Mom with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer writes cards for daughter, 5, to open throughout her lifetime

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MADISON, Wisc. — A 35-year-old mom is making sure her daughter always has motherly support even after she’s gone. Heather McManamy has Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer that has moved into her bones and liver.

She hopes she’ll be able to see her daughter, Bri, off to her first day of kindergarten, but if she does not survive until then, McManamy has a card for Bri.

She actually has a tall stack of cards for many special occasions: Bri’s first tooth, her first wedding anniversary, her first baby.

Heather McManamy has Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and is writing her daughter letters to read after she is gone.

Heather McManamy has Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and is writing her daughter letters to read after she is gone.

“The last one I did was for her 30th birthday,” Heather McManamy said.

McManamy says the list of treatments she has left to try is dwindling, but she will persist.

“I want her to always know that I did everything I could possibly do to be here,” she says. Last year, McManamy told her story to WMTV in  Wisconsin, where she lives. In April 2013, she found a lump in her breast. Although she did all the recommended treatments including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, the cancer spread.

The cards to her daughter have messages that she hopes will help Bri as she grows up.

“Hey Bri. I’m always, always proud of you.”
“My love is always with you.”
“Every minute with you, you made me happier than I could ever hope to be.”

McManamy says she feels lucky to have the opportunity to do this for her daughter, but admits the difficulty when she finished.

“It was difficult once I was done, looking at this pile, this physical representation of everything I’m going to miss.”

McManamy has been vocal about her cancer and has tried to educate others about metastatic breast cancer. In an article from May 2015 in the Wisconsin State Journal, McManamy discussed how unhelpful some people can be when they learn she has cancer. She said she knows some don’t know what to say, but asks people to stop telling her to eat more kale.

There’s an account set up on the GoFundMe donation website called “Making Brianna-Mommy Memories.” It has collected almost $28,000.

The Go Fund Me account for Brianna and her mommy, Heather McManamy.

The Go Fund Me account for Brianna and her mommy, Heather McManamy.