Jess' Cancer Treatment Medical Fund

$22,811 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 245 people in 38 months
In early March 2016, I went to see my doctor to have a small hernia checked out. After blood work, ultrasounds, and CT scans, it turned out a hernia was the least of my problems. I was diagnosed with a rare type of appendix cancer-- a cancer so rare that doctors have experienced great difficulty finding any information to offer me. I was sent to a local surgeon who had dealt with this type of cancer before and my heart sank as he explained the 10-20hr radical surgery he wanted to do. Being a slow-growing cancer, I had time to think it over and evaluate what I wanted to do next and I chose to get a second opinion. Many late nights are spent scouring the internet for a tiny glimmer of hope. My mother came across a couple of success stories from other parts of the world. A much-less-extreme surgery can be done, but we've been unable to find any surgeons in the U.S. willing to do it. It looks like the next step will be to head either to Tijuana, Mexico or Manchester UK for treatment/surgery.
Asking for help is one of the most difficult things in the world for me. I was so reluctant to even look into crowd-funding because I don't like to expose anyone else to my problems-- it took me the longest time to even tell my family about the diagnosis. But I do need help. I had to quit my job, in March, in hopes of slowing the growth of the cancer. I have no insurance and even if I get the hospital sponsorship I'm applying for, it certainly won't fund anything outside The States. There's no way I can possibly pay for the treatment I need on my own. As I watch my savings rapidly depleting, my stress is rapidly increasing. Cancer tends to feed on stress and that stresses me even more. If you have even one dollar to spare, I would be eternally grateful. Positive thoughts, prayers, and warm wishes are also accepted. :)
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Great news-- I went in to Dr. Akoury's office yesterday and we found that my weight has dropped to under 200lbs again!! We're clearly doing something right. I'm eating well again, my strength is coming back, the meat is returning to my bones, the swelling in my legs is going down, my abdomen is shrinking, and I'm feeling good!
Today is my follow up appointment with Dr. Camp at MUSC. I have a feeling he's going to suggest that I go to Wake Forest or Duke for the massive surgery. Dr. Akoury doesn't think I'm quite ready for that big of a surgery yet. With the surgery, there would be extensive organ removal, I would lose organs which I would truly rather keep. I've done my research and know that loads of new problems come with organ removal. The surgery would not solve the problem. Once the mucin is removed, the abdomen will instantly begin to fill the free space with fluid and the mucin would continue to produce-- meaning, I would soon have to go back and repeat the debulking surgery several times for the rest of my life.
Right now, the chemo program I'm on is working beautifully. I'll most likely be heading back home today after my appointment and attempt to raise enough money to get back to Dr. Akoury for more treatments. To be honest, I'm extremely concerned that once I get home and am not having these treatments I'll begin moving backwards. I don't want to lose this gained ground but I have no way of continuing the chemo treatments without funds. I'm trying so hard not to worry about the money but it's a real roadblock. By going home and doing nothing, all the problems associated with this cancer diagnosis will continue to be a bigger and bigger issue. I don't want to backtrack. I want to continue healing. I can't do it without your help. I hate to feel like I'm begging for money but at this point I'm actually begging for good health. Please, please, please, share my story, if you can donate anything-- please do. I'm currently  $21,000 away from my next round of chemo. That's a whole lot of money. I can't do this by myself. My family can't do it for me. But with your help, we can make it work. Thank you all for how much you've already done! I will never be able to express how grateful and blown away I've been at your kindness and generosity. You're all superstars.
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Hello lovelies! I'm still in Myrtle Beach getting some great treatments from Dr. Akoury and her phenomenal team. I won't lie, Dr. Akoury is TOUGH! But the results we're seeing are amazing! My weight is going down, my abdomen is beginning to shrink, the swelling in my legs is finally going down (I can sit with my legs crossed again... you have no idea how huge this is for me)! Some of the treatments are making me terribly sick and I'm not sleeping well again but I think that's an okay trade for the wonderful ways I'm benefiting from the chemo and various IV treatments.
I have an appointment with Dr. Camp (the surgeon who did the debulking for me) at MUSC next week. He's probably going to want to send me over to Duke for the massive surgery. I'm still extremely opposed to major organ removal-- especially having seen such great results with the treatments I've been receiving. Big decisions to be made there so please pray that I make the best possible decision.
Now the icky part-- finances. I still owe $7,000 for this week's treatments. AND to continue with another round of chemo it will be an additional $21,000. Having seen such positive results, I absolutely hate the thought of having to quit here and go home to no treatments.
Dr. Akoury is truly catering to my needs specifically. She's using the chemo which responds best to the type of cancer I have, she's giving it to me in low doses to keep it from destroying me from the inside out-- this also ensures that I won't have all the negative side effects which most chemo patients have to endure. Dr. Akoury creates a plan for me each week to meet my needs, it's not just going by the typical cancer patient protocol and for that I am so incredibly thankful.
I'm proud to report that there's meat on my bones again, I'm feeling stronger, smiling bigger, fighting harder, and showing cancer who's boss!
Please continue to pray that I'm able to stay on this track of winning, help me by sharing my GoFundMe page with your friends and family (and encourage them to share too), if you can donate, please do, even five dollars could make a huge difference.
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Well, today is a big day. I'm officially starting chemo. Dr. Akoury and her magnificent team have looked at the results from my Greece test and will be using low doses of chemo that will best benefit me. I'll be here at the clinic in Myrtle Beach four days a week getting the best treatment they can offer me. Guess what, chemo is not cheap. The cost is $42,000 for four weeks and we're having to pay for two weeks upfront. Please share my story, donate what you can, and continue to pray.
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An update from Jess' mom--
Jess underwent surgery this morning, Friday, January 27th. The doctor did not give much hope for success. Yet he was willing to try... something none of the other doctors were willing to do- without completely ravaging her body. The surgery was to be limited to 2 hours because of the frailty of her body. But praise God, she was out of surgery in 1 1/2 hours with 15 liters of "jelly" being removed! That would almost fill a 5 gallon bucket! A loss of 30 lbs. She can breathe again! She can lie comfortably in bed. She still has a way to go - she has to fight to keep it from coming right back. Please pray as she continues the fight against this aggressive cancer. We look forward to the day we can say she has "no evidence of disease"!!
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Read a Previous Update
Vanessa Poston Gardner
30 months ago
1
1

