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A Washington state mother of six has died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, according to her family.
Sundee Rutter, 42, who was a Stage 4 breast cancer survivor, died on Monday, according to a GoFundMe page created in her name. Rutter leaves behind six children, ages 24, 21, 20, 15, 14 and 13. Both of their parents are now deceased — they lost their father “some years back,” according to KOMO News.
“This has not been an easy road for these kids. They have been through a lot in the past several years. Sundee was an absolutely amazing mom and instilled only the utmost of values in her children,” the GoFundMe reads. “I have never known a group of siblings who stick together and take care of one another as much as these kids do.”
Rutter first began feeling unwell about two weeks ago. She reportedly went to a local hospital but was sent home, according to the news station. Days later, her condition worsened — Rutter had a fever and was having trouble breathing, two common symptoms of the novel virus, COVID-19. This prompted one of her sons to take her to Providence Medical Center in Everett. She was admitted to the hospital but died about a week later.
Those battling cancer are at a high risk of serious illness if they are infected by COVID-19, as their immune systems are typically weakened by both cancer and cancer treatments.
“Usually the risk is temporary. Cancer patients who finished treatment a few years ago or longer have immune systems that have most likely recovered, but each person is different,” states the American Cancer Society.
“Due to all the cancer treatments, Sundee didn’t have much left in the way of an immune system,” reads the GoFundMe.
Rutter was remembered by a longtime friend as a "wonderful person."
“Great friend, great mother, great wife — she was a wonderful person,” Jessica Harris told KOMO News. “We’re pretty devastated, she beat cancer and lost the battle to coronavirus? It’s just crazy.”