Kerri Mascareno is a mom in Albuquerque, New Mexico with three daughters in school. She just wants to see them grow up. Unfortunately, she knows that may not be possible. In August she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.
She is on chemotherapy and of course hopes for a cure. The tumor needs to shrink before doctors can surgically remove it.
But if that doesn’t happen, she just wants to spend time with her girls, who she calls, “the fuel that keeps me going.”
Unfortunately, she is banned from her daughter’s elementary school. The cancer makes her smell too bad.
Mascareno knows that she gives off a powerful odor. Bad smells are often a symptom of breast cancer treatment. But the principal at Tierra Antigua Elementary School says that the stench makes school staff members sick to their stomachs.
The school’s principal, Robert Abney, spoke to her recently.
“He just said he knows this is going to hurt my feelings and he understands where I’m coming from because his mother had breast cancer and she had the same exact smell,” Mascareno told TV station KOB. “I can no longer be in the school and that with me being in the school, that I made his employees ill.”
Even standing outside the school didn’t do the trick.
"He just said that he would have to ask me to sit in my car because he could smell me through the window," Mascareno said.
The TV station contacted Abney to ask if there was anything else that could be done. He wouldn’t talk about the situation.
He also sent Mascareno an e-mail telling her that she would not be allowed t the school’s Thanksgiving dinner — unless she and her daughter isolated themselves in a remote office.
This time, the school responded when KOB called. Mascareno has since been invited to share Thanksgiving dinner with the rest of the parents and students.
She knows it could be her last. But she has not yet decided whether to go or not.