Love for Launi

On June 2,2011, my sister, Launi collapsed and was rushed to the local emergency room. After a CT Scan revealed some sort of mass she was life flighted to The University Of Utah where we were met by neurosurgeons who said the herneation and swelling in her head was in fact so severe that the situation was grim and if they didn't perform immediate surgery, she was not going to make it. She completely surprised doctors by surviving the initial surgery where they performed a crainiectomy and a partial lobectomy. As the hours following surgery passed we began to learn more about the situation she was facing. They would biopsy the tissue they removed and need to operate again in a few days to remove the mass that had caused all of this to transpire. The biopsy came back and we were stunned. It was a large malignant brain tumor, a grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma and the prognosis was not good. Prior to this catastrophe, my sister was the Store Manager of The Home Depot. At 36 years old, she became only the 2nd female store manager in her district and was blowing away her colleagues. She had a contagious laugh and an enthusiasm that was so fun to be around. She told great stories and was the life of the party. All of that changed on that gloomy June day. Everything about her personality and character has changed. The wife, mother and friend we once knew is now a shell of her former self trapped in the body of an extremely ill person that now lacks the cognition to understand what has happened. She initially received radiation and chemotherapy treatments which have subsequently put the tumor into a remission state. It's not getting bigger, but its not going away. The treatments themselves have been very trying on her body. She's suffered major side effects from the medications she needs to take daily to keep the swelling in her head down, and the narcotics to keep the immense pain at bay. Her immunity has been so compromised that she developed shingles in her eye which became a very serious life-threatening encephalitis. In January of 2012, her condition had become so severe that doctors ordered she be placed in long term nursing care. At this point, the medical bills have piled up and day to day expenses to care for her husband and 9 year old daughter have mounted. Their financial situation was so strained they could no longer afford to pay for her COBRA medical insurance premiums and keep their home. At the request and guidance of the nursing home, we began the Medicaid process and that is how medical care has been provided and paid for since. Medicaid has been a lifesaver and allowed her to reside in the nursing home, however the share of cost to Medicaid is taking every last dime of a limited disability and social security income. During the time that there was a lapse in coverage between the private insurance and Medicaid, a private balance of over $5000 (other medical bills not included) was incurred for care at the nursing home. At this moment in time her family has no additional resources to pay anything extra. The nursing home has threatened eviction if this balance isn't resolved and the family is running out of options. We are trying to get the balance owed to the nursing facility paid as soon as we possibly can. Launi was a giving person with a very generous spirit. There were many times when she paid bills for her associates out of her own pocket, just so they could survive. I know that if this were happening to anyone else, Launi would be vital in the effort to help. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

  • Kurt Wales 
    • $25 
    • 67 mos
  • Marcia Thurmond 
    • $20 
    • 67 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 103 mos
  • Earl & Vickie DEWAAL  
    • $100 
    • 103 mos
  • Stephanie and TJ Arnovick 
    • $50 
    • 103 mos
See all


Shanna Maretsky 
Kaysville, UT
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