Community rallies for Westwego mom diagnosed with breast cancer

WESTWEGO, LA (WVUE) - The days following Khristy Gonzales's chemotherapy are always tough.

"It makes you feel like you have the flu, pneumonia, and stomach virus all at the same time," said Gonzales. "You just feel awful."

Back in June, Gonzales was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. But for this family, it's not their first run-in with the disease. In 2000, their two-year-old daughter Kaitlin was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. She fought through chemo, radiation, and surgeries before passing away at the age of six.

"You know what to expect," said Corey Gonzales, Khristy's wife, about the families second brush with cancer. "But you also rehash things you don't want to rehash. It's been a tough time."

The journey has been extra difficult because the family had started to heal. The couple had another child, now five-year-old Jace, and everything was slowly getting back on track.

But the Gonzales say they're staying positive thanks to support from the community and beyond.

"I've watched them be the first to stand up for everything," said Cindy Woods. Woods met the couple when they worked as youth pastors in Frisco, Texas. When she heard about Khristy's diagnosis, she and her husband started up a site to raise money.

"It just lets them know they're loved and supported," said Brian Woods, Cindy's husband. "And what you give comes back."

So far the site has raised over $4,000 for the family. Friends also stop by with dinners. And St. Cletus School in Gretna, where Khristy is a P.E. teacher, also helped work around her chemo schedule.

"It's huge," said Corey Gonzales. "It takes a big burden off your shoulder."

"It's very encouraging," added Khristy. "You feel like everybody's got your back."

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