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Rachel Bretbrunner


While hiking with her husband Robert and children memorial day weekend 2018, Rachel tripped and hit her knee.  While at the time she noticed how much it hurt, as any busy mom does, she put it behind her and only occasionally thought “boy, wonder why that knee still hurts.”    


She has been a hairdresser for 20+ years and it was that very profession that gave her a clue that something was wrong with her knee.  Standing on her feet all day was getting more and more difficult.  She eventually had to meet clients at her mom’s home-based salon or cancel appointments.


At a doctor’s appointment they determined she had a cyst of some sort in her knee that was the source of the excruciating pain.  That seemed so simple, just remove the cyst, then the healing could begin and life could be normal again. Unfortunately upon opening up the knee the surgeon found a huge tumor - a sarcoma - where the cancer was inside the entire bone and the tumor was coming out of the bone just below the kneecap.   There was no way to remove it, so they had to close the knee back up and start cancer treatment immediately.  


She has a very rare Sarcoma - a type of bone cancer with only 400 cases in the US. It is also a very rapidly growing cancer that ate away at the bone and made it spongy. Being one of the most aggressive types there was no doubt that the course of treatment would be chemotherapy. After the cancer was in check, then a full knee replacement would be required including removing nearly ⅓ of bones attaching to the knee -- the sponge part - so that the knee replacement had something to attach to.


Rachel is a wonderful, loving mother of her three children who are now 12, 14, and 19.  Her world revolves around how could she be the best mom for her kids. There are so many changes to adapt to when cancer hits a family.


She went into the hospital for a total knee replacement on the morning of January 24th 2019. The had to literally cut out all the bone midway down her shin, and up into her thigh in order to remove the cancer. It’s what they call a mega knee replacement!  


Rachel and family are taking it one day at a time. The journey continues... She has been to the hospital twice this Spring with a fever and once with a white blood cell count at 6 (normal is 1000). Rachel says her strength comes from God, and her faith has grown during this time.  And she has every intention of kicking cancer!



For more info or to make a tax-Deductible donation please contact:

We are the Solution/Help Team Rachel 4861 Skyline Rd. S #108 Salem, OR 97306

541.250.0471   helpteamrachelbretbrunner@gmail.com