When Pontotoc native Dawn Berry found out she had a year to live, she decided to plan a trip for her and her two young children, so they could make memories that would last her children a lifetime.
Money, however, is tight for Berry, who has aggressive head and neck cancer, has racked up medical expenses and is left unable to work full time.
In April 2020, doctors did a biopsy on a tumor on Berry’s tongue. In May, she learned it was cancer. She had surgery to remove half of her tongue in June and then underwent radiation treatments.
However, in December, it became evident the cancer had returned. She underwent chemo treatments and more radiation. Her doctors told her the cancer was just too aggressive and gave her about a year to live. She is scheduled for more chemo treatments in hopes that it may buy her a little more time.
“I’m waiting for my medical insurance to approve more chemo,” Berry told HottyToddy.com.
After receiving the devastating news, Berry decided she wanted to take her children, Peyton, 11, and Skylar, 7, on a special vacation while she was still physically able to travel. She set her sights on the Florida coast.
“I’ve never set foot on a beach, and my kids haven’t either,” Berry said. “This will be our last big trip together.”
On a tight budget, Berry found a hotel in Pensacola, Florida, for $98 a night and reserved the rooms for a mid-July trip.
Berry’s friend, Oxford resident Carol Bullard, decided she wanted to make sure that Berry’s trip with her children was the best it could be — one filled with precious memories without being a burden on her friend financially.
Bullard has started a GoFundMe page for Berry that has raised $1,200 in three days.
“Dawn has fought this hard and has even worked as she was able to during this journey,” Bullard said. “I can’t imagine the physical pain that she is enduring because of the head and neck cancer and the emotional pain of knowing she is leaving behind two precious ‘littles.’”
Berry said she’s been overwhelmed by the love and the generosity shown by Bullard and those who have donated toward her trip.
“Carol has been a wonderful friend,” Berry said. “She’s always there if I need someone to talk to.”
Click here to donate to Berry’s trip with her children.