The blood work done the day before showed alarming irregularities, and she needed to be hospitalized immediately.
After over a week of testing, poking, prodding, scans, and a biopsy, we got a diagnosis.
Nancy has stage 4 large B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
The treatment has been aggressive, and the side effects brutal. Some of those side effects have landed her in ICU, where she is now struggling every day.
Many of you know Nancy from her work as the Director of Graphic Design for the American Shakespeare Center. Many more will recognize her as a performer in local theater, with credits from the Wayne Theatre, ShenanArts, Waynesboro Players, and Oak Grove Theater.
The support of her friends, family, coworkers, and theater family has been inspiring and encouraging.
We now have to face the overwhelming financial toll of medication and repeated hospitalizations. In addition, we are struggling to keep things going here at the house for Emma and for Hank, getting routine things paid like insurance and utilities. The cost of gas back and forth from home to UVA, sometimes multiple trips in a day, has put a strain on everyone.
Beyond the critical care she is getting currently, we still have months of chemotherapy down the road, some of it inpatient, with the costs of treatment, admission, and labs building continuously.
The costs are staggering, and she needs us.
Nancy is a friend, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a niece, and a life partner. We are all here for her, but we cannot do it alone.
Please donate if you can; even small amounts add up. If you are unable to donate, please share Nancy's story and get the word out.
I'm adding some more details here, both to comply with the terms of Gofundme, and to let people know a bit more about who is raising these funds and where they will go!
Who you are: Elizabeth Brandon, friends with Nancy for over 20 years, in cooperation with Hank Fitzgerald, Nancy's roommate, companion, and all around other half.
Where you're from: Staunton, VA
Your relationship to the parties you're raising funds for: Nancy is my best friend, and Hank and her daughter, Emma, have become family over the past 10 years, since my return to Staunton.
How the funds will be used (be specific as possible): Our immediate needs are primarily routine living expenses. Nancy has been hospitalized on and off for over 2 months, and some of your contributions go toward utilities, mortgage, and insurance. We are also paying the initial medical expenses from treatment prior to Nancy's first hospitalization, and the bills that are beginning to arrive from her first stay in July. The bills from her chemotherapy treatments and her current hospitalization have yet to arrive, and we will be using these funds to offset those expenses as well.
If you intend to withdraw the money, how you plan to send the funds to the parties you're raising money for or use the money on their behalf: While Nancy is still in ICU, we are unable to access her personal accounts, so I have set up a separate bank account that is strictly for these contributions. This account will be set up for online bill pay directly from Nancy's laptop at home. My name is currently on the account, but Nancy will be added as soon as she is able.