance to see that there are angels here on this earth. And the Gina McReynolds Foundation is one of them."

 

audreyShe should have been out celebrating her 33rd birthday.

Instead, Audrey Perrott was sitting in a cold doctor’s office anxiously awaiting the results of her MRI. Her breast care surgeon hurried in carrying a folder marked with a gigantic exclamation point. Her exact words were, “We need to biopsy this. There is definitely something slimy in there.”

Five days later gripping her husband’s hand, the doctor told her she had breast cancer. Tears fell, questions came from every direction, prayers were whispered, and in true Audrey and Brad fashion, they laughed through their tears while making bad jokes.

A double mastectomy revealed a stage 2b diagnosis-- the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. A second surgery, a right axillary dissection just two weeks later, gave her an official “cancer free” status but the likelihood of it returning was too high without taking aggressive preventative measures. Doctors ordered six months of chemo, seven weeks of radiation, and at least 10 years of hormone therapy.

“Not only are you in shock from the diagnosis, you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to keep your family together through all of it. Our son was two years old at the time and we were in the middle of an international adoption but if our country found out my diagnosis, the adoption was at risk, too,” said Audrey. “It was all too much."

Audrey was fortunate to have family in town to help during recovery after surgery but treatment was going to be a long haul. She worked as a freelance writer and public relations specialist from home so work, and her income along with it, would have to be put on hold. Her church small group had been with the Perrott family every step of this journey thus far and included her friend Jessica, also a friend of Gina and Will McReynolds.

“I had never met Will but our small group had prayed for Gina and their family during her battle with breast cancer,” said Audrey. “I was talking with Jessica one day after one of my surgeries, freaking out about how to take care of my son while I was in chemo after my aunt went back home to Chicago. I wasn’t working so we were short each month in our finances, then I had to figure out a sitter for Sebastian. We had good health insurance from my husband’s work but we got hit with the deductible back-to-back,” she said. “On top of everything else the last thing you want to worry about is how to pay for treatment.”

Then, on a Saturday night in a downtown Orlando restaurant, Audrey gathered with her closest girlfriends from her small group to celebrate “feeling good.” Little did she know it was all part of a bigger plan.

“Our food had just arrived when three big guys came over to our table. My friend Jessica got up to hug one of them and then I recognized the Gina McReynolds Foundation logos on their shirts. I thought it was a coincidence at first but then they handed me a gift bag,” said Audrey.

And what a gift it was.

“Inside was a check to help us pay our second deductible—in full. I couldn’t believe it. I was speechless,” said Audrey. “Here were these three men who I had never met before handing over a no-strings- attached monetary gift that took away one of the monstrous weights heaving on top of my family. When you are diagnosed with cancer it can be easy to fall into moments of despair but I found that those moments were far less than the others—moments where God’s amazing love was revealed through the shear kindness and generosity of others.

"What they gave me and my family wasn’t just a check. It was another chance to see that there are angels here on this earth. And the Gina McReynolds Foundation is one of them.”

 

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