I am a 39 year old married, mother of two (This family picture is a few years old, but this is us) that has been fighting a rare liver cancer ( Hepatocellular Carcinoma) on and off for the last 11 1/2 years. Right now my cancer is quiet but I have developed a lung disease from all the chemos, radiations, surgeries, and lung catheter over the years. Last June I was put on an ventilator for a week after getting very sick. My lungs were succuming to a rare pneumonitis (fluid and filmy substance). It took me a couple of months to recover from that, and then went on 6 months of chemotherapy.
In April I got the all clear from my doctors that my lungs were all clear and cancer was still quiet. We celebrated and took my family on a vacation to Orlando (that had been rescheduled two other times because of Chemo) to celebrate making it through that horrific situatuation and getting off chemotherapy.
While in Orlando, my pneumonitis happened again. My husband immediately took me to the ER in Orlando, while the friends with us took over my kids. Thank goodness they were there and just stepped right in. I was failing fast and needed to get from Orlando to Tulsa ASAP!!My husband, Joe, spent hours on the phone working with benefits, Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa (my home hospital), Orlando Hospital (where I was in ICU), air ambulaces, and continued to hit a wall. My doctors in Tulsa knew how to handle this but I was to unstable to fly commercial nor drive. I needed Air Ambulance transport but unable to get our insurance to pay for some or all of it, so out of the grace of God my family came through and paid for it. It costs almost $14,000 and I still can't wrap my head around that generosity. I was able to make it to Tulsa in 2 hours on an Air Ambulance. The doctors at Cancer Treatment Centers of America got right to my care (as always) and prevented me going on another ventilator. I was in the hospital there for a couple of weeks and now home recovering. My appointment last week shows my lungs still only half clear, I am still on steriods and oxygen but the hope is by the end of July things will look much better.
Although my family never mentions the money ,and are just happy I am ok, I know it wasn't money they had just lying around. I have been working with benefits coordinators, researching possible grants, charities, etc to try and get someone to help me pay them back. I haven't had much luck. Someone had told me about this site a few months ago, and I was reminded of it again just recently. I know it is alot of money but I would love to repay my loved ones for loving me enough to stop at nothing to get me well. It is not easy asking for help but I thought I would test this out and see if you could help me give my family back a big "Thank You" and ease any burden this may have caused them. Please make sure to include your name and address because I would like to send you a personal Thank You. I am my mother's daughter and was raised that way. "She always told me an email may get the information there quickly but a hand written note really gives of the information". If you could pass this along to your circles I would appreciate it and would be forever grateful. Sincerely, Jackie Malena