IOWA — Five years ago, Allison Kilfoy thought she had food poisoning. She was vomiting and in pain and in and out of the hospital seeing various doctors. For months there was no clear diagnosis until June 12, 2017.
“She called me and said, I have bad news,” Allison remembers vividly. You have stage three cancer and you will never be a mother.”
Not just cancer – uterine and ovarian cancer. Diseases that usually affect women in their sixties. Allison was 27.
“The first opinion I was told they would treat me the same as a 60-year-old, which means a full hysterectomy.”
That’s not what she wanted to hear, and she wanted a second opinion. She got a life-changing one at the University of Iowa.
“They spent more than an hour just going over options. I was able to freeze eggs to use in the future and I did not have a hysterectomy. They just took the cancer out and then I did chemotherapy.”
Chemo meant going from platinum blonde, to bald. Allison put on a brave face but the change was tough to take.
“I had a hard time going anywhere without a wig,” she said. “I wore a wig all the time because I didn’t want to look like I had cancer.”
Her friends knew it, and planned a celebration to mark the end of chemotherapy. And they all showed up wearing wigs of their own. Allison has turned that party into an annual fundraiser. That fundraiser is happening this Sunday, September 25 from 1-4 p.m. at Kinship Brewery. All of the money raised will go to the University of Iowa and the team that treated Allison five years ago.