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Fighting for my family

Published on

Troy Shantz

Tara Gunn is a newly married mother of two with Stage 4 breast cancer.

But ask how she’s doing and she says simply she’s working on a miracle.

“You better believe that this is not going to stop me,” said Gunn, 32. “I’m blessed to have the best thing to fight for — my family.”

Gunn discovered a lump in her armpit earlier this year while breastfeeding her newborn. Doctors weren’t concerned initially but after a precautionary ultrasound and biopsy she received the news.

“I vividly remember leaving the surgeon’s office with my mother, both of us in shock,” said Gunn. “It was at that moment I knew my life was about to take a very big detour.”

The young mother had a rare and aggressive inflammatory breast cancer, and she started chemotherapy within the week.

“My hair started to fall out after the first round of chemo and was completely gone after the second,” she said. “That was hard. I had beautiful hair.”

Gunn underwent a mastectomy in August, but not before throwing a ‘Bye, Bye Boobie’ party.

Following the surgery, she was relieved the cancer was gone and she could move on. But a nagging back problem prompted her doctors to order another scan.

The cancer wasn’t gone. It had spread to her bones.

“It was a grim few weeks but slowly I pulled myself back out and started reading about other women in my position, just as scared, but hopeful,” said Gunn. “And that gave me hope.”

Her focus now is on beating the illness, setting goals and planning the future with husband Justin.

“Like anything, there’s good and bad days,” she said. “But when you have this little sweet child say, ‘Don’t cry mommy,’ it’s impossible not to smile.

“I fight for them, and part of that is keeping a positive mind frame.”

A GoFundMe account has been set-up to help ease the financial burden of treatment, and a benefit fundraiser is planned for Dec. 16 at The Station Music Hall.

“Having to ask for help sucks, but having cancer sucks more,” Gunn said.

“I’ve always been a do-it-yourself kind of girl, but cancer doesn’t work like that. You need the help of family and friends more than ever.”

To support Gunn and her family, visit the GoFundMe page at



WHAT: Just Beat It: Fundraiser for Tara Gunn, with live acoustic music, an auction, face painting and door prizes.

WHERE: The Station Music Hall

WHEN: Dec. 16, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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