Fund set up for cancer patient

Published 11:55 pm Monday, August 15, 2011

Ayla Powers (left) and her friend Rebecca Cory are shown.

A local woman is fighting for her life after being diagnosed with germ cell ovarian cancer, and family and friends are working to ease the financial burden on her family.

Twenty-year-old Ayla Powers is undergoing treatment at Mobile Infirmary for the cancer, which as metastasized to her liver.

Best friend Rebecca Cory said Powers is in ICU.

“She’s critical, but stable,” she said.

Cory said doctors found the cancer after Powers has complained for nearly three months that her stomach was hurting.

“(Her family) took her to the doctor, and they thought it was gastroenteritis to begin with,” Cory said. “We are inseparable best friends. She would be like, ‘Oh my stomach hurts.’ She went two or three times to the doctor. They did an ultrasound in the doctor’s office. Her uterus was four times the size of what is was supposed to be.”

Cory said doctors made Powers an appointment with a cancer specialist in Mobile, who found a football-sized mass that stretched from Powers’s ribs to her pelvic bone on June 20. Three days later, doctors attempted to remove the tumor.

“They were 90 percent sure it wasn’t cancerous because of the smooth surface,” she said. “When they got in there, they discovered it was germ cell ovarian cancer. They removed an ovary, a fallopian tube, her appendix and part of her spleen and a portion of her lower and upper intestine. There was 2 percent (of the mass) they couldn’t get.”

While Cory said doctors said this cancer is the most treatable of cancers, Powers has suffered numerous complications.

“They said they’d hit her hard with chemo, and she’d be good,” she said. “They had to wait three to four weeks after surgery to start chemo to get her blood count up,” she said. “Right now it has metastasized to her liver and she is septic.”

Powers is a 2009 graduate of Straughn High School and graduated with a degree in business from LBW, where she was an ambassador. She was employed at MSJ Trucking before she was diagnosed with cancer.

Cory said Powers’s father, John Powers, who is a wildlife biologist, has taken off work to stay with his daughter.

“He’s a single parent,” she said. “He’s not working because he’s trying to stay there and be supportive of her.”

To help with medical expenses and the cost of gas, food, and hotels, Cory has set up a fund at Superior Bank locations to help cover these costs.

“Funds in any amount and your prayers are being requested to help Ayla overcome this life-threatening attack of cancer,” Cory said.