Megan Mendez, who struggles to support her family while fighting breast cancer for the second time, is receiving some financial assistance from a Southside tatoo shop.
Mendez works for a home health-care provider that requires her to move men and women from their beds to wheelchairs.
“I’ve had days when I’ve
Mendez, 25, was first diagnosed with cancer 11 days after her 21st birthday. The chemotherapy caused her immune system to weaken to the point where she couldn’t be in a hospital to complete her nursing clinicals; she had to drop out of school.
Because of a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, she was left with scar tissue that would have to be removed. She and her husband, high school sweethearts, wanted to have another baby, but the surgery had to come first.
They entered the operation optimistic about the future with plans for a second child, but Mendez walked out devastated ... more cancer had developed on her breast plate.
“It was crushing the first time,” she said. “I was really depressed. This time I’m like, ‘Oh, OK, I’ve already been through it.’ ”
But a second round of chemotherapy and radiation has been slowly breaking down her will to fight through the sickness. She has been informed that there won’t be an option for reconstruction this time, and she will not be able to have another child.
Mendez’s husband and daughter keep her going. “I have no choice,” she said. “Right before I was diagnosed, we bought a house.”
The family struggles to keep up with medical bills and mortgage payments as Mendez isn’t able to find additional resources because she makes too much money to be considered for aid.
She was recently contacted by her hairdresser, who presented her with a surprising proposition. Tom Crawford, owner of Body Language Tattoo, 6801 Madison Ave., has made Mendez a part of his Breast Cancer Awareness Month promotion. His artists have teamed to donate the proceeds from numerous tattoos to Mendez.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “Words can’t explain how perfectly this timing worked out.”