My name is Michelle Macaspac and I'm helping my best friend/sister Minnie Rogers raise at least $300k for her three children's (Jelani 18, Jhari 16 and Jalen 13) EDUCATION FUND. DISCLOSURE: 20% to Breast Cancer Foundation 80% to MBR Education Fund.
I have promised initially this gofundme was to raise money for her medical bills, however she unfortunately lost her battle to Breast Cancer on November 10, 2014 before I was able to launch the campaign. It was a rather quick and heartwrenching ordeal for everyone involved since she returned back to the hospital in the emergency room on October 28, 2014.
One of her final wishes was for her children not to worry about their education being paid for if & when she passes away. Her children are everything to her and all she wants from them is to be healthy, happy and to make sure they get their college degree.
With the help of her family Elsie McCloud, Grant McCloud (mom/dad), Maribel Chu (sister) & family, and Nick Banta (brother) & family, and her vast network of friends, we are hoping her most desired wish comes true.
I'm still going to tell Minnie's story, with her approval, before her passing. I've decided to keep it in order to illustrate her battle prior to her untimely passing:
When Minnie recently mentioned to me how much she actually owes in medical bills following her surgeries, I was floored, so with her permission, I decided to do a gofundme campaign to help out.
I'm sure you've constantly heard stories of others who've successfully raised money for their particular causes, so I am truly hoping that this effort will be also be a success, especially given it's serious nature.
Witnessing my best friend/sister perpetually stressed while stuck in the terrible financial rut of failing to pay her bills in the midst of battling something as severe as cancer would be the worst type of nightmare I could imagine for her, let alone anyone else.
But unfortunately, this very nightmare has become a common reality for so many hardworking people living in this country, and now looks imminent for my dear friend. Therefore, I 'm doing whatever I can to help ease this impending burden.
Minnie, being the deeply humble and true spirit she is, said to me the other day, "Mich, even if it's $20-$500, that's ok because that's money I don't have so whatever helps is appreciated". This is how my friend gets down. She'll graciously appreciate any kind of help offered. Which in my opinion, is exactly why she's deserving of so much more.
Below is a brief story of Minnie B. Rogers and the fight of her life (literally) with breast cancer:
First let me say this...Minnie is a true fighter in every sense of the word. "You'll/We'll be alright" is her mantra. No matter what life has put in front of her, she's always somehow managed to work it out.
Because Minnie's a rather bold and honest individual who always tells it exactly like it is, and faces life head on, she accepted the reality of her illness in the exact same fashion, forging straight ahead to work hard at surviving through to the next phase of her breast cancer fight.
After discovering that she had Stage IIB breast cancer on November 2012, Minnie underwent 4 months of extensive chemotherapy and 38 total radiations. Following endless months of treatments, Minnie received the great news that she was cancer free and in remission. She was finally able to get back to her life of working hard as the primary bread winner for her family.
During her chemo, Minnie found out that she tested positive for having the Braca 1 cancer gene putting her at high risk, therefore, prompting her decision post of her cancer free diagnosis to have both her breasts removed through reconstructive surgery, then her ovaries and left axillary lymph nodes removed through further surgery as a preventative measure.
Among other complications, Minnie later had to undergo yet another surgery, to address an abdominal hernia due to the reconstructive surgery for her breasts.
Minnie went just a little over a year of living her life again, a proud survivor of breast cancer, until she began experiencing non-stop, severe, debilitating headaches, memory loss and a host of various other symptoms, prompting her to go to her Oncologist for an MRI.
Two days later, she discovered that she would need emergency brain surgery because they had found a lesion at the base of her brain.
A week after the surgery, her doctor gave her the devastating news that the cancer had returned and metastasized to her brain.
No longer able to receive chemotherapy, Minnie will now have to undergo a radiation treatment called Gamma Knife surgery, and probably in addition to this, hormone therapy, as well as other treatments that the Oncologist deems appropriate.
