Help Dana Fight Multiple Myeloma

Dana Duell has been battling bone cancer since Dec 2015 when a tumor was 
 discovered on her spine. She has since been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, chromosome p17 deletion – a high risk category of myeloma that does not inhibit tumor growth. Prior to surgery to remove the tumor, she experienced a traumatic spine compression which left her paralyzed from her hips down to her 
toes. She is still working on recovering her ability to walk. She has an amazing 
 husband Sam and two young boys- Oliver and Eli who are her everything! 

The picture above is a picture of Dana's two boys.

Dana has been through 4 rigorous months of chemotherapy and is now embarking 
 on the next step in her journey to battle her multiple myeloma- she is about to begin her stem cell transfer at Stanford in the second week of August. This arguably is the most important step in her journey to fight multiple myeloma- because no one actually can be cured of this disease- but it can be treated- and this is the most critical step in that process.

I am calling on everyone who knows Dana- or who is even reading her story - to 
 help her out! Asking for help is not the most easy thing to do- and that is why she 
 is not asking - but I am asking (her cousin) and her Mother and Sister are asking - 
 Dana really needs some financial help right now. Dana is one of the most positive, 
 happy, loving, and faithful person I know. She always has a smile on her face and 
 she always has something positive to say.  She is a woman of God and when you 
 first meet Dana she exudes HIS humble, caring spirit. If you want to learn more 
 about her spiritual journey - please visit her blog as she is detailing what she is going through and how God has influenced her journey.

As she embarks on her stem cell transfer- the following items are the needs and financial help that would bless her family most.

First - she will need to make sure that everything is sanitized- and I am not just talking about someone to come and vacuum her house- but truly sanitize everything at least once per week- or more. This will be especially important as her youngest is attending preschool and bringing home plenty of exposure to germs and viruses! During this time, Sam will be working and taking care of the kids and Dana.
Her mom with be taking care of Dana, the kids and the laundry, shopping, etc. There is just not the time or bandwidth to do the type of thorough cleaning that will be needed—especially in the kitchen and food prep areas. Hiring a cleaning service will be an important medical precaution.

Second- she is going to need 24 hour care from a care-giver for 3 weeks - then there will be a 3 week break - followed by another 3 more weeks of 24 hour care. This will then be followed by a 30 day period where she will be prone to fatigue and susceptibility to infection, colds and flu, with regular tri-weekly appointments to Stanford. This 30 day period will also require a daily care-giver for Dana and the boys. Dana is blessed to have family members helping her at this time. Her Mother, Father, and In-laws have been gracious enough to volunteer and come in and help. However, her support- needs OUR support! Her care-givers live all over the country - some of which live 3,000 miles away. The travel costs for her care have been an unexpected financial burden for her supporting family, living on retirement incomes- even if they would not want to be anywhere else but helping her!

Third- before Dana got sick- she was homeschooling her children and was doing a tremendous job all on her own! But- because of her illness her children are now going to daycare and school. These additional costs have also been unexpected due to her illness.

Fourth- while it is her hope to be able to drive herself to her doctor visits during the 30 day period while she is recovering, it is unclear at this time whether or not she will be recovered enough from the spine compression and resulting nerve damage to drive without having the car modified. It is possible she will need hand controls if her legs do not recover in a timely manner- which is another additional expense.

If you would like to learn more about what the Definition of Multiple Myeloma is- here is a good definition from the American Cancer Society:

“Multiple myeloma is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. Normal plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and are an important part of the immune system. The immune system is made up of several types of cells that work together to fight infections and other diseases. Lymphocytes (lymph cells) are the main cell
type of the immune system. The major types of lymphocytes are T cells and B cells.

When B cells respond to an infection, they mature and change into plasma cells. Plasma cells make the antibodies (also called immunoglobulins) that help the body attack and kill germs. Lymphocytes are in many areas of the body, such as lymph nodes, the bone marrow, the intestines, and the bloodstream. Plasma cells, however, are mainly found in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside some hollow bones. In addition to plasma cells, normal bone marrow has cells that make the different normal blood cells.
When plasma cells become cancerous and grow out of control, they can produce a tumor called a plasmacytoma. These tumors generally develop in a bone, but they are also rarely found in other tissues. If someone has only a single plasma cell tumor, the disease is called an isolated (or solitary) plasmacytoma. If someone has more than one plasmacytoma, they have multiple myeloma.”

This page has been created to help Dana and her family with the financial stressors of this terrible disease. Dana remains positive and is full of faith and hope - but her family could really use your support. Any monetary contribution you can make, be it $1 or $500, will be greatly appreciated. If you can't contribute financially at this time, please keep Dana in your heart and in your prayers. Prayer itself is a gift beyond measure as we are then reaching out together for help from our loving God!
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Organizer and beneficiary

Christa Duggan 
Tustin, CA
Dana Duell 
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