After a routine breast exam, Rita was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, HER2-positive, with a high risk of reccurrence. Rita is determined to throw everything she has at this cancer, and hopes to help other women with the same diagnosis potentially receive better treatment, and has enrolled in the I-SPY2 clinical trial. As a health writer, she even wrote a piece on breast cancer screening while undergoing multiple biopsies and scans.
Both Rita and her husband, Bret, are self-employed and the aggressive treatment schedule has forced them to curtail their work hours to fight this disease. Just last year, Bret, had to take several months off after he had an unexpected open heart surgery to repair a torn mitral valve, thus causing double whammy on their financial health.
Rita and her doctors remain optimistic as the cancer was caught in Stage2. Those of us who know her and those on Facebook with her, can vouch for her positive attitude and good humor throughout even the scariest of situations. Rita's one year treatment plan consists of the chemo trial, surgery, radiation and more chemo to end sometime next summer. Unfortunately, because both Rita and Bret have serious pre-existing conditions they face a great uncertainty in purchasing or affording health insurance next year. The two drugs that will save her life (Herceptin and Perjeta) have an estimated cost of $100,000 and she'll need to take those through next year, along with the cost of radiation treatments. She's already blown past her $6750 out-of-pocket limit for this year.
Most importantly, she wants to maintain as normal a life for her son, Erick. He has already experienced life and death with his Nona on hospice at home, something most children his age never see up close. Rita's biggest wish is to see Erick grow up and accomplish his dreams. Removing a bit of her financial worry would give her the chance to enjoy more quality time with Erick. The treatments and side effects will cause her to have to curtail her own work and time driving to and from treatment will also mean Bret will need to curtail and adjust his work schedule. By providing this fund for Rita it will allow us to help her to focus solely on getting better and eradicating the cancer from her body.
If you could sprinkle a bit of pixie dust for Rita it will go a long way to easing this financial & emotional burden and provide some peace to her in these difficult months ahead. I for one would be most grateful, Rita has been a part of my life for 28 years. They say you can't choose your family, but you can your friends. I am forever grateful that I can call her one of my closest and best friends. I know many of you feel the same way.
So please help me spread some "pixie dust" on Rita.
Peace, love and pixie dust. ~Trish
- Emily Rogan
- Annie Logue
- Elizabeth Gardner
- Erica Hayes
Organizer and beneficiary
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