Donations lifting spirits after shock diagnosis
FOR powerlifter Lily Riley being strong is her business and now she’ll be using her strength to overcome a renal cancer diagnosis.
Just 24 years old Ms Riley has had surgery to remove her left kidney after scans found a 12cm by 8cm tumour inside the organ.
Her fiance Tyran Stehbens said it all started on Saturday morning after she weighed in for a competition where she was looking at breaking her own personal records for squat, bench press and deadlift.
In training Ms Riley has accomplished a 227.5kg squat, 97.5kg bench and 200kg deadlift, but now she will have to wait a little longer to push those numbers in a competition.
Mr Stehbens said she was feeling lethargic, couldn’t stomach any food and was vomiting, then she started to feel pain in her left lower back and left lower abdomen.
“The pain got so bad that we went to the hospital at 6pm and after some tests they diagnosed a urinary tract infection and discharged her at 11pm after some antibiotics,” he said.
“Pain didn’t go away and at 3am I took her back to the hospital and she’s been in hospital ever since.”
Mr Stehbens said she had been moved from Prince Charles Hospital to the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital.
“When the scans came back and we realised she had a 12cm by 8cm tumour inside her left kidney we were all so shocked,” he said.
“I was there with her mother and it was an emotional time.
“After that we knew that the kidney would have to come out. However we only found out (on Wednesday) that it was cancerous and hearing the word cancer was quite difficult, regardless of the fact that the tumour had to come out anyway.”
Mr Stehbens said doctors told them it was fairly common for people to get tumours on their kidneys or cysts and most likely it was a simple procedure to remove them.
But Ms Riley’s situation is different.
He said her tumour was “three times the size of her actual kidney and inside her kidney” and has to be removed.
Mr Stehbens said it was very uncommon for someone her age.
“We aren’t sure what has caused the tumour,” he said.
Since the diagnosis a GoFundMe page has been established to relieve the cost of treatment and income loss as a result of the surgery.
While Ms Riley runs her own business which has recently closed as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, the recovery period would also take its toll on her ability to work.
“The money from the GoFundMe will go towards her living expenses and any medical costs she might need,” Mr Stehbens said.
“At the moment my job is secure as I’m an electrician but in the case that I would have to go into isolation there would be absolutely no income for either of us.
“We are so overwhelmed at the moment with the support and did not expect to be helped by so many people.”
Within 48-hours of the page going live more than $12,000 has been donated.
“We’ve had people we have never met reach out to us in this time of need and we can’t thank them enough,” he said.
“It’s truly amazing as there’s a national crisis happening and people are still giving anything they can.”
He said they hadn’t spoken to any doctors about rehab but he believed it would include rest and strengthening the body to do normal tasks again.
“She’s one of the strongest people both physically and mentally I’ve ever met, so I’m positive we will get through this,” Mr Stehbens said.
“Knowing Lily her comeback will be bigger than ever.”
If you would like to donate, head to https://bit.ly/3bxmgKX