Dawn's Cancer & Fibromyalgia Fund

Update 6/16/15
I had applied for disability several months ago and just found out that it was denied. I am devastated.  I really needed this to survive month to month. Now there is no way I will be able to pay my bills, purchase my medication,  or buy food. I am appealing, however, it can take 2 years before I can go before a judge. I tell you this because I really need help. I am poor and your donations will be used to help me survive. Thank you!

My name is Christopher Moeness, this is a campaign to help raise money for my mother’s monthly bills and medical bills from her cancer treatment. Below, she and I both talk about her struggles over the past 3 years. I hope you’ll take the time to read the entire letter. Thank you for your support, it is greatly needed.

When I was 12 years old, my mother and father brought my brothers and me into the living room to talk to us about something serious. As we sat down, my mother looked in our eyes, with tears in hers, and softly told us that she was sick and had breast cancer. We didn’t have many questions to ask, but one of us bravely asked if she was going to die. She smiled as a tear rolled down her face and said no.

My brothers and I had no idea what this meant for our family. We had heard of this before but never thought it would happen to us. We didn’t know what to do. Luckily, our church family showed their support in various ways. Our classmates would bring in bandannas and cards and their parents brought flowers for us to take home for her. Once, during Sunday school, a kid I barely knew asked the youth pastor to pray for my mother during prayer requests. A few weeks later, at church, I walked up to my mother as she stood tall in front of a small group of people, sporting a ridiculous horse bandana to cover her bald head, and said “I believe God has allowed me to suffer, so he is able to shine through me in order to encourage others in their trials.” To this day, I don’t know if there is anything else my mother has ever said that is more profound to me than this.

She made it through everything and the crazy thing is, I remember her smiling a lot through it all. She still took us to church, although we would’ve like to skip a few Sundays, played with us and was never shy about showing us her bald head. Even though it severely bothered one of us.

In November 2011, my mother was, once again, diagnosed with breast cancer. However, this time, she was scared. She was unsure if she could find the energy to go through such a painful process again and if that wasn’t enough, the cancer was more aggressive than the first time. She persevered through this process again; however, there were some devastating physical, emotional and spiritual blows. Throughout the past 3 years my mother has had to deal with the painful process of a mastectomy, a tremendous flare up of her fibromyalgia, the death of two of her dogs, marital struggles, depression and many other battles. She has fought with her reluctant insurance companies and has sacrificed getting medicine that would aid in her recovery because she cannot afford the $600 a month payment for the generic brand.

She supported my family financially as best as she could, going as far as forgiving enough child support from my father that would’ve paid for all of her medical bills because he was in financial trouble. Even though there has been a seemingly endless cloud over her head, she has never lost her compassion or humanity. She has been mad at God at times, yet still makes time for her daily devotions and prayer with Him.

She held onto working as long as possible and even though she used up all of her vacation time at work very quickly, my mother went to work as often as possible. Finally, in September of this year, she broke down at work. After years of fighting through it all, she was unable to focus and function at work. On September 24, my mother left work after 3 hours of tears, pain and frustration. She has not been able to return since.

About a month ago, while talking with my mother on the phone, she broke down in tears and confessed some of her heart breaking thoughts and feelings. She felt like she was a burden on my family and that things would be easier for my brothers and me if we didn’t have to deal with her pain and suffering. I also broke down in tears, as anger filled my heart, when I heard this. I didn’t understand how the most important person on this planet could ever feel that she was a burden to my brothers and me. The greatest inspiration in my life is my mother. She is the reason I work hard, the reason for my success and one of the main reasons there is any good in me.

A few weeks ago, I surprised my family with a trip home so I could spend some much needed time with my mother and to hopefully encourage her. During my short time with her, she reveled some more of her heart breaking thoughts and feelings regarding the past three years. Most of which I have already shared. During my time with her, I saw my mom smile, however, behind that smile was a look of defeat and extreme sadness that I have never seen from her. She told me, the only reason she hasn’t completely given up is for my brothers and me. At that moment, I nearly began crying, it took everything I had to not cry. I wanted to be strong for her.

