Smiling Through Sarcoma

$70,975 of $50k goal

Raised by 873 people in 36 months
Samantha Franco  BARNEGAT, NJ
Hi! Thank you for visiting the site. My name is Sandra Franco, Samantha's sister. I wanted to help create this page to raise funds for treatment for my little sister. On September 18, 2013, my life as I know it stopped dead in its tracks. This is the day I found out that my freshly 22 year old, 'baby' sister, the light of my life and most other people in her life, has cancer. Not just any type of cancer, but synovial sarcoma, something I had never before heard of. This is a rare, aggressive type of cancer that normally occurs in the soft tissue of the arms or legs, but can spread to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, my sister's 'rare' cancer has grown and spread to her pelvis and is said to be in stage IV. There is no stage V.

Meet Samantha. Youngest of 3 sisters, 3 best friends. Avid soccer player and all-around athlete since the third grade. Granted a scholarship for soccer, but chose to stay close to home to be near family. Went on to help bring her county soccer team to #3 in the nation. All her life, all my sister has ever talked about was helping others. If asked what she wanted to 'be' or 'do' it was travel the world and make people's lives better. She dreams big, and I'm confident she can make it happen.


So now this. CANCER. As i said, my life stopped. I have become consumed with researching and knowing every last horrible detail about this disease, different treatment options, outcomes. But not Sam. She has vowed that this 'roadblock' will not stop her life, will not bring her down. She is possibly the most positive, strongest, and stubborn person I have ever met. Don't get me wrong. Sam has been doing plenty of research, but in a different way than most of us. She has been educating herself on 'other' ways of attacking this beast. The alternative methods. She believes in a whole body/mind approach and a lifestyle change to beating this disease. Whereas traditional methods mostly use only medicine and surgery (Sam is not eligible for surgery because of the advanced stage), alternative methods use nature, exercise, and the mind, holistic techniques. Many times, these alternative methods are used with a combination of low-dose traditional medicine. It is really very interesting, and my family has all learned to accept some of these practices. There are many success stories, as there are with traditional methods. Is it a guaranteed cure? Definitely not. But then again, neither is chemotherapy. Sam keeps saying, "there's no guarantee either way, so I might as well do something I truly BELIEVE in." Which is why I now know at a time like this there is only HOPE and BELIEF. This, I know, is the exact truth that she wants to share with the world.

Sam, with the help of my parents, has looked into many different health and wellness centers that treat people just like her. Unfortunately, the best places seem to be far from us, very expensive and not covered by insurance. With much research, she has narrowed it down to the one she believes is the best match for her- Oasis of Hope, located in Mexico. This center combines conventional and alternative treatments, which is what Sam is ultimately hoping for. A large down payment is Samantha's ticket in the front door. My biggest fear is time. Time is precious. With every day that passes and my sister is not getting treatment, the cancer is growing.

Please help my family and me get my sister treated and CURED. She truly believes this is the path that she is supposed to take. When she overcomes this I know that she will continue on her path to help people all over the world. For this, we cannot wait.

No donation is too small, all are welcome and so very appreciated.



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Update 14
30 months ago

Dear Family and Friends,

(update from Sandra and Diana)

If you asked us 189 days ago if we would be writing this right now, we would have said you were crazy. This is all still completely unbelievable.

Since our last update 1 month ago, a lot has happened. Lots of chemo and high hopes. A hospital stay with a blood transfusion. A PET scan. Bad news. A Ct scan 11 days later. More bad news.

The cancer inside Sam's body has begun to grow again. It has figured out how to get around the chemo that she was on. And it is AGGRESSIVE. Because of this, Sam's doctors have changed the type of chemo she will get in hopes of halting the cancer growth. They are hopeful. The new chemo started on Monday. It will be 5 days this week and 6 days next week. A week off, and then repeat. We will find out her progress after that second cycle. In the meantime, Sam will be meeting with the radiologist and surgeon in the next couple of weeks, and we can hopefully tackle this from a few different angles.

Sam is the definition of a true warrior. Through all of these ups and downs, she continues to fight, and is more positive than ever. Her attitude about this seriously keeps all of us going.

