Donnaree Santangelo

Donnaree is a wife and caring mother of four; Derek(25), Ashley(23), Alex(21) and Savannah(18).  She is a hard worker who has dedicated her entire life to Christ, her children, her marriage and her work. 

Currently, she is battling breast cancer (again, after being in remission for almost 3 years) which has metastasized to her brain. This has caused her to begin yet another grueling battle with cancer.

Here's her story: On February 5th of 2010, our mother was diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer. We were all terrified and SHE was the one to calm US down. She was the strong one who held our family together, as usual. So,she had a mastectomy, underwent Chemo & went through drug therapy without ever complaining. She did everything the doctors told her to do and had, as we believed, beaten it. Thank Goodness!

Then, iNovember of 2012, our worst fears came true. While undergoing a CT scan so that she could get surgery on her spine, we found out that the breast cancer was back... and not just back, it had metastasized(spread) to her brain and she also had a spot of lung cancer on her lung as well. On top of that, her hands were beginning to become numb & her legs were becoming weak.

In the 4 months since then, she has gone through radiation & spine surgery. And she is currently waiting to see what her next move is, which will be some sort of chemo and possibly another round of Herceptin drug treatments.

Here's the kicker: Donnaree and her husband, Joe, have medical insurance but between the co-pays and the yearly overages it costs them at least $10,000 a YEAR in medical bills. 

That is quite a substantial amount of extra cost for any 2 income household, but on top of that, mom has not been able to work as much due to the fact that she has had trouble with her hands and legs and her entire business is sewing window treatments and installing them. (She also obviously does not have paid sick leave due to the fact that she owns the business which has always been a consistent reliable source of income but never excessively lucrative.)

Here's our thoughts: Anyone who has ever met our mother knows she has dedicated her life to making everyone's life around her better. She would give the shirt off her back to help a person ineed. There have been many of times where she let struggling friends raid our cabinets to feed their families, she would make dinners for families who needed it, she would pray over anyone who asked and so much more I'm sure I have no clue about. She literally never stops giving. She can't, it's in her blood. 

So, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for people to return the favor and let her know she is not alone in this fight. She too has people who care for her and her future.

Knowing that these are hard times, we know that not everyone can donate or are able to but are unable to donate as much as they'd like. Please know this; EVERY penny helps. And if you are unable to donate, as Christians we believe STRONGLY in the power of prayer, so if you would just put her on your daily prayer list, that would be just as appreciated and welcomed.

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Ashley Bishop 
Bradenton, FL
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