The life of a single mother with cancer, that's often a story untold. Sandy Markham Gasca, a 40 year old single mother of 3 was diagnosed with cervical cancer in May of 2013. It was a routine check-up, expecting to hear only that her body was stressed and a bit tired, nothing could have prepared her for the news she had received. Stage 4 cervical cancer! She didn't look sick, she didn't feel sick, doctors must have made a mistake. By June of the same year she underwent surgery, it was then that she found out the cancer had spread and was now in her lymph nodes. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment and was tested once her treatment was over and found that the cancer had spread even more. There is nothing they could do at this point but manage her cancer so it doesn't spread, the cancer is no longer curable. Sandy continues to fight & undergo chemotherapy every 3 weeks to try to get the cancer under control. Although recommended otherwise by her doctors sandy also continues to work. Being the sole provider disability alone won't be enough to support her family and she will no longer have health insurance through her employer if she goes on permanent disability. She works for a real estate office 9:00am -5:00pm Monday through Friday. Her work has been so supportive in this process. Sandy has used up her sick and vacation hours so she does not get paid for the days she has to take off due to chemo and recovery. She's off without pay a minimum of 8 days per month. Everyday on her lunch she picks up her kids from school, makes them lunch and goes back to work. After work she goes straight home, makes sure everything needed to be is done and makes dinner. She rarely has anytime for herself & absolutely no time to rest. Sandy's life was never easy from the beginning. Without her parents in her life, Sandy was separated from her younger sister and was raised by her grandparents, while her sister Valerie moved out of state as a young child. Regardless of her past and her upbringing Sandy has managed to get her life together for the sake of her children, Memrie, Carlos and Felicity. Memrie is a 22 year old stay at home mom, she has an adorable 2 year old who is grandmas light & joy! Carlos (13), and Felicity (11), are quickly making their way into those crazy teenage years. Formerly involved in sports and other activities such as baseball and cheerleading, these two seem to have put their interested aside constantly worried about their mom. Carlos will, at any given time of the day, go up to Sandy and say "mom let's pray". Prayer seems be his peace at mind. Felicity is very worried about their future, "whats going to happen when you're gone?" Tends to be the only questions she's asking these days. How can a mother look at her 11 year old daughter just knowing she may not be there the first time she wears makeup, for her first date, to take pictures of her at prom? Sandy knows with the love & support from their family her children will be fine but can't help herself to worry how her eldest, Memrie, is going to take on her two younger siblings & be financially stable. Memrie is a young mother herself but to help raise her brother and sister in a time of need isn't a question. She's been there to help her mother from day one and now finds herself getting to a point where asking for help is her only option. As hard as it is to acknowledge Sandy may not be with us for too much longer and leaving her kids with nothing is her biggest fear. With a withered away savings account, medical bills piling on, and planning her own funeral the thought of leaving her children in debt is her constant worry. The family is not asking for any specific amount, only with what a donor is comfortable with donating! Any amount is appreciated! They cannot do this without the help from those around them.
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