More updates to come soon, and hopefully nothing but good news. Let's keep the fight going for our girl. She needs all of the love, support, and prayers, she can get. Sam feels that she is already healed and will get through this, so please keep that positive energy going for her.

Much love,
Diana and Sandra
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Update 13
32 months ago

"Once you choose hope, anything is possible." -Christopher Reeve

Dear Family and Friends,

I wanted to give everyone a quick update on Samantha's progress. After round 2 of chemo a few weeks ago, the doctors were a little concerned and ordered an early PET scan. Waiting for results from a scan might be the longest, worst kind of waiting. It is as if the world stops working. 3 days seem like 3 weeks. Torture. But guess what?? The spot on Sam's lung is so minuscule, it is just about gone, and both tumors have shrunk significantly. Hallelujah!! Needless to say, the doctors are pleased with how things are panning out so far. WE are pleased with how things are panning out. Chemo, along with a few tests, will continue for the next couple of months. After this, surgery may be an option. Fingers crossed!

Sam is hanging in there. In fact, she.is.KILLING.IT. Through the most awful side effects, she continues to shock us with her strength and positive attitude. She never seizes to amaze us.

I have to say, until there is something concrete, something positive on paper, it is hard not to lose sight of hope. But let me just say, hope DOES pay off, and I am hanging onto every last shred of it. I know that the next few months will be long and hard-fought, but I also know the fight will be well worth it in the end.

So, get your hopes up, everybody, because we are all fighting this battle for our girl. Let's go kick cancer's ass!

Much love,
Sandra
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Update 12
33 months ago

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy New Year to all! I (Sandra) know this update is long overdue; it seems as though the holidays got the best of me. The month of December marked Sam's first round of chemo at Sloan. Let me just say that chemo SUCKS (to put it lightly). With it comes lots of other setbacks and ailments, and there is nothing pretty about it. She happens to be getting some of the most potent medications out there, and it is no joke. IT BETTER BE WORKING. The first 2 weeks after her treatment were pretty awful, but things started to look up from there. Sam got to play some soccer, go snowboarding, and take a trip to Germany for a mental break and some international work. Her amazing spirit and attitude continued through it all. Today completed her second round of chemo. In the upcoming weeks (before round three), there will be a new scan in order to monitor progress thus far. Fingers crossed, everyone. I am confident in 2014. New year = new beginnings and good health for all. I am extremely hopeful. After all, without hope, what would we be fighting for?? My gratitude continues, and can never be fully expressed, for all of the love and support that Samantha and my family continue to receive. Without all of you amazing people in our lives, none of this would be possible. More updates to follow in the coming weeks.

Much love,
Sandra
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Update 11
33 months ago

With it being Christmas Eve I wanted to make sure to reach out and once again thank everyone for their continued prayers and support. My family and I are forever thankful for each and every one of you.
Since being at Sloan Kettering I have made a lot of progress, and treatments are going well, so we are continuing forward. I hope that in the craziness of the holiday season everyone is able to take time to spend with loved ones and focus on what they are grateful for... as Bob Proctor says, "what you think about and thank about you bring about".

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from my family to yours
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Read a Previous Update
Help spread the word!
 8.5K total shares
Trudy Garofalo
28 months ago

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Samantha. She was always so optimistic and courageous. Her story will continue to an inspiration to all who followed her. May she rest peacefully, and pain free. She is now an angel, watching over her family and friends.

