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GR nurses helping one of their own through triple negative breast cancer diagnosis

Dawn Edikauskas is fighting breast cancer, more specifically, one of the most rare and aggressive forms

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Dawn Edikauskas is fighting breast cancer, more specifically, one of the most rare and aggressive forms.

"During the latter part of February, I felt a lump in my breast with a self breast exam," said Dawn. "I've always been up to date with all my mammograms so it kind of came as a shock."

By the end of her chemotherapy, she'll have gone through six months of treatment.

"After lots of biopsies I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer," said Dawn. "It's a triple negative breast cancer. So it's a little bit more aggressive, a little bit harder to treat, and started chemotherapy within three weeks."

Dawn, who lives in Grand Rapids, has been a nurse for 35 years. 

Taking care of people in her community for over three decades, she never once thought she would be the one who would need help.

"It's, it's super overwhelming," said Dawn. "I've always been very independent."

Credit: Dawn Edikauskas

Now, an entire group of nurses are teaming up to give Dawn the love and support she needs to make it through chemo. They've been raising money for her and have been planning a benefit in her name.

Suzette Bauman is one of those nurses. She's been friends with Dawn for the past 14 years.

"Just being there, you know, holding our people up that are going through hard times," said Suzette. "Our department has just picked them up, and we're doing everything we can to help hold them up."

Alice Steensma is a friend and former coworker of Dawns. She held her hand through the beginning of the diagnosis, even helping her shave her head once the chemo started.

"There's no way under God's green earth that she's going to leave me, or us, due to this," said Alice. "I have to keep my head in that space that she's here when she's not going anywhere. In whatever fight it is. We'll do it together."

Credit: Dawn Edikauskas

For Dawn, this fight is for her friends, grandchildren, sons and daughter.

"I'm looking forward to my daughter's wedding in September," said Dawn. "And then after that, I'm looking forward to finishing up the chemotherapy, finishing up the surgery, finishing up the radiation, and hopefully getting back to normal."

There will be a benefit for Dawn hosted by her friends on Saturday at the Casino Club of Grand Rapids from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

You can also find the fundraising site for Dawn's breast cancer battle here.

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