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Dying Wish: To convince women cancer can be cured if caught early

Carrie Tiggas gets checked prior to undergoing another session of chemotherapy at St. Alphonsus.

Reporter's note: Since finishing this story, Carrie has gotten some incredible news from her doctor. Here's what she shared with me: "The results of my most recent CT scan shows I am in remission. The term my doctor used is remission with maintenance!” She knows there will be more battles, more chemo ahead, but to go from stage four with a year to live to remission is beyond amazing. It is a testament to not only Carrie's will to live, but also the skill, compassion and determination of her team at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise.

There can be power in a message, especially when it comes from someone who is dying.

Carrie Tiggas is dying of stage four Cervical Cancer. When she was approached by Wish Granters Idaho, she turned down the offered trip or adventure and instead she asked to speak to the women of Idaho.

“All I really wanted was to get this story out and get women to the doctor. My form of cancer is just very avoidable. Very treatable. If caught early enough. It's just so silly. A half an hour appointment, once a year, can just save your life.”

It is a message Carrie will seal with her life.

“I'm very, very stubborn. I'm going to stick around here as long as humanly possible, but yes, my goal is to help as many people as possible even if it is too late for me.

“It's just so important that women take charge of their health because there are people depending on us to be here. Children, husbands, mothers and grandkids. It's just important for us to stay strong and also set an example."

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To help spread that message and fulfill her wish, Carrie invited cameras to follow her to St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise. She was just finishing up her 8th round of chemotherapy, a treatment meant not to save her life, but to prolong it.

Still, the treatments have not been easy. The bone ache, the nausea and the drug reactions have gotten worse with each session. Yet, she believes the intrusion of the cameras into her private battle are worth it.

Blue Chip Media has already produced a short video of Carrie’s message that was commissioned by Idaho Wish Granters. In it she pleads with women, “We're all a little afraid of going to the doctor and finding out there's something wrong. But you don't want to let it get to a point where mine is ... Where it's buying time instead of saving your life.”

A doctor’s appointment once a year can save you from her fate.

That video and this story as well, will continue to carry her message long after her fight with cancer – her fight for time -- Is over.

“I didn't really feel a sense of purpose for a really long time. I think now I was put on this earth to help other people. And if that means dealing with what I'm dealing with, then I accept that and welcome it as long as I can help other people.”



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