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A Utah community is banding together to support a mother of twins with special needs who is now battling breast cancer herself.
Patricia Parkinson Glenn says she was misdiagnosed with a hematoma in June. In late January, she learned that a lump in her left breast was an aggressive form of cancer, according to her fundraising page.
"This is the hardest thing I have done in my life," Parkinson Glenn, of Salt Lake City, told NBC affiliate KSL.
She was already facing a different challenge at home. Her son Edison has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and relies on a wheelchair. His twin, George, was diagnosed with autism. Parker, a fraternal triplet to his brothers, does not have special needs.
"Lots of women have breast cancer, and lots of women have children with cerebral palsy and autism," she said. "It just so happens I have all of the above at the same time."
Friends set up a fundraising page to help Parkinson Glenn and have raised more than $34,000. In addition to the page, Parkinson Glenn said neighbors have been planning events for people to donate money to the family.
"They just take off and they do it," she said. "It's just so amazing. We're so grateful."
Parkinson Glenn is beginning a 16-month chemotherapy regimen and said insurance only covers part of her sons’ treatments. Plans to remodel their home to make it more wheelchair-accessible for Edison were put on hold because of her own medical needs, she said.
Still, Parkinson Glenn remains positive.
"We are just your average people — simple and normal (if there is such a thing!), but we are fighting extraordinary battles," she said on her fundraising page. "Life is still beautiful despite the scars."