Diagnosis: Hodgkin's lymphoma and Breast Cancer
Jennifer Pichelman was born in Racine, Wis. She graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin with an undergraduate degree in business management and communication. She recently celebrated 25 years with a manufacturing company in Racine and currently works in marketing.
Jennifer is the proud mother of a beautiful daughter, Madelaine, who has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), which is a rare form of epilepsy. Madelaine is her pride and joy. Jennifer loves spending time with her family and friends. She rides a motorcycle in her spare time and also hopes to do more traveling with her significant other.
Jennifer was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1994 and underwent chemotherapy and radiation. Due to the radiation to her chest, Jennifer was told she had an increased risk of breast cancer, which her oncologist diligently screened for with mammograms and breast MRI's.
She remained cancer free until December of 2012, when she was diagnosed with a secondary cancer, breast cancer. When a small mass was discovered after a mammogram, deep down Jennifer knew she had breast cancer. After biopsy results came back, Jennifer was formally diagnosed on Dec. 28, 2012 -- 3 days after Christmas.
She came to terms with a double mastectomy and implants, but the process did not go as planned. Jennifer ended up with infections and had a total of six surgeries with one more coming up this year. Her plastic surgeon at Froedert has been fantastic, helping her through the issues, surgeries and just being supportive.
Though a difficult journey, Jennifer will tell you "Life is Beautiful." She's always the optimist and always can find the silver lining. Though there have been tough times, she has a positive attitude 99% of the time. She has gone into surgery each time carrying on conversations and laughing, which helps her significant other and family get through the tough times with her.
In an odd way, Jennifer believes having cancer was a gift. Now she has the opportunity to reach out and help others. To hopefully be an inspiration and help others fight the good fight! She even got a tattoo on her foot to always remember how precious life is -- to never forget.