 Since she stopped working in September and lost her job in December, My stepdad has found a job to help bring in some money. My dad and youngest brother Brandon give them food and a little bit of money when possible. My brother Allen, who lives with my parents, got a part time job with my dad and very generously, gives half of what he makes to my mom. However, even through much of this selfless giving, my family is barely making their rent by the end of the month. Much of the stress and depression my mother faces comes from the realization that they struggle month to month trying to pay bills and will never be able to pay for any of the medical bills in their current state. She has 18 separate medical bills every month and many have already been sent to collection agencies.

Through all of this pain, suffering and stress, I believe there is always hope and that nothing will last. As I sat next to my mother and stepdad, I realized things were not as bad as they seem. In fact, I found hope in the suffering because the only way out of this is by a miracle. Maybe this is where we were meant to be, desperate for an act of God. Maybe what my mother said to that small group of people 16 years ago was the plan all along.

“I believe God has allowed me to suffer, so he is able to shine through me in order to encourage others in their trials.”

This is a fundraiser for my mother’s monthly bills and medical bills which total $10,000 plus. If by the grace of God, more money is raised, we will use the extra money to purchase the fibromyalgia drugs for as long as possible. We will be circulating this fundraiser to as many people as possible and if you are not able to donate please help the cause by forwarding this letter and link to as many of your friends, family and colleagues as possible. We also would love it if as many people would join with us in prayer for my mother, Dawn, as well as sending her encouraging words through this stressful time. Thank you for anything you can do.

Christopher Moeness


Below are the events from Dawn Wolters

On Nov 30,2011, I received some devastating news that I was not prepared to hear for the second time in my life. Once again, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the same breast as 14 years prior. After 14 years of being cancer free, the thought of having cancer again was not even a possibility. I was estrogen positive, which makes the cancer grow and herceptin positive, which makes the cancer extremely aggressive. The good news was that it was caught very early and there was a specific drug called herceptin that targets and blocks the HEC2.

My treatment plans was to have a mastectomy on my left breast, chemotherapy and one year of herceptin treatment, given once a week intravenously and take the cancer drug Tamoxifen for 5 year. On Jan 18, 2012, I had my mastectomy which was devastating for me. In addition to all the pain, I had to try to come to terms with my loss and how disfigured I looked. I am still dealing with that part of it, even though I did have reconstruction work done. It still looks disfigured. The emotional pain is almost worse than the physical pain.

In early Feb 2012 I had my surgeon put in a part on my chest to make it easier to draw blood and administer the chemo drugs, since my veins were shot from my first chemo experience 14 years ago.

Mid Feb 2012, I began my chemo and Herceptin treatments. The plan was to have six chemo treatments and the one year of herceptin. However, after 2 chemo treatments, I began to develop neuropathy, nerve damage, in my legs and feet. The doctor made the decision to cut back to 4 chemo treatments to try and avoid permanent neuropathy damage. It did not really work as I suffer minor neuropathy, with some days being more painful than others.

The recent chemo and herceptin treatments have caused a tremendous flare up with my fibromyalgia, which I was diagnosed with in 2005 and I am suffering with chronic pain and depression. I have had several doctor appointments with my primary care doctor, a Rheumatologist, who confirmed my fibromyalgia and a psychiatrist who adjusted my meds for depression.

Early 2014 I had my mammogram and they found a spot on my right breast. An ultrasound was performed and the spot is thought to be scar tissue. They didn’t think it was anything to worry about.

However, after meeting with my oncologist for a follow up, she wanted another mammogram and ultrasound in 3 months to make sure there was not cancer. She also did quite a bit of costly blood work as well, which all came out of my pocket as my deductable is $4000.

The chemo and Herceptin made me really sick and I missed about 6 months of work, with no income for the majority of that time. My medical bills continued to add up. Once I went back to work, I ended up sick much of the time, which meant missing more work and income. I was out of sick and vacation time. I missed quite a bit of work in 2013 and 2014. I am not able to cope at work. In addition to the horrible pain, I am unable to stay focused, think straight or even remember information necessary for me to perform my job duties. I am suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and have fallen deeper into depression. I have been off work now since 9/24/14.

I have accumulated substantial medical debt from November 2011 to present. I have no way to pay these bills and some have now been sent to collection. I am so stressed and anxious about these bills as I am struggling just to make my monthly bills to survive. It all just makes it hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Dawn Wolters
  • Vickie Morgan 
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  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
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  • Carol Aase 
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  • Mike Doran 
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Dawn Shaw Moeness Wolters 
Olympia, WA
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