Help Debby beat cancer... AGAIN!

Having to battle cancer once in your lifetime is awful and unfair. It takes its toll on your body and your mind, as well as on your family's. But having to battle cancer again? For a second time? Well that is beyond unreasonable, and just too much to ask of any one family...

Debby (Coletti) Gesek survived breast cancer and was declared cancer-free in 2014, at her 5-year mark. Recently, she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and is currently undergoing treatment, for that and a host of other illnesses.  Barely recovering financially from the first bout, the family is once again hit with insurmountable medical expenses.

PLEASE READ Debby's story, as written by her best friend, Linda Regina:
First, let me say that my friend, Debby Gesek, is one of the most selfless, sweetest people there is out there. The fact that she has dealt with so many devastating things in her life is beyond my own comprehension. It is beyond the “I’m going to make a dinner, call a lot, send a card” stage. It is evident to me that we need to step in and help in an even more significant way. After all, just how much can one person… one family, take? While we may not have control over Debby’s physical health, we can contribute to her mental health.

Some background, for those of you who know, and those of you who don’t. Debby’s mother died of cancer when Deb was a young mother in her 30’s. It haunted her that her children would not grow up with their loving grandmother, and this has troubled her throughout her life. Deb and her family continued to live in the home where she grew up, surrounded by the memories of her mother.

Eight years ago, Debby, herself, was diagnosed with 2 different types of breast cancer. She had to quit her job, and consequently lost her health insurance through her employer. To maintain the insurance, her husband, Dave, and she had to pay over $1,000 a month for coverage. This, in addition to the costs of doctor and hospital visits as she underwent a double mastectomy with chemo, and radiation. Never did she complain, because the thought of beating the cancer was paramount in her mind. Debby wanted to be around for HER grandchildren.

Because of the financial challenges they faced with the cancer, Debby and her family were forced to leave their home. For her, it was like leaving her mother all over again. They rented a small house in a different area, and focused on beating the cancer. The 5 years “cancer free” anniversary came, and was a relief for all who love her. The chemo had taken its toll on her body, however, as she developed several auto immune disorders that she struggled with and that affected her eyesight (causing additional surgeries) and permanent eye damage. Still, not a word of complaint from Debby. She was happy to be alive, having had beat the breast cancer.

During this time, her daughters and husband have been a constant at her side. Dave was working two jobs to help them to get back on their feet. Just less than 2 years ago, they were able to purchase another home, and it looked like their struggles were behind them.

And now this. A recent diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s mantle cell lymphoma. A rare cancer that only effects 6% of lymphoma patients. A rare cancer that is generally diagnosed in stage 4 of the disease. And yes, Debby is in stage 4 of this rare cancer. Once again, she is in the throws of having to fight for her life. Her treatment is as aggressive as her cancer. Rounds of chemo for days, several days at a time in the hospital to get the chemo, and eventually a stem cell transplant that will keep her at Dana Farber in Boston for at least a month, before many more years of chemo. To add to this, she has had devastating effects from the latest chemo treatments because she is allergic to the very stuff that could save her life. As I write this, Debby has just been in the hospital for 10 days with complications. While there, she has developed pneumonia. The medicine for that alone will be costing over $300 a month, for the next 10 weeks, in addition to the costs of the hospital stay.

This is a heartfelt plea on the “Go Fund Me” site. The costs of the chemo, the hospitalizations, the medicines, the doctor’s visits, the trips to Boston, may very likely end up with Debby and David losing the home that they have finally acquired. If you knew David, you have never met a more hard-working guy, or a more dedicated husband and father. He works two jobs, takes care of Debby, takes her to her appointments, and lives on little sleep. If you knew Debby’s daughters, Ashley and Sarah, you would know that they, too, have been by their mother’s side, and that they are, again, having to deal with the fear of losing their mother. Debby shouldn’t have to worry about losing her home while she is in the throws of this vicious battle. One of the things that Deb has said to me, that has saddened my heart, is that she wants to be there for her grandchildren; that she doesn’t want her daughters to have to keep her alive with memories that they tell their own children, as she had to do. Please help Debby and her family fight this battle without the additional stress of diminished finances that could, yet again, result in them having to leave their home. No one should have to do this alone. No one.

And so... the time is now for us to rally around this cause. The DebbyStrong team has been started to gather a community to support this family during this most difficult challenge - strong in numbers so they don't have to face it all alone, and strong in mind and purpose to aid her in this courageous battle.  There are many ways that you can support making Debby Strong:
1. Click Donate on this page and offer any $$ contribution - every little bit helps, no amount is too small, honestly. And although a one-time donation is very much appreciated, please consider more frequent offerings too, even every month, as these treatments will go on for months on end - just add it to your budget, easy; I mean, skip a Starbucks once in awhile to help save a life for God's sake ;-)
2. Raise awareness by sharing this link on Facebook, Twitter, email, text, and general word of mouth - grow the DebbyStrong support network amongst your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors
3. Pitch in and help with an extra pair of hands, such as offering rides to doctors, delivering meals, shopping, housekeeping, yard care, gas cards, literally anything you can think of is welcomed
4. Join DebbyStrong by offering and sponsoring other fundraising ideas, and gathering merchandise which can be auctioned. Please send us an email with your thoughts
5. And above all else, we simply ask for your prayers

The Gesek Family warmly and sincerely thanks you for your kindness and your generosity!!

#DebbyStrong   #DebbyDoesLymphoma   #DiscoDebFightsAgain   #CancerSucks
Email: [email redacted]

All contributions will be given to Debby & David Gesek, specifically to pay for medical and travel related expenses incurred as a result of cancer treatments.

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