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Trinity Strong
$4,760 Raised
363% of $1.3k goal
77 contributors
2 Years running
A fundraiser to help a wonderful friend battling liver cancer.  Trinity, a mom of 3 wonderful children, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma liver cancer during the summer. More ...

Trinity Strong-

On January 19th I will be running in the Naples Daily News Half Marathon as a fundraiser to help Trinity Raifstanger a wonderful friend battling stage 4 melanoma liver cancer. 

Trinity, a mom of 3 beautiful children, loving wife, daughter, sister, friend and human being was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer during the summer. I have had the honor of spending many vacations with Trinity and her beautiful family because of my husband Michaels long standing relationship with John, Trinity's husband. Through these times I gotten to know and grow fond of Trinity and consider her and the Raifstangers family!

Since she was diagnosed I wanted to do something for Trinity and her family, so I decided that I will run my first half marathon this January and raise awareness and support of this unpredictable disease.

Please help me to raise money for them, every step that I will take on the 19th will be for her...The funds will be used towards prescriptions, hotel stays for specialist appointments, gas to Boston and back, acupuncture, health supplements, wig, copays, insurance deductibles, etc.

Thank you so much. 


"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Isaiah 41:10 

Here Trinity's story:

My name is Trinity Finn Raifstanger. I am a 38-year-old wife, mother of three young children, friend, relative, colleague and community member. My life in Western Massachusetts is a beautiful one... My husband, John, and I focus on our family life, we run a successful family business, we enjoy outdoor activities and leisure time with our friends, we host numerous annual celebratory gatherings, and we have an extraordinarily close extended family who we share our life moments with. John and I live for and absolutely adore our three children, Olivia (age 11), Camden (age 8), and Avery (age 6)... All of my dreams so far have come true. Never in my wildest dreams, however, did I ever imagine that in spite of my healthy lifestyle, I have been diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in my liver. Although this is not a chapter I would have willingly starred in for a story about my life, it is a part of my journey now; A journey that I'd like to share with you.

I had been experiencing some discomfort in my upper right rib cage area for a few weeks. At first, I self diagnosed myself with an internet based theory that I probably had a gallbladder issue. Like a responsible mother of three, I made my doctor appointment to get to the bottom of it. I was scheduled for some lab work and an ultrasound within the week. When the results came back that I had multiple abnormalities on my liver, I immediately flashed back to the ultrasound and how I swore I heard the tech let out a sigh of concern when she started taking measurements. Did she already know what I was up against? From there, we (meaning John and I and our 3 blissfully unaware children), were scheduled for an MRI. Leading up to that appointment I still felt this had to be some strange benign cyst that was surely going to suck to have removed, but removed it would be. During this waiting period my pain became insanely worse. The morning our lives changed forever my pain had reached its peak and I called the doctor's office just to tell them I couldn't bare the pain anymore. That is when they said it was time to come in to discuss the results. Its a pretty big blur, but I know my MIL drove me while I sobbed from pain and panic to the office. John arrived shortly after. From what little reading I wanted to do on the Internet, the one thing I know I didn't want to read anywhere on my report was the word carcinoma. And there on the second page screaming itself at me was "carcinoma"! I lost all control and started sobbing mixed with moments of just silent shock while John spoke. The look of worry on his face alone was killing me. How could I become the mommy and wife that got sick?!

So, on to more testing because its a puzzle that needs all the pieces. Surprisingly, my blood work was normal except for a minimal increase in my liver enzymes. We assumed that was hopeful. On to a PET scan to make sure whatever this was, it wasn't anywhere else. Biopsy was scheduled to only be delayed out of concern that our dog had had a tapeworm parasite just a few weeks prior so it was a lead we had to chase or the biopsy itself would have left me septic if it was in fact this extremely rare parasite. The PET scan was clear with the possibility there was a small lesion in the front of my abdomen! Hallelujah it was not in any other organs, but we still needed to do a brain MRI to determine that organ was clear. That was probably one of the most spiritual moments thus far. I had a room full of good friends visiting when they came to get me for my brain scan. It was very emotional when I was wheeled out and they all intended to stay until I returned. After about 30 minutes from my scan being done, my oncologist called to tell me it was clear. The room was full of loved ones and they heard me say, "Thank you, God" and burst into tears. The entire room shifted to this feeling of peace and elation only to be topped with a rainbow right outside our hospital window. Not a drop of precipitation or a scientific reason as far as we could tell, but it was our sign. Our sign that I'm going to be o.k.!

It's stage 4 melanoma in my liver. That's some serious B.S. right there! But I am young, otherwise very healthy (let me just add that my blood work continues to be normal and all my tumor markers were normal....say whaaaaat?!?!) , despite 80% of my liver being taken over by this tumor it is functioning normal, I have three unbelievable kiddos to get better for and the worlds strongest and most supportive husband to grow old with, so I have every chance of fighting this and winning! And I am going to fight HARD! But it is going to take a small army to help me. My family, friends and this community are amazing and that will be its very own chapter in this journey. I'm thankful for each and every one of you! Pray hard for us.

Much love,


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