Please help April❤️

Hi everyone. I’m writing this in hopes of helping my daughter, April.  Her life was going amazingly! She was married to a great guy, had bought a home, had a toddler and was expecting her second daughter when her life fell apart.  The following is some of the story she shared with a sarcoma group on Facebook:

"My name is April, I’m 31 years old and from Indiana. I’m married to Tyler and we have 2 daughters, Athena (20 months) and Amelia (6 weeks).  I had Athena in December of 2018 and everything was fine.  Five months later I started having chronic diarrhea.  Then in November of 2019 I found out I was pregnant again.  I was still having diarrhea and it was getting worse, so I finally scheduled an appointment with a new doctor.  She did bloodwork and it came back clear, except for showing inflammation somewhere.  March 9 I woke up with severe stomach pain. I ended up at the ER and they discovered that my gallbladder was extremely inflamed and full of stones. My gallbladder would have to be removed while I was pregnant. 

March 17 I had my 20 week anatomy scan.  There they found a 7cm mass in my abdomen.  I had an MRI a few weeks later and my OB said it was a Desmoid tumor that we could remove when I have the gallbladder surgery.  After doing my own research I decided to reach out to an oncologist.  He ordered a biopsy on the tumor.  So when I was in my 26th week of pregnancy I had a biopsy and my gallbladder removed.  I also became a stay at home mom shortly after my gallbladder surgery. 

The biopsy determined that my tumor was a Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor.  This type of sarcoma is most common in men between the ages of 40-80, and can show up anywhere along the GI tract.  There have only been 25 documented cases of GIST cancer in pregnancy in the United States.  Mine was on my small intestine.  GIST is also treated differently than most cancers.  Instead of chemotherapy it’s treated with surgery and chemotherapy pills. I don't think people realize GIST cancer isn't the same as other cancers.  You don't go into remission.  You go into NED (no evidence of disease).   It's a mutation in my blood cells that is there all the time.  Which is why regular chemo won't work, because it kills the cells.  Chemo pills just stop it from mutating.   Luckily the oncologist I had reached out to is one of the 2 GIST specialists in Indiana. Between my oncologist, 2 obstetricians, 1 maternal fetal medicine doctor, 2 surgeons and the Life Raft Group a plan was made.   I ended up having a c-section at 36 weeks 4 days, and Amelia was born perfectly healthy on July 9.   When Amelia was five weeks old, on August 12, I had surgery to remove my tumor and resect a small portion of my bowel. 

   Now I am waiting for my chemotherapy pills to arrive in the mail. I was told I will be on them my whole life, and if I stop I have a 98% chance that my GIST will return within 2 years. I will also be monitored with CT scans every few months because it can come back and come back in different organs.  It’s been a struggle going through all of this, especially with 2 young children at home. I’m still recovering from my surgery, but our families and friends have been extremely helpful with the girls!   And I’m forever grateful for my daughter, because if I hadn’t gotten pregnant my GIST wouldn’t have been found when it was!"

 April has worked hard since she was 16 years old. She became a home owner before Athena was born, switched jobs from Walmart (after 10 years) to FedEx and before she found out she had cancer she got a much needed bigger vehicle for her growing family.   She’s not able to return to work and may never be able to.   She applied for disability but who knows how long the wait will be. They literally lost half of their income when she got sick.    She has insurance through her husband’s job at FedEx but they don’t cover 100%. Besides the normal every month expenses of running a household (gas, utilities, diapers, food...) the bills are piling up from her gallbladder surgery, the c-section with Amelia, the cancer surgery, MRI’s and CT scans she’s already had and she will be having a CT scan every 3 months from now on.   Not to mention the daily chemo pills she will be taking everyday for the rest of her life. The pharmacy is trying to help her find the cheapest route possible,  so she will start them as soon as they get something figured out.   We have no idea how much she will be spending on her meds. We don’t know what kind of side effects she will be having with the chemo. This will be a life-long journey.  There’s so many things she and her husband had planned on doing around the house and then this cancer hit and stopped everything.   I’m worried if she doesn’t get approved for disability they won’t make it financially.   It’s so stressful for her and Tyler with 2 little ones depending on them.  Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes!  If you can find it in your heart to donate to April, it would be such a blessing. If you can’t donate, maybe you could share her story?   
God Bless,
Brenda Ranard and family


Brenda Ranard
Martinsville, IN

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.