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Keeping the Faith




Submitted by:
Scott Christiani

I am nominating my wife Trina for this year’s Keeping the Faith award. Let me tell you a story… Trina was a successful 35 year old marketing executive, in perfect health, on a ski trip in Utah. She had a grand mal seizure on the way up the ski hill. After a battery of tests, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. On a positive note, it was operable. Unfortunately, the procedure left her with a rare, extremely painful condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia, and her case is very severe. This was March of 2006. Her condition is triggered by strong smells, loud noises and, unfortunately, sneezing. Her biggest challenge is navigating through a world full of people who wear fragrances, smoke cigarettes, light scented candles, create beautiful flower arrangements and, unfortunately, nature itself, whose blooms cause her to sneeze, the most painful of all situations, because her sneezes always come in pairs, and the pain is debilitating. Her service dog, Halle, is specially trained to detect smells, but at times she finds herself trapped between a smoker and someone wearing a strong fragrance, and she has to choose. She describes it as a “hundred knives stabbing her face all at once.” Trina has every reason in the world to stay in the house and hide from the world, yet she is the exact opposite. She travels the world, and yearns for new adventures. One of her favorite sayings is, “I have pain wherever I go, even if I stay home. I might as experience new things while I can.” Since her diagnosis she has been to the north and south poles, China, Europe, Africa, the Grand Canyon, and even took Halle and I to New York for the NFL Draft the year our beloved Seahawks won the Super Bowl. A year and a half ago, I asked my lovely Trina to marry me. 10 days later, a routine MRI detected a new tumor. Inoperable. We were married on 1-16-16, and spent our first year doing chemo. She knocked it out of the park, and there is no new growth. She is stronger than ever and today…we live