My name is Melinda. This fundraiser is for the sweetest and strongest human being in my life. I've known Tracey for 10 years and she is one of my best friends. She has been the most giving and independent individual that I and many countless others have crossed paths with. Not many people are familiar with the burdens that she faces, but from a young age she has always taken care of herself and others due to her family’s struggles. She always kept a big beautiful smile on her face regardless of any given struggle.
In March of 2015, her father lost the fight to liver cancer. On April of 2018, her son Gianni Cove Pezzola was born. Doctors noticed a blue baby with a heart murmur and shortly broke news of his condition - Tetralogy of Fallot , a congenital heart defect which results in obstruction of blood flow. At just three months old, her son had a successful open heart surgery. Through it all, Tracey kept that smile going and her spirits remained high while she continued to push endlessly for her family.
In July of 2018, Tracey became pale and faint and admitted herself to the emergency room. Blood labs came back showing cancerous cells. A bone marrow biopsy was taken to confirm her diagnosis - Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) .
MDS are conditions that can occur when the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow become abnormal. Tracey is deficient in red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Tracey's immune system started to attack itself. She has been dependent on blood and platelet transfusions every other day. She experiences shortness of breath and severe migraines with chemotherapy, which resulted her to stay at the hospital for weeks without her Cove and fiancé, Jay. A bone marrow transplant (BMT) is the only cure to prevent the disease going into Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) , a life-threatening and aggressive form of blood cancer.
On January 5, 2019, Tracey received a second chance at life. It was confirmed that a 10/10 matched unrelated donor was identified through Be The Match foundation. This treatment and recovery is not easy. It is an exhaustive, painful, and an expensive process. The transplant replaces the cells in Tracey's bone marrow with the cells from a donor's healthy bone marrow. She will be quarantined in a hospital bed for a minimum of 6 weeks. Tracey will need to have 24-hour care for several months following.
Due to the cancer, she is unable to work. After receiving her fifth round of chemotherapy, I yelled at her and called her crazy for working while undergoing treatment. I’ve always looked at Tracey with admiration not only because she is the strongest and toughest woman I know, but because she is determined to put her loved ones first. Sitting across from her as several IVs were coming out of her arm was the hardest thing for me to see. At that moment, she looked weak and helpless and it broke me to see that. After her chemotherapy that day, she had asked me to take her to buy a Christmas gift for her fiancé (I still thought she was crazy). Not to mention, a few days prior to getting treatment, she drove 7 hours to stand by the birth of her best friend Tiffany's child.
As you can see, Tracey is a relentless fighter. She is selfless, compassionate, and has a heart of gold. Unfortunately, the fight to be cancer free puts a heavy strain on any family. The funds will help Tracey pay for the best medical and pharmaceutical care. So she can be at peace in hopes of shifting her focus on a full recovery. I made this page solely to send positivity, raise awareness, and support to Tracey through her long journey to conquer cancer. Tracey is loved by so many and I need her to know that we are fighting this fight with her.
I will keep you all updated on Tracey's journey.
Thank you to everyone for all of your support!
WE LOVE YOU TRACE!!!