Fatima's Fight

Fatima H. George is the eldest of seven siblings, the mother of four children, and grandmother to four small children. She is a single mom and is a home health aid and nursing assistant. She is a caretaker in the fullest sense of the word. She abundantly gives love to all those around her, and joyfully lives life to the fullest. I am her youngest sister by 25 years, we share the same father. Since I was little she has always been there for me. If love is an action, she acts.
Fatima was diagnosed with stomach cancer at the age of 48. This diagnoses was caught only through her persistence. She spent six months going to the doctor complaining of stomach pains. They explained the source of her discomfort as stress, acid reflux, or possibly an ulcer. One doctor even told her it was all in her head.

In June of 2011 she received the diagnoses. She had a tumor that was taking up 2/3 of her stomach and was told that it would need to be removed as soon as possible. She went through chemotherapy prior to surgery and was forced to stop her work as a nurses assistant in a nursing home. That Fall her stomach and spleen were removed, and a very small new stomach was reconstructed from her intestine. After surgery she continued chemotherapy and adjusted to her new stomach. During this time eating anything was incredibly uncomfortable at best.

Her faith in God and her spirit kept her upbeat throughout the pain. The doctor announced that she was cancer free in January of 2012. She began to plan for her blow out 50th birthday party that would take place the following year. Family from all over the U.S., her many friends, and colleagues were coming to celebrate a birthday that we had been afraid she might not reach.

January 10th, 2013, the day of her actual birthday, she found out that the cancer had returned. She decided to wait a week to tell her family and friends about the new diagnosis, she was determined to celebrate her life. At her party she danced, ate, and laughed. We told her how much we love her and need her with us; she thanked God and everyone for the many blessings she has.

February 2013 she started chemotherapy again. In August during a break from chemo, doctors told her that she had some cancerous cells on her bladder, liver, large intestine, and at the incision site. She is now again undergoing chemo and fighting for her life. She continues to surprise doctors. They tell her she does not look like her chart.

She is a spiritual person who loves life. She currently takes care of her grandson during the week. She thoroughly enjoys her time with him, as he does with her. She appreciates things that I take for granted, such as taking tasting her food and not feeling sick.

Fatima has not been able to work since June of 2011. She tried to return to work prior to her latest diagnosis but had to stop again in January of 2013. She has worked, paid taxes and into unemployment since 1975, only ever taking time off to give birth to her children. She was unable to get unemployment because she was not fired. After two months without an income she started receiving disability and general assistance, totaling $800 per month. Six months after that she was able to get social security which totals $1200 per month. She also receives $6 (not a typo) in food stamps per month. Right now she is living on $1206 per month. Her rent is $900, and as I mentioned she takes care of a small child five days a week.

As a general rule people should be allowed to focus on their healing without worrying about bills and how they will pay for food. Fatima has spent her lifetime supporting everyone around her. She gives so much love and rises to every challenge gracefully. Any donation you can make is greatly appreciated. Let's help take care of her costs of living so she can get better. THE WORLD NEEDS HER!
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Gabrielle Hoffman 
Brooklyn, NY
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