Single Mom w/Rare Tumor

In January 2017, our daughter Jennelle (34) was diagnosed with a very large, rare tumor in her right mandible (jawbone) called Ameloblastoma.  She has not been physically able to work since then.  Jennelle is a single mom with a 13 year old girl.  She is now at risk of losing her apartment, having to move during recovery from more surgeries, probably out of the area, away from her doctors at Stanford, and disrupting her daughter’s schooling.  Finding a new place with no income is impossible in California.  Bills are piling up and social services are helping very little.  We do not have adequate space in our home for her and our granddaughter to house them long term; also we are several cities away from where they currently live.  We have nearly exhausted all of our resources helping her through this time and have recently learned she will be facing about another year of more surgeries and recovery, making it impossible for her to go back to work any time soon.  We are also praying we can find the means to cover the procedures she will need which are not covered by her insurance. You can read the details about her surgeries and setbacks below.

 We are asking for help to sustain her and her daughter during this time. In addition we are also asking for help with some of her future reconstruction procedures such as replacing her missing gums, and teeth plus scar tissue revision, as these will not be covered by her insurance and will indeed be necessary.

 There are 3 ways you can help…Pray, Share, and Give

Pray – It’s the best way you can help. We are a Christian family and believe with all of our hearts in the power of prayer. 

Share – Please share our story with your families and friends on social media, emails, and by word of mouth.

Give – Any amount you can give will help.  We are grateful to God and to you for your help.

=The details=

March of 2017, in order to successfully remove an aggressive and fast growing tumor in her jaw, Jennelle’s right mandible and chin had to be amputated, including her teeth and all of her gums on the right side. They also put in a metal plate and some “hardware” to replace the missing bone and temporarily hold it together.  In only a months time the metal in her face had collected bacteria, causing a terrible infection, which she had to have surgery to correct.

 Some months later she had another invasive surgery where they took a large piece of her hip bone and grafted it to replace her right mandible.  The metal plate was put back in place and would have to be removed after several months of healing. As she was recovering from that surgery and waiting on what we thought would be removal of the metal plate and a huge step forward,the infection came back, and as a result she had to have 2 more surgeries. This included tubes for drainage in her neck for some time. It was horrible.

If that wasn’t hard enough on Jennelle, while recovering again, the metal plate began to rub against her skin from the inside, until it broke though, so that the metal plate was visible through the tearing skin along her chin area, causing terrible pain and permanent scaring.

5 months after the original bone graft it was time to have to the metal plate removed, as scheduled. During the procedure the surgeon found that the hip bone they grafted was dead.  It didn’t take, and it had to be removed. The metal plate with original “hardware” was put back in place of a bone. This was her 6th surgery, and basically she was back at “square one”.

 On February  7th, 2018 she had another bone graft.  This time taking a more radical approach using a 5” piece of her fibula (the bone that attaches to the ankle) with blood vessels and connected it to her jugular vein so that it would have its own blood supply and hopefully be a successful graft.
In addition, a skin graft was done using a site on her leg to provide the new skin which was used to repair and prevent further tearing in her face from the metal plate.  She has at least 2 more surgeries to go and will be unable to work for about another year.
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Helen Cary 
Gilroy, CA
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