Teresa’s Story

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tomandthresawalshHNC Living Foundation is a personal and passionate commitment for Teresa and Tom Walsh. In May 2013, Teresa was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in her jaw. The cancer initially manifested itself as a cyst on her gum and advanced into her jawbone. Dr. Terry Tsue, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Physician-In-Chief at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, and a team of exceptional doctors and care providers performed a fibula free flap procedure on Teresa, essentially removing her jawbone and rebuilding her jaw with a titanium plate and transplanted bone and tissue from her leg.

Throughout her journey of doctors’ appointments, specialists, therapy sessions, radiation, etc., Teresa became acutely aware of the challenges and problems associated specifically with head and neck cancer. Her firsthand experience with the treatment of this cancer and witnessing the difficulties experienced by other head and neck cancer patients inspired Teresa and Tom to form HNC Living Foundation. They recognized that there are far too many head and neck cancer patients across the country for whom the financial challenges are just as burdensome as the medical challenges. HNC Living Foundation’s primary mission is to help head and neck cancer patients live life fully during and after treatment by providing financial aid.

Teresa continues to heal and recover to a nearly pre-cancer lifestyle and attributes her recovery to the expert care from The University of Kansas Cancer Center and other traditional and non-traditional treatments. It is Teresa’s and Tom’s wish, through HNC Living Foundation, to help others get the support they need for their healing and recovery.

Listen to Teresa’s story in her own words: