Support my journey through cancer

$23,800 of $25k goal

Raised by 301 people in 9 months
Larissa Podermanski  BERLIN, CT
I am thirty years old. Three months ago, I was settling into the house my fiancé and I bought last year. I was celebrating my engagement, planning a fall wedding, and thinking about starting a family soon. After five years of working for another agency, I was also really happy to be out on my own, setting up a nonprofit to provide services to people with developmental, physical, and intellectual disabilities. My nonprofit, Community Navigators, was about to be approved by the State of Connecticut.
Then I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I had a double mastectomy this month. When I developed some new pain, I went to the emergency room. They found that the cancer had already spread to my liver and now I'm stage 4.
I would still like to run my nonprofit, provide services to others, be married and have children. But now I have to change my plans. I am starting treatment immediately. I’m not going to have time to freeze any eggs or embryos first  (as I originally planned) and for now I can’t really think about having children. Maybe later. My fiancé and I are planning a much smaller wedding in May. And I am going to do all I can to stay healthy during my chemotherapy and hormone treatments so that I can eventually get back to my job.
The problem is that this could not have come at a worse time for me financially. Both my fiancé and I are self-employed. If I can’t work for a few weeks, I’ll have no income. And when he’s taking care of me, he can’t work as much either. We have health insurance like we’re supposed to, but our deductibles are high ($5000) and my own out-of-pocket maximum this year is $6,850. I’ve learned that I may have to go out-of-network for the specialty care and consultations I need, and those bills will add thousands more to our out-of-pocket costs. And we still have a mortgage and other bills to pay.
We are economizing as best we can. Our families and many friends are also helping us out. But the healthcare bills we have right now still have to be paid, and somehow we need to get the money to pay those bills and more to come over the next weeks and months.
So, as difficult as this is, we are asking our friends and their friends for help. We’d like to try to raise at least $25,000 to help us through this time. And we promise that if we raise it, we will never forget to pay it forward in the future, when our friends and their friends need help from us.
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 1.8K shares on Facebook
Update 16
Posted by Larissa Podermanski
8 days ago
Since my diagnosis it has been a rollercoaster of many different types of emotions. So many moments of gratitude as my community and beyond showed their support, sadness for myself and others like me battling for their lives and moments like now where someone similar to me passes away from this terrible disease.

Brandi McWade passed away yesterday Jan 6th 2017. I never had the honor to meet her but she too believed in sharing her story to help empower woman like me to keep our heads up, stay positive and stay alive. Brandi’s last wish while being surrounded by family was for all donations or flowers be donated to me.

I’m so sad about her passing. It’s absolutely terrifying to see amazing woman with metastatic breast cancer pass away. It’s beyond humbling to be in her final thoughts. As 2017 starts, I am faced with many uncertainties, possibilities of new treatments, more procedures and whatever else cancer has in store. Brandi was an avid advocate for metastatic breast cancer and didn’t hold back sharing her story. And in her honor I will share her story, my own and others to continue to share the life so many of us have to face.

Learn about Brandi’s fight here: https://www.gofundme.com/brandaid
To another hero passing
RIP Brandi
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Update 15
Posted by Larissa Podermanski
1 month ago
I know I have not done a update recently and I promise I will soon! But for now I need your help! Ellen posted the video my amazing infusion nurses helped me make during Chemo this past Tuesday! Help us by voting to make my dream to meet Mariah Carey come true this holiday season! Attached is a video instruction on how to vote!
Help make my wish come true! VOTE NOW
All I want for Christmas is You Mariah
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Update 14
Posted by Larissa Podermanski
4 months ago
Since my last update I have continued on my weekly chemotherapy. Chemotherapy as you hear from many is no fun but I'm finally stable. Stable in the world of metastatic cancer means there is no new growth and it is what people strive for! I will be continuing taxol (which is my chemotherapy) for the time being as long as I can tolerate the side-effects or until my next scan in November. I then hope before the new year to switch to hormonal therapy, as it can give me a better quality of life but it will come with its own uncomfortable side-effects.

We are grateful for all your support and love! It has helped us have the flexibility to focus on fighting this disease and my healing. I have learned so much about metastatic breast cancer the past few months and I know I'm still a beginner compared to other woman I have had the opportunity to chat with. This is not a short term fight. metastatic breast cancer is a life long fight to stay alive unless a cure is found. It is not an easy concept for either Martin or me to grasp but we are focusing on one day at a time. We ask for you to continue to share our cause and help us reach our goal! Money helps us with co-pays, supplements and life expenses.