+ Read More
Thomas Amsterdam
30 months ago

Peace, sending prayers of strength & hope your way, after reading your post I have to share with you an amazing article on alternative effective cancer killing cannabis oil(marijuana) please read as ive read many stories in which marijuana has reversed the affects of cancers more then any chemo can http://www.hightimes.com/read/biologist-explains-how-thc-kills-cancer-cells

+ Read More
Trudy Garofalo
33 months ago

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thanks for the updates. Keep up the good work. Trudy & Sal (Gi's grandma and grandpa)

+ Read More
Sandra Franco
35 months ago

Hello everyone! Some of our cousins (with the help of Samantha) created a T-shirt to help raise more money for treatment. Here is the link: https://www.booster.com/smilingthroughsarcoma/ Shirts are $20. $10 for each shirt will go directly to Sam. The sale will only be active until October 31, so get your orders in :) Let's keep the fight going for our girl

+ Read More
Heather O'Steen Young
35 months ago

Hi all! We have created t-shirts to support Samantha. Please visit https://www.booster.com/smilingthroughsarcoma/

+ Read More
Judy Johnson
35 months ago

Holistic: nutritious diet, rest, exercise, positive mental outlook, spirituality= a LIFETIME of study. Anyone who knows Samantha knows how incredibly positive and upbeat she is. Her physical body can not run on positivity alone. Her very serious illness came even with her positivity. Holistic means enbodying all aspects of the whole. I like to say Wholistic. Everyone has been so incredibly gracious with their donations and support. The best way that we can continue to support her and her family to help her healing process is to 'allow' this to happen and be her advocate. Let's all help her and not allow her to not get proper rest. If we had the flu we would be in bed. Her illness is extremely serious even if she does not let you see the signs or doesn't recognize them herself. Let's also make sure that she eats well as she will be instructed on the beginning of this journey . Help her to learn how to prepare organic healthy meals as this will have to be a lifetime commitment for her to be healthy and well. Lets not allow her to 'party'. Maybe later on she will be permitted the occasional drink. I know that everyone has her best interests at heart. This family has gone through many unforeseen trials to get Sam where she now is. Let's all collectively help and nurture this family the best way that we can. Love to all and to Sam.

+ Read More
Dea Dea
35 months ago

Hi Please help my daughter it has lost much blood

+ Read More
Sal Ac
35 months ago

Good luck and all the best

+ Read More
Wendy Giangregorio-Emerald
35 months ago

I wish I could donate money, although I can't do that I can offer my prayers I don't know what I'd do if something happened to one of my sisters, I hope everything works out for yours!

+ Read More
Leslie Sands
35 months ago

Sam, this "is" the big game --- You know what to do !!! --- All our love, best wishes, and prayers, The Sands Family (( :)

+ Read More
Danielle DeMattia
35 months ago

To Sam and family, I Love your positive attitude and hope I can help with the sales of the shirts I've created for you. Coming out soon if you check my Facebook "danielle demattia" or "UR apparel co"

+ Read More
Nancy Durett
35 months ago

I hope you have tried traditional methods of chemo before going to alternatives. With Sarcoma, chemo has proven to be the best agent to fight it. It may take some trial and error. Pls consider using chemo as well as alternatives. Positive thoughts coming your way.

+ Read More
Kathleen Millar
35 months ago

Please go look at the Kristen Anne Carr website they may be able to help you

+ Read More
Diego Vera Mera
35 months ago

Dear Samantha, My family and I are behind you during this fight from which you will come out victorious. You always had the special virtue of overcoming obstacles and we are sure this time will be no different. My mother, father, brother, Taha, and of course my self send you our dearest love and our sincere positive attitudes during this troublesome times. I will be here for you like I've said in the past. I've loved you than, I love you now, I'll always love you. Good luck in Mexico beautiful princess! You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

+ Read More
Vicki Rich
36 months ago

I commend you on your choice of treatment!! I have breast cancer and am choosing to treat it through diet and exercise. I cannot afford Oasis of Hope, but that is one of three places I would go to!! God Bless you and I wish you complete recovery!!

+ Read More
Michele Ryder
36 months ago

If you are looking for an alternative method to healing, I'd recommend reading "The One Minute Cure" (it's a process that only takes one minute a day for several days). You can purchase it on Amazon.com...I read it in a few hours and have used this method for myself and several of my family members. The product they recommend using in this book is also available on Amazon. You and your family are in my prayers.

+ Read More
Sara LaPatin
36 months ago

Hi Sam and family :) I'm Shannon LaPatin's sister and was sharing your story today in the teacher's room at school... Mrs. Buck, part of the "Courage for Kyle," foundation told me to please refer you to them, as they'd LOVE to help in any way they can. Her name is "Grace Buck" on fb and I can get you more contact info. if needed. Prayers for all of you!!

