Veteran Cancer Survivor in Need.

Hello ,
My name is Shawna. I am a 40 year old single woman. I've survived stage 4 Breast Cancer 3 times in the last ten years and I am a service connected 40% disabled veteran. I have been working since I was 15, often at more than one job. My battle with cancer has cost me many thousands of dollars over the years and made it very difficult to buy a home.
I have lived alone with three dogs and a cat until lately.
I've recently taken in a sixteen year old room mate who's orphaned and emancipated in order to avoid being a ward of the court.  I too was an emancipated minor at her age and wanted to provide her with a safe place to live while she continues to attend high school.

After the 2nd recurrence of cancer which I had just finished treatment for,  I used the balance of my inheritance from the deaths of both my mother and my father who had both passed away the previous year from other forms of cancer,  to purchase my home. 

I did this only to suffer a third recurrence with in 5 months of the last. That ultimately lead to the end of my 8 year employment with Fedex,  leaving me to live on Social Security Disability and the 40% disability stipend I receive from the Veterans Administration.
I have I struggled to find adequate part time work that allows for my ongoing, regular health care needs and chemotherapy treatment in place to secure a cancer free existence. 
I have recently found some suitable employment to help with an income deficit. This left me only needing to catch up on the many financial issues that I had fallen behind in. 

Some of the events in 2012 that lead to my falling so far behind include missed work after an unfortunate medical overdose administered during a regular treatment and a severe concussion after a fall. I missed work for about a month after each occasion. My old car that I need to commute to work, broke down twice in six weeks for repair bills of over $300 each. Earlier in the same year, my youngest pup underwent two life saving surgeries at the cumulative expense of $1300.00.
Then out of the blue, I was wrongly accused and arrested for an offence that I didn't commit. This all came about when a complainant mixed up my name (as a victim in the same criminal event) with that of the negligent driver at fault.This was almost immediately corrected, however the district attorney failed to receive the corrected information. It lead to me being jailed and paying a $750 bail to be released. I presented the proof I needed  to clear my name of these charges, a corrected police report,  only to have nearly half of the bail retained in fees.
This set up what was to be the final occasion in which my mortgage holder was willing to accommodate a late payment.
My mortgage holder had already issued me two separate forbearances to accommodate my in ability to pay. 

When the mortgage holder filed for foreclosure, he also called due all the months of payments in forbearance and all of present  and last years property taxes. This left me facing a balance I'm unable to attain on my own in the time allotted, to retain my home.
I'm facing a trustee sale in April if I'm unable to catch up missed payments, property taxes, accruing interest, and legal fees charged to me with the filing of foreclosure.

This will lead to my probably being unable to keep some of my pets if I must return to renting. It will also lead to two other people also needing to find alternate housing. I will also be out all of the investment of my small inheritance. I cannot foresee under present circumstance ever being able to purchase another home.

My home is on an owner carried contract leaving me ineligible for many of the helpful programs in place for home owners in need of assistance to prevent foreclosure. Lowering interest rates, Lowering principle balance, and grants are all options available to other home owners in similar situations.
I'm unable to borrow against my home as its value has dropped since purchasing and I now owe more than the value of my home.
I have saved everything I can so far (minus some unexpected expenses which I show below) including donations and wages and have just under $5000. The final date of April 10th, 2013,  is quickly approaching. I will need $15,000.00 payable to the mortgage holder to avoid trustee sale.

I know it is not the responsibility of any one else to help me retain my home. It is just my hope that if I ask for help,  I might just receive it. If you are considering helping me know, You have my gratitude.

Thank You, Sincerely, Shawna

An Update:

This is in the interest of full disclosure to all the wonderful friends who have done so much to help me in my effort to save my home:  Earlier on in this effort to save my home, I used my sister as a resource. I borrowed $2000 dollars in an attempt to get current before the foreclosure was even filed.  It was very sad that that was the exact same time I happened to get wrongfully arrested (thanks to someone else's mistake) & had to pay for bail to stay out of jail while I worked to prove my innocence. This is what set me up to fail my lender regardless of my efforts to meet my obligation. 

Now my sister is also facing foreclosure and has been for sometime. She had resigned herself to losing the home her children have been growing up in. But, her bank has offered her a remedy.  (Oh, how I wish I could have such a remedy offered to me.)  

This was a surprise and a stroke of luck for her. However,  she is needing me to accelerate my repayment to her in order for her to take the deal.

At this moment, it is in her best interest to save her home for her four children.   I know we share many of the same friends and none of you would want my sister and her kids out on the street either. 

I am giving her the money she needs because I owe it to her fair and square.  It is coming out of the funds I have been saving for my own mortgage.

This is a crushing blow to me and our joint effort to save my home. I hope every one understands I could not live with myself if I felt at fault for her losing such an opportunity to provide for her kids.

I hope no one else feels defeated and everyone can,  in good conscience,  continue to help me reach my goal. It is a set back but I hope we can still work it out by April. We have 8 weeks.

Also, My friend Frank has moved out. My room mate will be leaving March 26th. They have both made other arrangement and are no longer dependant on me.

If I meet my goal to save my home, I will be able to maintain my payments as long as I remain employed, However, I will seek a room mate to create a cushion just in case.

  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 105 mos
  • Can/Bottle Drive 
    • $50 (Offline)
    • 105 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 106 mos
  • Cheryl Engle 
    • $40 
    • 106 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 106 mos
See all


Shawna Griswold 
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more