Mom's Bucket List Fund

My mother is 51 years old and has stage 3c metastatic ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed in 2011 and went into remission in 2012. In February 2013 her cancer metastasized to her brain. She had a 3cm tumor removed from the base of her brain stem, we almost lost her. She went through several rounds of brain radiation and then began chemotherapy because there was still some residual cancer found in her abdomen. These chemotherapy treatments were unsuccessful in clearing the cancer from her abdomen and in November of 2013 her oncologist told her it was "bucket list time". She was placed on permanent disability. Her disability payments are not even enough to cover her month to month expenses, let alone cover her "bucket list" items.

I live in New Jersey, and my mother lives in Indiana. She moved there after a difficult divorce from a man she loved deeply. She wanted to start fresh. Had she known she would have developed cancer and only have a few years to live, I doubt she would have moved 700 miles away from her children and family in New Jersey...

My mother didnt have an easy life. As a single mother to 6 (yes 6) children, one of which has Cystic Fibrosis, life at times seemed impossible. But despite the obstacles in front of her, she was able to go back to school to become a dietetic technichian and even made deans list several times. She also was awarded the American Dietetic Associations student of the year award.

Feeding 6 children while working and going to school wasnt easy. There were many nights we all went to bed hungry, times when there was only a few cans of food in the cabinet, the refrigerator bare and for about 6 months we were homeless sleeping on couches and floors of her friends houses. But somehow we made it. After Mom graduated from college the student loan bills started rolling in and it seemed there was another HUGE obstacle in front of us. We were already stretched thin and were at risk of becoming homeless... again.

My mother was forced to make the most difficult decision of her life. She had to give custody of my youngest sister and brother (the one with cystic fibrosis) to thier father. They were lucky enough to have a father willing to care for them full time, but the decision broke my mothers heart. It was a sacrifice only a loving mother could make. To give all of her children the opportunity to survive.

There are many other obstacles she faced but I am not willing to post them here. I only wanted people to understand how amazing my mother is and why I care so much that she is able to enjoy the last leg of her journey here on earth. I have two beautiful children who were both born while she was living in Indiana. She has only spent one day with my 7 month old son on a very short trip here to New Jersey. I will be travelling with both children to Indiana on April 14 and staying until May 1. I hope to share lasting memories of her with my children. It will mean the world to her and I.

All of the funds collected here will be used to help my mother enjoy what time she has left. I feel she deserves it. I will do whatever it takes to make her last dreams come true.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

Heather Sullivan
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 87 mos
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    • $50 
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    • $100 
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Organizer

Heather Sullivan 
Organizer
Jamesburg, NJ
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