+ Read More
Amanda Smith
36 months ago

You can do it kiddo!!! I just beat endocarcinoma in situ - look into Louis L Hay and Bob Proctor!! No negative thoughts ever and your diet is your lifeline!!! I will pray for you and your family!! Hope is the best dose of medicine and never lose it!

+ Read More
Allison Hudak
36 months ago

Please try Long Island Northshore LIJ hospital they take cases that no one else will.. check them out.. ~ prayers to all.

+ Read More
Amber Danielle
36 months ago

I'm so sorry to hear your story. I was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma when I was 15. That was 16 years ago. Hang in there and best of luck.

+ Read More

$70,975 of $50k goal

Raised by 873 people in 36 months
Created October 11, 2013
TN
$10
T N
8 days ago

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/sarcoma-cacner-taking-lives-thousands-people-sarcoma-cancer-needs-be-more-known-and-stopped ----------------------------------------------------------- Sign to fight sarcoma... to get it on the radar of the government... it needs more awareness which can hopefully lead to more research and funding... and hopefully a cure or better treatments! This petition will expire unfortunately but keep hope alive by creating another and spreading the news! Best of luck, I hope you beat that cancer.... and I will continue to spread the petition as a way to continue the fight! And I do apologize that my contribution is not much but I will try my best to continue to provide support against sarcoma! Like your sister, there are so many kind and brave spirited individuals who are fighting this silent killer... And it is my dearest hope that humanity can triumph over this illness that needs more public awareness... more funding.. and more research!

$10
Anonymous
2 months ago
$100
Anonymous
28 months ago
ML
$10
Michael Lapointe
30 months ago
$10
Lacy Bishop
30 months ago

I am so sorry this has happened to you. You are very strong and I have faith you will pull through this. Hang in there and continue to fight.

$50
Tara Berson
30 months ago

Sending prayers, support & hope. Sam seems absolutely amazing--and so strong!

$20
Anonymous
30 months ago
JG
$100
Joe and Barbara Guidi
30 months ago

Our hopes and prayers are with you.

JF
$30
Johnna Filiato
30 months ago

Sorry I couldn't make the TGIF fund raiser!! Hope this helps! Sending love your way!

JR
$25
Jared Reinson
31 months ago
Trudy Garofalo
28 months ago

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Samantha. She was always so optimistic and courageous. Her story will continue to an inspiration to all who followed her. May she rest peacefully, and pain free. She is now an angel, watching over her family and friends.

+ Read More
Thomas Amsterdam
30 months ago

Peace, sending prayers of strength & hope your way, after reading your post I have to share with you an amazing article on alternative effective cancer killing cannabis oil(marijuana) please read as ive read many stories in which marijuana has reversed the affects of cancers more then any chemo can http://www.hightimes.com/read/biologist-explains-how-thc-kills-cancer-cells

+ Read More
Trudy Garofalo
33 months ago

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thanks for the updates. Keep up the good work. Trudy & Sal (Gi's grandma and grandpa)

+ Read More
Sandra Franco
35 months ago

Hello everyone! Some of our cousins (with the help of Samantha) created a T-shirt to help raise more money for treatment. Here is the link: https://www.booster.com/smilingthroughsarcoma/ Shirts are $20. $10 for each shirt will go directly to Sam. The sale will only be active until October 31, so get your orders in :) Let's keep the fight going for our girl

+ Read More
Heather O'Steen Young
35 months ago

Hi all! We have created t-shirts to support Samantha. Please visit https://www.booster.com/smilingthroughsarcoma/

