Avyka's Rainbow Cancer Fund

$16,982 of $500,000 goal

Raised by 251 people in 2 months
Created June 17, 2019
Fundraising Team

Be Avyka’s Rainbow

Maya Angelou once said, “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” Today, the clouds are threatening a storm in Avyka’s life, and we have the chance to be her rainbow.

Our driven, dedicated, and beautiful friend, Avyka Black Campbell, is facing a life-altering medical crisis. She is only 38 years old with five beautiful children to live for—her five greatest reasons to fight.

Avyka was diagnosed last year with a rare form of anal cancer which causes severe pain, discomfort, and renders her incapable of performing routine activities. From January to March this year, Avyka received aggressive treatments of radiation and chemotherapy to conquer her form of cancer. To give her the best chance and the best care, her doctor recommended she receive her treatments at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, which meant she lived in a hotel during the week and only saw her children on the weekends.

Knowing that her absence in her children’s daily routine was challenging, Avyka made a decision to relieve some of their anxiety: she rented warrior cold caps to prevent hair loss so common with cancer treatments. She wanted her appearance to look as close to normal as possible so that they wouldn’t worry. And though her treatments were exhausting and her body was weak, when she held them and looked in their eyes, she remembered who she was fighting for and she stayed the course.

But Avyka’s cancer story didn’t end in March. In June, she learned that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, had progressed from Stage 2 to Stage 3, and that an even more aggressive treatment plan is necessary for her survival. Her treatments this time will include two cycles of chemotherapy infusions over six weeks, followed by seven weeks of daily chemotherapy pills, more chemotherapy infusions, and twice daily radiation.

Throughout her treatments and recovery, Avyka has been unable to work and most days, she’s bedridden and battling pain and complications from her condition. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, so also does it require a village to alleviate the distress in a health crisis.

Avyka’s husband, Frank, and her children Aasiyah (15), Chase (10), Makhi (9), Zoe (5), and Tyler (2) are doing what they can to lighten her spirits and to help around the house. Her mother and father, Loretta and Al, have been by her side and helping with the children. Her sister and brother, Akyva and Alonzo, are stepping up and filling the gap with her daily routines, while her brother-in-law, Cori, is personally involved with her treatment.

If you know Avyka, then you know she is a fighter and rarely does she ask for help. But her family has convinced her that this is a fight she cannot do alone, and that asking for help is okay.

While her health insurance will cover much of her expenses for her treatments, she is unable to work and has already exhausted her leave and her leave donations for the year. While Frank is still working, he has depleted his leave and will need to take time off without pay to care for their family and Avyka.  The next several months and possibly up to a year will be very challenging for Avyka and her family financially. 

Our goal is to allow this family the time to heal through this medical crisis and not have to worry about day-to-day expenses when they should be focused on Avyka's health. 

If you are inclined to give, no amount is insignificant. If you can’t give financially, a donation of leave is also welcome using the Federal Government’s Voluntary Leave Transfer Program. In order to donate, you’ll need the following information about Avyka:

Name: Avyka Nycole Campbell
Agency: Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service
Agency Address: 5000 Ellin Road, Lanham, MD 20706
Organization: Information Technology, Cybersecurity

(Leave Transfer Form: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lBEc7X6-6SatiVcdem8SOp4ZoAwe-7NG)

Complete form 630B and give to your payroll for processing along with this contact information:
Kendra L. Feaster
Leave Transfer Coordinator/KM Cadre POC
Phone/VMS: 240-613-6316
Fax: 855-650-0838

If you aren’t in the position to give financially or to donate leave, we welcome your prayers and thank you for taking the time to read Avyka’s story.

Please help support Avyka and her family.  
Thank you for your generosity and for being Avyka’s rainbow!

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It’s been a little over a month since we shared Avyka’s story with you, and she sends a personal thank you to each and every one of you for your prayers, your words of encouragement, your generosity, your kindness and for being the rainbow in her life.She says, “The amount of support has been overwhelming. My family and I are so grateful for each and every one of you. You all lift my spirits tremendously. You help me to keep my mind off of things and allow me to have moments where I feel normal.”

