After being dismissed by medical complaints, a Massachusetts teacher was finally diagnosed with cancer

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Heidi Richard, a Massachusetts elementary school teacher, says that she knew something was amiss. She suffered from severe stomach pains that kept them awake at night. She also lost a lot of weight.

It was stress, according to a nurse practitioner. She stated that Richard was repeatedly tested for mono. She went through several tests and prescriptions over the course of a year. She claimed that nothing worked.

“Something wasn’t right, I said. I know my body, I told them. But the replies came back with authority. You’re young. You must be anxious. You’re under stress. Maybe it’s mono. It could be acid reflux,”Richard wrote an essay online about why she will be running the Boston Marathon on Sunday. 

Finally, she had a cat scan. The diagnosis was cancer. “Diffuse large b-cell lymphoma, specifically,”She said. “I had spent an entire year afraid to raise my voice to those whom I perceived to be more knowledgeable in this area, when in reality I knew something was really wrong all along.”

It was 2020. She went through many rounds of chemotherapy over the next year. Richard received a stem cell transplant in January 2021. Now in remission, she is undergoing immunotherapy to help prevent a recurrence.  

Richard, a lifelong runner and entrepreneur, is preparing for Sunday’s challenging race. She is taking part on behalf of DetecTogetherThe group teaches people how early to detect cancer. 

“If I can raise money for DetecTogether by running the Boston Marathon, they can get this message out to even more people and lives will change,”She wrote.

“I’m not going to be fast, but I’m going to find my joy out there on that course,”She said.

Richard can be supported by a donation via her fundraising site here.