Why don't you purchase insurance and use the go.fund me campaign money to.pay your premium and out of pocket expenses? Then your plan pays 100% of the costs the rest of the year. I'm donating to you and saying prayers.

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Sonia Ward Shelton
30 months ago
1
1

Praying for you... Have you checked with MD Anderson in Houston Texas .... is it Leiomya Sarcoma.... They have clinical trails & you should be able to get immediate disability and Medicaid with your condition.... I pray you check out them.... they deal with all kind of cancer ... & are a great source and have been Amazing for my Mom

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Lisa Moon Bryant
38 months ago

I love you and will be praying for you and your family for strength and guidance.

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Bryan Norris
29 months ago

Still praying for you Jess, my mom started her 2nd round of chemo today as well. Her leukemia is back and spread, plz pray for her as well.

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Donna Maddox Moore
30 months ago

Praying for doctors that will take what ever approach is needed to help Jess..God's Devine healing upon Jess..and wise medical decisions to get her there...

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Denise Tart-Vandermey
33 months ago

Jess, my husband and I are praying for you.

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$22,811 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 245 people in 38 months
Created May 24, 2016
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DD
$50
Donna David
28 months ago

Still praying for you!!!

$200
Anonymous
28 months ago
JW
$50
Jesse Wagner
28 months ago
$50
Anonymous
28 months ago
MH
$50
Mike/Susan Holcombe
29 months ago

God bless you.

$25
Anonymous
29 months ago
JC
$35
Janine Cousins
29 months ago
RW
$50
Roger Ward
29 months ago
$10
Melissa Bolding
29 months ago
$50
Anonymous
29 months ago
Vanessa Poston Gardner
30 months ago
1
1

Why don't you purchase insurance and use the go.fund me campaign money to.pay your premium and out of pocket expenses? Then your plan pays 100% of the costs the rest of the year. I'm donating to you and saying prayers.

+ Read More
Sonia Ward Shelton
30 months ago
1
1

Praying for you... Have you checked with MD Anderson in Houston Texas .... is it Leiomya Sarcoma.... They have clinical trails & you should be able to get immediate disability and Medicaid with your condition.... I pray you check out them.... they deal with all kind of cancer ... & are a great source and have been Amazing for my Mom

+ Read More
Lisa Moon Bryant
38 months ago

I love you and will be praying for you and your family for strength and guidance.

+ Read More
Bryan Norris
29 months ago

Still praying for you Jess, my mom started her 2nd round of chemo today as well. Her leukemia is back and spread, plz pray for her as well.

+ Read More
Donna Maddox Moore
30 months ago

Praying for doctors that will take what ever approach is needed to help Jess..God's Devine healing upon Jess..and wise medical decisions to get her there...

+ Read More
Denise Tart-Vandermey
33 months ago

Jess, my husband and I are praying for you.

+ Read More
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