Just as Irena Wilkerson cheered on her children, Trina and Reggie, at every football game, dance recital and school event throughout their childhood, they never left her side during her gallant struggle with goblet cell carcinoids (GCC), rare tumors of the appendix.
“What a reward to live our mom’s legacy and celebrate her life and bring awareness towards this non-discriminatory disease,” said Trina.
Irena died from the very aggressive and rare cancer in June 2014 at the age of 59. Since her death, Trina and Reggie have applied the same zeal and enthusiasm with which their mother approached life to helping others with GCC.
In 2015, Trina and Reggie began hosting the Wilkerson and Robinson Family Benefit – an annual birthday fundraiser that rallies together friends and family in their hometown of Chelsea, Massachusetts to support appendix cancer research at the Mass General Cancer Center. Now in its second year, the event has raised nearly $9,000 in honor of Irena.
The funds help to provide additional resources for the education of patients and families at the Cancer Center who are navigating an appendix cancer diagnosis. The Wilkersons are committed to carrying on their mother’s legacy of support and bringing hope to patients with GCC by continuing their fundraising efforts each year.
“We thought what an honor and blessing it would be to hold an event to let the whole city know how awesome our mom was,” said Trina. “And to encourage those who are fighting for their lives, families who are crying everyday for strength, resources and support. What a reward to live our mom’s legacy and celebrate her life and bring awareness towards this non-discriminatory disease.”