Cherie Milligan’s first sign that she had serious health problems came one day in December 2012 when she was driving on the Chickasaw Turnpike.
The Ada woman remembered getting on and off the turnpike that day, but she couldn’t remember the rest of the drive. She had experienced memory loss and blurry vision before, but she blamed them on stress and a reaction to the medication she was taking.
The turnpike incident prompted Milligan, 52, to consult her doctor in Ada. Her doctor ordered a computerized tomography scan, which combines a series of X-rays from various angles to produce cross-sectional images of bones and soft tissues.
Milligan learned on Jan. 2 that she had a brain tumor. A week later — on the day she was scheduled for surgery to remove the tumor — she learned that she had Stage 4 lung cancer.
Milligan said Tuesday she was so focused on her surgery that she didn’t have time to react to the news that she had cancer, which had spread to her brain.
“I was kind of in shock, just kind of in disbelief,” she said in a phone interview.
Milligan’s family and friends have hosted a series of fundraisers to help her cover her medical bills and other expenses. Another fundraiser will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Lazer Zone Family Fun Center, 14601 CR 3544.
Milligan’s daughter, Sadie, said the fundraising campaign has generated between $8,000 and $9,000 so far. She added that she hopes Saturday’s event will raise at least $3,000 for the cause.
Sadie said her family appreciates the community’s interest in helping her mother.
“The businesses of Ada have been very, very willing to help,” she said. “We’ve had really great donations, and there’s just really good people here. They’ve been really supportive.”