These are clearly very trying and emotional times for Minnie, as well as her close and extended family of friends and loved ones, such as myself, and my own family, who've now also grown very close to hers.
Prior to finding out that her cancer has come back, Minnie was working both a full-time and part-time job in order to pay her basic bills, support her 3 kids and 2 dogs and a husband that was unable to assist & provide for their family.
But now, Minnie suddenly finds herself in a serious financial dilemma, as she struggles more than ever to make ends meet in the wake of her rapidly mounting medical bills. And to complicate matters even further, her current health problems are preventing her from being able to work as much as she needs to in order to even begin tackling her stacking bills. Being on short-term disability will now drastically reduce the amount of money Minnie was earning monthly, making it virtually impossible for her to cover her and her family's monthly expenses. Worst of all, this endless cycle of stress is only worsening her health.
As much as my dear fighter of a friend might hold her head up saying, "We'll be alright", then buckle down and try to work it out for everybody as she's always been accustomed to doing, there's no practical way she can save the day this time, so for once, somebody now needs to step up and work it out for her.
So I'm taking that first step with this campaign.
In my eyes, this campaign is as important as it gets, for a cause which couldn't be any more serious. It gets no more realer than this folks. So there's no other way to put it except straightforward in the exact same bold and honest fashion in which my sister Minnie would put it: She needs our help! And she needs it now! Plain and simple.
So as her collective family, or for anyone else who reads this and is touched enough to help out in anyway they can, let's all pull together and come to her aid.
Only with our help, will Minnie even begin to be able to tackle her overwhelming medical bills, thus relieving her state of mind and enabling her to concentrate on getting better, which should be her primary focus over everything else.
Our goal is $35k but as my sister so graciously put it; whatever helps in any way will be truly appreciated. And if it's above the goal, that's just amazing because that will help tremendously with other mounting debts besides her medical bills.
With much love and gratitude,
...Fastfoward: In the beginning of September 2014, her short-term disability expired and was forced to go back to her full and part-time job even though she didn't have the strength.
During this time, she was experiencing lower back pain. We all thought it was due to her part-time retail job that had her on her feet most of the time and was even told that she may have herniated disk. Minnie even received a shot in her lower back to try and alleviate the pain, but it didn't work.
We learned later on that it was far more serious when she was sent to the emergency room 3 times within days apart. First, was when she was home with her family. Second, when she collapsed at her full-time job. Third and last was early morning of Oct. 28 and had her eldest daughter take her to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ. She was told that this time around she will not be returning home and will be admitted since her condition worsened and her symptoms suggested it was serious. In each incident her pain grew stronger and caused her to cry out, which is uncharacteristic of her. Normally she doesn't complain and will endure.
Minnie went through a series of tests and on Friday, Oct 31, she was told by her oncologist that she now had a terminal cancer that is incurable and was given 3-6 months to live. Her cancer has spread throughout her body, including her spinal cord which in turn went to her nerve endings.
Needless to say, the news was devasting to everyone. Starting on Nov. 1 her pain grew unbearable. The doctors could no longer control her pain. The medical team said her type of cancer was so rare and her pain level so high they had no choice but to recommend that Minnie would need to be on a Morphine Drip.
As each and everyday passed, family members and friends surrounded Minnie with love and compassion right by her hospital bed until her final day on November 10, 2014.
The emotional rollercoaster that each and everyone of us experienced was truely intense. We cried, screamed, laughed, fought and came together again as one. In the end, Minnie showed strength and fought hard until her last breath.
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS FAR. This campaign will be ongoing until our goal is met.
We like to make a special THANK YOU to The Valley Hospital medical staff for being the best team that Minnie B. Rogers can have. They worked around the clock to manage her pain as well as accommodate the family & close friends who were assisting in her last week and half of her stay on this earth....
R.I.P. MINNIE B. ROGERS we love and will miss you dearly!
video credit: Jelani, Jhari & Jalen Rogers
edited by: Maurice Carr
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