Justyna Boucher was a regular 21-year-old woman with dreams and aspirations. She loved to dance, and was a cheerleader but in 2015, her life would change forever after noticing something wasn’t right.
“I first noticed I was getting sick my senior year of high school,” Boucher said. “Basically in my left breast it was rock-hard, they thought it was an abscessed, removed what they thought was an abscessed and then sent it off to be studied and found out it was soft tissue phyllodes sarcoma.”
Boucher’s sarcoma is affecting all of the soft-tissue and bones in her body and she has been fighting it since 2015. However, the lesions and tumors are unaffected by the chemotherapy with doctors giving her a maximum of six months to live, according to her mother Shannon Pass.
Despite this and the constant barrage of treatments, Boucher remains in great spirits.
“I am not [scared of dying],” Boucher said. “I actually knew it was coming, since I’ve been off of chemotherapy, and since I’ve been off of the chemotherapy my tumors have grown as well as developed new tumors so I knew what was coming.”
Pass, along with the remainder of her family, wish to get her out of the hospital for some time.
“We’re hoping to get her strong enough to get out of the hospital,” Pass said. “To give her more quality instead of quantity to her life.”
Boucher herself has a sole wish—to meet Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. Determined, she wrote about herself and the desire to meet him on Facebook.
My name is Justyna and im 21 Years old. I have been living between Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital since February 21st. Until now I have been on oral chemotherapy called Votrient or Pazopanib. I am on chemotherapy because I have a very very rare type of cancer called Soft Tissue Phyllodes Sarcoma which affects all of the soft tissue and bones in your body. Doctors have said that I only have 6 months to live. First for me it developed in my left Brest as what was thought to be an abscess in May of 2015 while I was a senior in high school. When I was originally diagnosed, it was on May 21, 2015 which was a week before prom and two weeks before High School Graduation. Luckily I was able to participate in Prom and Graduation. On June 16,2015 I had a partial mastectomy done by Doctor Bertagnolli so I could have a regular life and be a college freshman. After having fifteen months of clean CT/MRI Scans with no evidence of disease, on October 27, 2016 we discovered new lesions in my right hip. My course of treatment this time couldn’t be surgery so it had to be radiation from November 21st until December 20th. Since after radiation, I continued to get scanned every three months and each of the three month appointments were cancer free until April 17, 2017 which is when my doctor told me that my cancer has spread to both of my lungs When we heard this news both decided to play pursue chemotherapy. Both my mom and I thought chemotherapy was the best option. On May 16, I had a double power port catheter put in my primary chest wall for chemotherapy because,I have very faint veins. Since I am limited to one one arm because I have had lymph nodes taken out of the left This means I can’t have any blood pressure or blood taken on the left arm. On May 17th I started my first IV chemotherapy regimen called Olaratumab and Doxirubicinwhich made my tumors after two cycles both grow and stabilize. Over 4th of July weekend was hospitalized because I developed intoxicidity from an IV chemotherapy called Ifosimide. Unfortunately with Ifosimide, I was only able to complete one round before I had a restaging CT Scan. After Ifosimide, I was put on the Gemsidibine and Taxotere regimen which unfortunately after two rounds did the same the thing the first chemotherapy did. As of February 21st I was on Votrient which stabilized all of my tumors however made my back tumors grow. My back required two surgeries. If anyone knows of any news stations looking for a story please stare my story. Thank you. Hopefully one news station will see this and want to make a story about me.
– Credit: Justyna Boucher/Facebook
“I am obsessed with the No.11, because the number is my aunt’s birthday [Jan 1], and her and I are very close,” Boucher said. “As well as he’s just an awesome player and I am obsessed with him.”
In fact, Boucher claims that she was “always a fan of Edelman” and wouldn’t know what she would do if she met the two-time Super Bowl champion.
“I would probably be speechless,” Boucher said as she chuckled. “And then I know my cousin would be like “oh my God! Hello!” But I would be speechless and I think it would come to me that he’s here after about 15-20 minutes.”
Not only does she want to meet the Kent State alum, but she does indeed have a few questions of her own to ask him.
“When he does come I want to ask why he chose the Patriots to be a part of and why does he travel all the way to [Foxboro] just to play football,” Boucher said.
Her story has received more attention as local news outlet Boston 25 News ran a short-story on her.
Boucher’s fight may be coming to an end soon, but she plans on living her life to the fullest and meeting Edelman is a huge dream that deserves to be made happen.