Aug 5, 2014 11:49 AM by Elizabeth Hill
"It just got to the point where we just knew something wasn't right."
After experiencing stomach pains and bloating for several months with no relief, 37-year-old Allison Walters finally visited the emergency room.
"She had a very large tumor the size of a basketball and it had been there for quite some time," says friend Karen Nichol.
Walters underwent a ten-hour surgery to remove the tumor in her abdomen and from there doctors confirmed suspicions that it was, in fact, late stage ovarian cancer.
"How can this be happening? This isn't real. She's so healthy, she's so active."
"She went from a beautiful, healthy, vibrant young woman to someone laying on their deathbed fighting for their life. It's a scary scary thing because you have absolutely no control," says Walters' sister Lauri Bodin.
To make matters worse, Walters had limited insurance and medical bills quickly started to stack up. Her friends and family sprung into action setting up a fundraising page and support group called "Buddha's Belly." Allison has affectionately been known to friends and family as "Buddha" since birth. From donations to messages of encouragement, the response has been overwhelming.
"I didn't realize how many people my sister knows and how many people she's touched in her life."
Walters' fighting spirit is what keeps touching the lives of those around her.
"Everyone has their hands somewhere in this pot and that's the kind of support that keeps everyone moving forward and Allison's hopes up," says Bodin.
In addition the the fundrasing page and Facebook group, Walter's friends have created the "Don't Stop Believing" 5k race that will take place September 14th in Girard Park. It is an 80's themed race and costumes are encouraged. For a link to register click here. There is also a virtual option to run if you aren't able to make it on race day, but still want to help out.