+ Read More
Judy Johnson
35 months ago

Holistic: nutritious diet, rest, exercise, positive mental outlook, spirituality= a LIFETIME of study. Anyone who knows Samantha knows how incredibly positive and upbeat she is. Her physical body can not run on positivity alone. Her very serious illness came even with her positivity. Holistic means enbodying all aspects of the whole. I like to say Wholistic. Everyone has been so incredibly gracious with their donations and support. The best way that we can continue to support her and her family to help her healing process is to 'allow' this to happen and be her advocate. Let's all help her and not allow her to not get proper rest. If we had the flu we would be in bed. Her illness is extremely serious even if she does not let you see the signs or doesn't recognize them herself. Let's also make sure that she eats well as she will be instructed on the beginning of this journey . Help her to learn how to prepare organic healthy meals as this will have to be a lifetime commitment for her to be healthy and well. Lets not allow her to 'party'. Maybe later on she will be permitted the occasional drink. I know that everyone has her best interests at heart. This family has gone through many unforeseen trials to get Sam where she now is. Let's all collectively help and nurture this family the best way that we can. Love to all and to Sam.

+ Read More
Dea Dea
35 months ago

Hi Please help my daughter it has lost much blood

+ Read More
Sal Ac
35 months ago

Good luck and all the best

+ Read More
Wendy Giangregorio-Emerald
35 months ago

I wish I could donate money, although I can't do that I can offer my prayers I don't know what I'd do if something happened to one of my sisters, I hope everything works out for yours!

+ Read More
Leslie Sands
35 months ago

Sam, this "is" the big game --- You know what to do !!! --- All our love, best wishes, and prayers, The Sands Family (( :)

+ Read More
Danielle DeMattia
35 months ago

To Sam and family, I Love your positive attitude and hope I can help with the sales of the shirts I've created for you. Coming out soon if you check my Facebook "danielle demattia" or "UR apparel co"

+ Read More
Nancy Durett
35 months ago

I hope you have tried traditional methods of chemo before going to alternatives. With Sarcoma, chemo has proven to be the best agent to fight it. It may take some trial and error. Pls consider using chemo as well as alternatives. Positive thoughts coming your way.

+ Read More
Kathleen Millar
35 months ago

Please go look at the Kristen Anne Carr website they may be able to help you

+ Read More
Diego Vera Mera
35 months ago

Dear Samantha, My family and I are behind you during this fight from which you will come out victorious. You always had the special virtue of overcoming obstacles and we are sure this time will be no different. My mother, father, brother, Taha, and of course my self send you our dearest love and our sincere positive attitudes during this troublesome times. I will be here for you like I've said in the past. I've loved you than, I love you now, I'll always love you. Good luck in Mexico beautiful princess! You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

+ Read More
Vicki Rich
36 months ago

I commend you on your choice of treatment!! I have breast cancer and am choosing to treat it through diet and exercise. I cannot afford Oasis of Hope, but that is one of three places I would go to!! God Bless you and I wish you complete recovery!!

+ Read More
Michele Ryder
36 months ago

If you are looking for an alternative method to healing, I'd recommend reading "The One Minute Cure" (it's a process that only takes one minute a day for several days). You can purchase it on Amazon.com...I read it in a few hours and have used this method for myself and several of my family members. The product they recommend using in this book is also available on Amazon. You and your family are in my prayers.

+ Read More
Sara LaPatin
36 months ago

Hi Sam and family :) I'm Shannon LaPatin's sister and was sharing your story today in the teacher's room at school... Mrs. Buck, part of the "Courage for Kyle," foundation told me to please refer you to them, as they'd LOVE to help in any way they can. Her name is "Grace Buck" on fb and I can get you more contact info. if needed. Prayers for all of you!!

+ Read More
Amanda Smith
36 months ago

You can do it kiddo!!! I just beat endocarcinoma in situ - look into Louis L Hay and Bob Proctor!! No negative thoughts ever and your diet is your lifeline!!! I will pray for you and your family!! Hope is the best dose of medicine and never lose it!

+ Read More
Allison Hudak
36 months ago

Please try Long Island Northshore LIJ hospital they take cases that no one else will.. check them out.. ~ prayers to all.

+ Read More
Amber Danielle
36 months ago

I'm so sorry to hear your story. I was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma when I was 15. That was 16 years ago. Hang in there and best of luck.

+ Read More
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