By Alan Gionet
ELIZABETH, Colo. (CBS4) – “She’s the kind of person that people love to be around,” said Rachel Winegar’s mother Jill Grassnick.
Rachel’s smile and presence are rewarding to everyone around her. Now some of it may be coming back. “People seek her out to be friends with her,” said Rachel’s mom. “This is life interrupted.”
It is when you are a young mother of 30 with three children. Rachel Winegar is dealing with Stage IV colorectal cancer that went to her lungs and lymph nodes. The chemo is rough, but the love she’s getting are uniting and powerful.
The cancer battle started with her diagnosis in August of this year. Her mother said Rachel was suffering from worsening digestive problems with nausea and pain. Cancer is a clever opponent, hiding and changing. Doctors told her it is incurable, but treatable. And so she went to work to go after it.
The chemotherapy can be vicious, laying her out for days. Sometimes four days of misery before she can get moving. Rachel’s husband Spencer left his job in the Gunnison area where they lived so they could move with their three children, six year old Tucker, 4 year old Nora and 18 month old Willa to move in with family in Elizabeth where they are closer to hospitals. “Little Willa,” said Jill, “Struggles that her momma cannot get up and get out of bed.” But the children are in it with her. “They’re troopers,” said Jill. “They pray for their momma and ask other people to pray for her.” Tucker is in the 1st grade. Nora is in pre-school
They had a small ranch in Gunnison. A place where Rachel watched over their animals. “She was extremely attached to her chickens,” her mom explained. “They followed her.” They liked to hunt and camp. “They are outdoors people,” said Jill.
People have been extremely supportive. Rachel has found her faith in God huge in her fight. “She told her sister, I’m glad that God told me to do this, so God can get the glory for what happens.” Colorado is with you Rachel. Cancer does not define you.
The Winegar family is trying to pay their costs involved with Rachel’s care. Here’s a link to their Go Fund Me page:
Alan Gionet is telling the stories of people with cancer during his No Shave November effort. Here’s where you can add to that effort to beat cancer: no-shave.org/member/agionet