But Avyka’s life is far from normal. It’s now been over a month and a lot has happened with Avyka’s diagnosis and treatment. After learning that her cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, Avyka consulted with her team of doctors and then sought a second opinion at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Unlike her first round of treatments after being diagnosed, Avyka was empowered with experience and knowledge and wanted to ensure that she was considering all options before moving forward with a new treatment plan.

Avyka knew she had choices, and that she was her own best advocate. Her doctors in Maryland wanted a biopsy of the lymph nodes to get the markers from cancer and ultimately choose the best chemotherapy plan to cure her specific form of cancer, versus a general textbook method of treatment. And while a biopsy sounds reasonable, it was anything but. After several weeks of searching, her doctors were unsuccessful in locating a local surgeon to agree to perform the surgery because of the delicate location of the infected lymph node: behind her pelvic bone and next to a major blood vessel and a vein. Their recommendation was to forego the biopsy and move right into chemotherapy.

Avyka, refusing to accept that this was her only option, took her case to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Not only did they agree that the biopsy was necessary, but they had a surgeon prepared to do the biopsy. But, Avyka wanted more. Instead of just getting the biopsy, Avyka agreed to have seven lymph nodes and the surrounding tissuesurgically removed in the same area. A bold choice with life-altering consequences. Using the “Da Vinci Surgical System Robot” to perform a “robotic right obturator lymphadenectomy,” Avyka’s surgeon successfully biopsied and removed the seven lymph nodes.

Now, her team of doctors have valuable information to determine Avyka’s next round of treatments. While these developments are encouraging, Avyka remains in the battle of her life. Before surgery, she was informed of the possible side effects. Since the surgery, she has suffered complications with walking--even short distances--due to the pain from healing. She has also developed Lymphedema, which is swelling that causes severe pain in her right hip and leg and is now a lifetime condition because her lymph nodes were permanently removed.

In a few weeks, she’ll return to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia for her next set of scans andseveral appointments with her surgeon and medical oncologist. She’ll then begin her treatments in Philadelphia and later in Baltimore at the Maryland Proton Center.

As Avyka places her trust in God, she knows that she is not out of the woods--she is not yet cancer-free. Her prayers are for healing… for peace that surpasses all understanding… for guidance… for strength to continue her fight… for blessings for her entire village of doctors, family, friends and supporters… and for forgiveness in the moments that she feels weak and her resolve starts to fade.

Just imagine the moments when she heads toward the door, preparing to leave for another appointment, another procedure, and her children ask how long she’ll be gone this time. Will it be days, weeks or months? Imagine the tears from her baby boy’s eyes every time she leaves the house, his fear of this being the last time seeing his mommy. Imagine how her heart breaks whenever her children cry and wrap their arms so tightly around her like it might be the last hug.

Now imagine that rainbow that Avyka clings to, believes in, finds comfort in. You are that rainbow. Every show of kindness from you, all the outpouring of love and support from you, your prayers at sunrise and sunset, all blended with the best medical treatment available, Avyka’s will to live and God’s grace and His mercy. It’s the manifestation of miracles.

Avyka’s recovery will be lengthy. It will be months, and maybe even a year, before she’ll be able to work again. She needs us to be her rainbow. Please share Avyka’s story far and wide. She is in the fight of her life, and giving her some financial comfort will relieve a heavy burden. May God abundantly bless you, and thank you!
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Thank you to everyone for your generosity and your prayers. The outpouring of support is priceless.

Today, Avyka's parents were featured on NBC4 sharing the story of Avyka's fight for her life while she is in Philadelphia at the Cancer Treatment Centers consulting on her prognosis and treatment.

This is a link to the news story: https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/Maryland-Mother-of-5-Fighting-Rare-Cancer_Washington-DC-511542342.html

Thank you, again, for being Avyka's rainbow!
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$16,982 of $500,000 goal

Raised by 251 people in 2 months
Created June 17, 2019
Fundraising Team
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