LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A single mom of two boys from Longmeadow has been battling breast cancer now for ten years
Despite her Stage 4 diagnosis, Elizabeth Barton remains positive and grateful through it all so the Big Y and Western Mass News Surprise Squad wanted to give her and her family one more reason to smile.
It's been one thing after another for Barton. "I've gone through a lot the past six months," she explained.
Diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time in December 2008, Barton fought back with aggressive treatments and surgeries, but unfortunately experienced a second recurrence where the cancer metastasized to her lung.
The bad news didn't end there. The cancer was back for a third time in 2013 where chemo was no longer an option and just eight months later, Barton had her fourth recurrence - this time the cancer had spread to her brain.
"It doesn't go away. It just kinda spreads," Barton explained.
While driving to Boston every three weeks for four years, Barton remained strong - the single mom of two young boys, who were just three and 18 months old, when she was first diagnosed
"They help me when I don't feel well, but at the same time, they keep me so motivated," Barton noted.
Exactly a year ago, in March 2018, Barton received news of her fifth recurrence, but hasn't let that bring her down.
"I've known her for a few years now and she's just impressed us all, you know, she's so strong," said friend Heather Henrey.
The community is going 'Lizstrong' and so is the Big Y and Western Mass News Surprise Squad, hoping to hit home run putting smiles on the faces of the Bartons, who could use some good news
Baseball has kept the family together through it all with Barton's sons, Michael and Ryan, playing the sport for most of their young lives with their mom by their side.
"Her supporting me and cheering me on when I get a hit and get on base," said Ryan Barton.
The Surprise Squad wants the Barton's to cheer on their favorite team together with a Red Sox game.
"I've never been with them to a Red Sox game, so this will be the first time for the three of us. They are the reason I keep going. They're my strength, my positive attitude," Barton said.
To support Barton's journey, head over to her GoFundMe page.
If you know someone that deserves a surprise, you can nominate them by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.