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Hope for Heather and Jason

$94,920 of $130,000 goal

Raised by 688 people in 2 months
Created January 15, 2019
Dear friends, I’m reaching out to ask you to please help my beautiful sister Heather and her wonderful husband Jason as they fight for their lives.

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Tragically, Both Heather and Jason have been diagnosed with cancer in the past year. Their young dreams have been put on hold as they undergo aggressive chemotherapy. On top of that, they are struggling to pay for medical bills, ongoing treatment, care for their three year old son and every day living. Please contribute if you can and read on for their full story...

A Beautiful Beginning

Heather and Jason met at church and fell deeply in love in 2008. They were married in 2009 and together, embody grace, resilience and optimism. They describe each other as “best friends” and “forever sweethearts”. In 2015, they welcomed their beautiful son, Lucian into the world.

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Heather motivates and heals others through her professional personal training business. Jason inspires people across the world through his renowned art.

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And Lucian is a happy, sweet preschooler who loves his caring parents.

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Together, they love going on road trips and want to live to take their son hiking someday on the John Muir trail.

A Tragic Double Diagnosis

Unthinkably, both Jason and Heather have both been diagnosed with aggressive cancers in the last year. And now they are fighting for their lives.

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Last May, Jason was in pain from a headache that wouldn’t go away, so Heather took him to the emergency room.  Soon after, doctors diagnosed Jason with glioblastoma multiforme- an often fatal form of brain cancer.

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Heather and Jason have faced the battle for Jason’s future with their characteristic optimism and grace. But over Thanksgiving and Christmas, Heather struggled with increasing abdominal pain and fatigue.

Last week, Heather found out that her pain was caused by pancreatic cancer.

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The Road Ahead

Jason had part of his tumor removed and needs continuing chemo and scans every 8 weeks to monitor the tumors that remain.

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He and Heather are hopeful that a new FDA-approved drug will help Jason live a longer life with his tumors.

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Meanwhile, Heather is starting a six-month course of aggressive chemo and will have surgery to remove her tumor soon. These treatments will increase her chance of survival, but are not a cure.

The Challenges Continue

Because of their ongoing treatment needs, Heather and Jason’s continuing medical and financial challenges are significant.

Both the Brinkerhoffs are self-employed. Jason’s surgery has left him unable to drive, and continuing his work as an artist is difficult.

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Heather won’t be able to work for at least the next six months while she undergoes chemotherapy.

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They have a small, two-bedroom house with a kitchen that needs significant work done in order for it to be functional.
There isn’t a place for Heather’s parents or other caregivers to sleep.

It’s essential for them to have necessary renovations to their house so that they can accommodate the full-time caregivers they need. 

We Need Your Help

Heather, Jason and Lucian need your help to fight for their future together.

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We (their family and friends) are trying to raise $130,000 to cover:

- Essential ongoing medical treatments
- Help with living expenses while they are unable to work during treatment
- Care for their son Lucian
- Major home repairs 
- Transportation costs

No amount you can give is too small. Thank you for reading this and for your support. We are all so grateful!

We will post updates when we get more information. Thank you for generosity, prayers and positive thoughts on behalf of the incredible Brinkerhoff family.
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A special thank you and update from Heather, Jason and Lucian!
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An Update Written by Heather...

Hi Family and Friends,

We have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support for our family's situation. There are no words to express our gratitude and the comfort we have felt from family, friends, and strangers. One of the blessings (and surprisingly, there are many) of facing this fight is witnessing the best of humanity, and we get to experience the astounding love from those around us. A double cancer diagnosis in our home, within 8 months, seems like a heavy burden to bear, but I can tell you that it doesn't feel heavy to us because all of you are carrying it with us. We will be eternally grateful.

I started my first chemo cycle Wednesday with a 2 hour infusion in the outpatient oncology center. Jason and my mom came with me. They attached me to the IV bag via the port in my chest (see picture) and I just relaxed in a recliner. The second part of my chemo treatment includes a 48 hour pump I can wear at home in a FANNY PACK! (It's a little boring so let me know if you want to bedazzle it for me.) The pump starts out the size of a softball and gradually shrinks over the course of 2 days. I returned to the hospital on Friday to have the pump removed.

The side effects of this cycle's chemo drugs were expected to be nausea and extreme sensitivity to cold, mostly felt in the mouth/throat and fingertips. I have been very fortunate to have had NO nausea and feel like this is an answer to prayers, or drugs, maybe both. ;) Tap water feels like ice water and I have to be careful handling cold food items in the refrigerator/freezer. The side effects are expected to last 2-3 days, which can't come soon enough given my affinity for Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Overall, I feel better yesterday and today than I have in months and am so grateful to finally be comfortable without any acute pain. Thank you all for your concern, care, prayers, and love.

With love and gratitude,
Heather
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A CaringBridge campaign

$94,920 of $130,000 goal

Raised by 688 people in 2 months
Created January 15, 2019
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