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Trussville woman battling cancer for 3rd time: ‘People have done a lot’

By Gary Lloyd

TRUSSVILLE — Carolina Higginbotham is battling cancer for the third time.

The Trussville woman was first diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2010. She finished radiation in March 2011 and was in remission until February 2012, when she was diagnosed again. It had spread to her bones.

In July 2012, Higginbotham finished chemotherapy and got on a clinical study to test whether or not it could increase immunity and keep the cancer away. She got off the study in September 2013. She was in remission that entire time and was until the beginning of this year, when she said she started having trouble breathing. The cancer has now spread to her liver and lungs, she said.

Higginbotham had thoracic surgery and started a clinical trial in January. She was on it for six weeks before a scan determined it was unhelpful. In the middle of March, she started a new oral chemo drug. She takes it for two weeks and then takes a week off. A scan two weeks ago revealed that it was working.

“It showed a really big improvement,” Higginbotham said.

Carolina Higginbotham with husband, David, and son, Josh
submitted photo

In the last two weeks, Families Against Cancer in Trussville held a car wash and yard sale fundraiser in downtown Trussville. Some of the funds went to Higginbotham’s family, which includes husband, David, and 8-year-old son Josh, a first-grader at Paine Primary School.

“That’s really amazing,” she said.

The Paine Primary School physical education department performed at Friday’s Relay for Life event in Trussville in Higginbotham’s honor, which was “really kind,” she said. People have brought meals to her house, and she’s developed great friendships with people in Trussville.

“People have done a lot,” she said.

Her husband is also a cancer survivor and the couple lost a child in the last several years. She said it’s been a very difficult time. She’s “very blessed” to have a support system of family and friends, she said.

“It’s very difficult to understand why all of this happens, and it’s difficult to come to a place where you’re OK living with cancer and living with things like this happening so often,” she said.

She said the awareness being brought to cancer and the goal of finding a cure “means a lot to me,” because a local event focusing on local survivors brings “a face” to it.

Originally from Mountain Brook, Higginbotham had never been to a Relay for Life event before. A friend from Mountain Brook who goes always dedicates a luminaria to her. She planned to go to Relay for Life last week in Trussville.

“It means a lot to me,” she said. “It’s very special to me.”

Contact Gary Lloyd at news@trussvilletribune.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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