Family helping family

Published 6:08 pm Friday, May 20, 2022

Charlotte County resident Courtney Lewis should have been getting married last Saturday, May 14. Instead, the 29-year-old was fighting cancer and recovering from surgery.

On November 19, 2021, Courtney was diagnosed with two different types of breast cancer at the age of 28.

Unfortunately, the Lewis family is very familiar with cancer.

Breast and ovarian cancer run in the family on her mother’s side.

After testing positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation in 2017, Courtney has checkups at Duke every six months, including yearly breast MRIs.

Courtney is receiving care at Duke Cancer Center, and she has completed six rounds of TCHP chemotherapy as of April 6.

On May 12, Lewis underwent surgery for a double mastectomy.

Following surgery, the treatment plan consists of possible radiation, another year of chemotherapy or immunotherapy, and at least five years of Tamoxifen. 

Upon finding out her diagnosis, she immediately sought assistance from a fertility specialist to be able to pursue her dream of becoming a mother one day.

Lewis has faced sickness, difficult decisions, hair loss, and life-altering changes during this journey.

She continues to prove her strength every day; not only is she fighting this battle with cancer, but she has recently completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing throughout the course of her first six rounds of TCHP chemotherapy.

“If you want it, work for it” Lewis said. “I promised myself nothing would get in the way of my personal goals. Success requires hard work, discipline, and perseverance.”

On December 20, Kaylin Rutledge, Courtney’s 5-year-old cousin, made the selfless act of giving back to Courtney.

Rutledge donated 15 inches of her hair to Lewis.

Kaylin’s donation made it possible for Lewis has a wig of her own with sentimental value. Since Lewis has had to postpone her wedding, she is hoping this wig will make it possible to still feel like herself on one of the best days of her life. “My wig will make me feel more like myself, and I must give all thanks to my sweet Kaylin,” Lewis said. “I want Kaylin to know how much I love her and that I am so grateful for her donation. With her help, I will be able to feel more like myself on my wedding day.”

You can follow Lewis’ journey on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/courtney.lewis.94064