In 2016, Charlotte began to complain of pain in her pelvic area. After several misdiagnoses, it was confirmed that Charlotte had a desmoid tumor. Charlotte’s mom Rebecca was up late each night searching the internet for answers. They traveled around Australia talking to different doctors and trying different treatments, many only available privately at significant cost. Unfortunately, multiple chemotherapies and procedures couldn’t stop the tumor growth. Out of therapeutic options, Charlotte underwent massive surgery to remove the tumor, which left her not only with abdominal mesh and lost stomach muscles, but with the inability to have children. Despite these life-changing challenges, Charlotte eventually returned to working with animals and is studying again. As a mother, Rebecca’s biggest struggle was the burden of feeling alone in being Charlotte’s advocate since doctors weren’t familiar with her disease.
“I felt a huge, often overwhelming, sense of responsibility to be thoroughly educated so that I could ensure my daughter got the best treatment available.”