In 2005, Charlotte was a healthy, active 24-year-old just finishing her Master’s degree at Colorado State University. When she started to experience pain in her arm, Charlotte initially thought it was nothing serious.
She started some chiropractic treatments but the pain did not get better. Next, Charlotte noticed that there was something under her skin that would stick out when she moved her arm. Shortly thereafter an MRI confirmed a tumor and Charlotte was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – bone cancer.
Charlotte went to see Dr. Ross Wilkins at the Denver Center for Extremities at Risk where she learned about the daunting road ahead: they would do everything they could to beat her cancer, but she may be facing amputation.
After a regimen of chemotherapy that shrunk the tumor, Dr. Wilkins and his team were able to remove Charlotte’s bone and replace it with a bone allograft from AlloSource. Charlotte’s arm was saved from amputation and today she is back to some of the physical activity she enjoyed before cancer.
Although Charlotte has limited mobility in her arm, she is working every day to improve it. She embraced her drug regimen and has also explored nutritional and holistic therapies to assist in her recovery. Charlotte now works at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, one of three high adventure bases owned by the Boy Scouts of America. This summer she will be the staff and events coordinator at the training facility.
While she can’t rock climb anymore, she does pursue the high ropes course, backpacking, hiking and takes hip hop and Zumba classes.
Charlotte cites her faith as a major component of her strength through the cancer battle: explaining that she felt like she was in God’s hands throughout her entire diagnosis and healing process. Now, she’s thrilled to have reclaimed her life and is relishing finding new ways to do old things: a small price for being able to keep her arm.