Recently, my wonderful friend and mentor Laurel Leigh got devastating news from her doctors: She has advanced-stage lung cancer.
She’s never smoked. Nobody knows exactly when or why she developed lung cancer, but she did.
Laurel is self-employed and has not been able to work full-time since starting treatment last month. By the time it was discovered, her cancer was inoperable, and part of her right lung is collapsed around the main tumor. She is undergoing simultaneous chemo and radiation therapy. To make matters worse, she cannot tolerate some of the medications used to lessen the treatment side effects. Her health insurance is covering only a part of the treatment costs, and as a freelancer she does not have paid time off or short-term disability coverage.
Laurel has supported her community of friends and writers across the country for decades. She has always had time to give advice, send a cheerful message, share a heartfelt hello. She has mentored new writers. She has let wordsmiths borrow her confidence until they found their own. Now it's time for us to step up and support her.
If you can make a contribution to help Laurel cover her medical and other basic expenses, please do. It doesn't have to be much. Even a small amount will reduce the pressure on her in this difficult time.
Thank you, from all of us on Team Laurel.
- Catherine Perry