2018 Family


The Piccoli Family

The following “Tell Your Story” was submitted by Brooke Kuszmaul, a friend of the Piccoli Family:

I am writing to nominate a mother of one of my former cheerleaders whom I had the pleasure of getting to know for the last few years. She has been diagnosed with stage 3 aggressive, invasive ductile carcinoma of the breast, axillary, sub-clavicular areas of her body.
She was diagnosed July 17, 2017. She is the mother of three children, two of which are twin 15 year olds; Brianne and Brian. Her daughter Brianne was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when she was born, and Brian was born with severe asthma. The first three years of the twins life was in and out of the hospital, enduring multiple surgeries, and putting an emotional and financial strain on their family. During this time she decided to go back to school to pursue a career in nursing, while taking care of her family.
After she became a nurse, she began her career doing home care for developmentally delayed children and adults, which she has been doing for the last nine years. After she was diagnosed, in order to receive the medical funds to care for herself, Rhonda had to lower her hours at work which eventually led to her leaving her job for an unpaid medical leave. She started four months of high-dose chemotherapy and was unable to work at all. After her chemotherapy was finished she ended up in the ICU due to complications from her treatments.
In January 2018,  she had to have a full mastectomy, and had an expander placed. Five weeks following her surgery she had to have a second surgery due to poor healing of the surgical site. After completing the second surgery, she ended up in the Emergency Room again due to feeling ill, which ended with a CT scan that showed a growth in her brain. To get a proper MRI completed, she had to go through another surgery to remove the expander that was placed inside her chest. The MRI showed up negative for the mass in her brain, but they found a mass in her parotid gland instead.
She has decided to let the doctors monitor the newly discovered site, while beginning her radiation treatments. During this hard time she continues to care for her children and continues to fight to keep her house utilities on, put food on the table for her children, and maintain a car payment for transportation to her therapy. Her daughter Brianne’s funding for her condition has been decreased, and due to Brianne getting older she requires a larger wheelchair which in turn, required the family to get a larger vehicle to transport. Most of her appointments are in Cleveland, so finding arrangements for her children as well as finances for gas to transport her has been difficult.
She has given so much over the years to her family and community in the aid of developmentally delayed children and adults and has endured so many hardships throughout her life, while maintaining to give back to her community. She has volunteered her time in helping with various benefits and fundraisers to help those in need, and now is the time that her and her family could use help themselves. The children and adults that she has helped continue to reach out to her and miss her overwhelming support that she has given them over the years.
Rhonda is continuing to fight and has since had to stop radiation due to health complications, but is not giving up hope that she will be able to continue to be a wonderful mother and care for her children. Her daughter Brianne was one of my cheerleaders that I coached at West Branch, and I have seen the struggles and accomplishments that this family has gone through. Rhonda is a wonderful and strong woman who has taken on so much in her life, please consider her as a candidate for the Rockin’ Out Cancer recipient.



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