Carlyle was born and raised in Raleigh, NC. After graduating from St. Mary’s School she crossed the Mason-Dixon line and headed for Smith College in Northampton, Ma. After graduating from Smith in 1994, Carlyle joined Teach for America, then only in it’s 3rd year of existence. In 1998, she graduated with a Masters of Education from Georgia College and moved to Pinellas County, Florida to begin a new adventure. She continued teaching in the public schools for two more years and married her husband, William. In 2002, Carlyle and William welcomed their first child — a son. In 2005 her family grew to 4 with the arrival of a daughter. In early 2006, the young family headed to Nashville, TN after a job transfer for William. At this point, juggling 2 demanding careers was taking its toll on the family, so Carlyle began a new career as a full time mother. In 2008, the Dorroh family became complete with the addition of a second daughter. They moved back to William’s hometown of Savannah, GA in the summer of 2009.
Life in Savannah was as close to perfect as life can get. Carlyle was an active volunteer in the older children’s school and enjoying adventures with their toddler. An avid runner, most mornings she could be found running laps around a local lake, pushing the little one in a jogging stroller. In late spring 2012, just before her 40th birthday, Carlyle began to feel something was not right with her body. She experienced periodic lower abdominal pain and other minor aliments. Finally, in July 2012 she went to the doctor. CT scans revealed mild thickening in the sigmoid colon along with a few other minor issues. Thinking it was something relatively minor, Carlyle had a colonoscopy. She and her family were shocked by the findings: Carlyle had a malignant mass almost completely obstructing her colon. Thanks to local friends who were physicians, she was immediately in the office of the top colo-rectal surgeon in Savannah. Surgery took place just days later. Again, another shock: Carlyle did not just have a single tumor in her colon, she had seeds of cancer scattered throughout her pelvis and abdomen. She had Stage IV Colon Cancer.
The initial prognosis was a maximum of two years of survival. Carlyle and her family were in compete shock, but rallied quickly searching for answers. Carlyle completed 8 rounds of chemotherapy in Savannah and then went to Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston Salem, NC for a potentially life-saving surgery. On February 13, 2013, Carlyle underwent cytoreductive surgery (CRS) with Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC). After a 14 hour surgery, the surgeon emerged and told her weary family that he considered the operation a complete success. He was able to remove all visible cancer from her body. After a week in the hospital and a week recuperating in North Carolina, Carlyle returned home. Just 4 short weeks later, she resumed chemotherapy. In late April 2013, Carlyle finished her chemotherapy regimen.
After four wonderful months off treatment, scans revealed Carlyle’s cancer was back. In August 2013 she resumed chemotherapy and is scheduled for a second CRS with HIPEC in February 2014. She realizes she is incredibly fortunate to have an outstanding team of physicians, amazingly supportive community, steadfast friends and a loving family behind her. She finds it heartbreaking to realize many fighting this disease do not have this support. Carlyle is eager to help others struggling with all stages of colorectal cancer. She also hopes her story will inspire others not to ignore changes in bowel habits and/or abdominal pain just because they do not fit the mold of a stereotypical person with colon cancer. With fairly healthy eating habits, an active lifestyle, no family history of colorectal cancer, and no family cancers as young as 40, she never would have imagined she would be diagnosed with colon cancer. While Carlyle hopes and prays she can someday reach remission, she knows there is no outright cure for Stage IV colon cancer…yet.
Early in her diagnosis, she reached out to Gloria for advice. Immediately she had hope. Hope that a cure could be found. Over the next year and a half the two frequently communicated via text, email and telephone and a friendship was born. In fall 2013 Gloria and her mother, Becky Keller, visited Carlyle in Savannah. Sadly this was their only face to face meeting as Gloria died a few months later. Her death hit Carlyle hard, but also inspires her to keep pushing forward for a cure. For herself, for her husband and three young children, for Gloria and for all those affected by this vicious disease. Carlyle is honored to be a part of the ambitious Wunder Project, and she believes a cure will be found. Her life depends on it.
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Carlyle is now one of our WunderGlo Legacy Warriors. Please see her Legacy page here.