BTW, did you know that only 7% of donations during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October actually goes directly to anyone WITH metastatic breast cancer? Please do your research before you make any donations and give only to groups that don't pay staff huge salaries to just "raise awareness."
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Update 13
Posted by Larissa Podermanski
5 months ago
Since my last update so much has happened. In my previous post at the end of June we were honored and thankful for Illiano's support for my cause. Their fundraiser helped raise around $1,100! Thank you soooo much Illiano's of Middletown and everyone who came out to support our fundraiser!

Medically so much as happened. The hip and joint pain I was experiencing was actually bone cancer. It destroyed so much of my hip I am truly lucky that my hip did not break. The pain I had in my upper chest was actually a fractured collar bone due to a tumor that destroyed that too. I agreed to rush into chemotherapy to slow, decrease my tumors or stabilize the cancer. It was a lot to swallow but I'm finally able to lay back and update everyone on my really bumpy journey.

There is GOOD news. Hard to believe sometimes that there can be good news. But about a month ago my pain and mobility was so bad I could barely walk. But now after my 7th treatment I am walking and relatively pain free. So cross your fingers that I'm finally healing. I go for my next scan Aug 29th and then I will have a better idea of how long I will be enduring chemo weekly.

Being stage 4 is scary, but their is life with stage 4 breast cancer. I know I have a very long journey ahead, and we are thankful for all the shares and donations. It has been so helpful since I haven't been physically able to work the past couple months. Martin and I are speechless because of all the support we have experienced.
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 1.8K shares on Facebook
Read a Previous Update
Angela Puccinelli
8 months ago

I hear your struggle I have been battling medical issues since I was 19 when I was diagnosed. With that being said I sadly cannot donate. I have a go fund me of my own, but I can give you prayer and send energy your way.

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Marah Johnson
8 months ago

I am praying for you and know that you can kick this cancer and I am so sorry that you have to go through this, just know you got a lot of people who care about you. Sending so much prayers for you

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Lashawn Jones
8 months ago

god love you

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Lynn Cooper
9 months ago

Will donate next week. Praying the best for you and your family

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$23,800 of $25k goal

Raised by 301 people in 9 months
Created April 17, 2016
Larissa Podermanski  
NB
$100
Nick and Jane Mougey (and Bisantz)
13 hours ago

In memory of beautiful and brave Brandi McWade.

BB
$100
Barbara Beck
1 day ago
RM
$100
Ryan McKinney
2 days ago
EB
$100
Ellen Bryson
2 days ago

For Larissa, in memory of Brandi McWade. Ellen and Hal Bryson

CG
$100
Chuck & Rose Grusse
3 days ago

Our prayers, thoughts, and best wishes we have been offering for Brandi, her loving family & dearest friends are now expanded to include you Larissa and the happy ending in front of you when you win your battle. Stay strong, there's a new life ahead! Chuck & Rose

MC
$20
Matthew Crowley-Miano
3 days ago
BJ
$60
Brian and Jaime
3 days ago

In memory of Brandi. We will never forget her positive attitude, courage, and strength. Fight on , Larissa!

LO
$200
Lore Oricchio
4 days ago

Larissa, I'm honoring Brandi McWade's request and sending you good wishes and strength on your journey

MB
$200
Mike Bair
4 days ago
2
2

Larissa - Brandi and I learned about your story a few weeks back on local news. Our hearts went out to you and Brandi wanted to give back. Do not underestimate the power of gratitude. It will give you strength. Stay positive and now our pack is behind you. All our love and howls!!

MM
$100
Marietta Morelli
4 days ago

Dear Larissa, I wish you love and strength in honor of Brandi. To her loving parents and family we send our deepest condolences and wish them peace as they remember their sweet daughter. May her memory be eternal.

Angela Puccinelli
8 months ago

I hear your struggle I have been battling medical issues since I was 19 when I was diagnosed. With that being said I sadly cannot donate. I have a go fund me of my own, but I can give you prayer and send energy your way.

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Marah Johnson
8 months ago

I am praying for you and know that you can kick this cancer and I am so sorry that you have to go through this, just know you got a lot of people who care about you. Sending so much prayers for you

+ Read More
Lashawn Jones
8 months ago

god love you

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Lynn Cooper
9 months ago

Will donate next week. Praying the best for you and your family

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