Once again, my daughter Debbie Bosma has received devastating news. On the advice of the West Michigan Cancer Center, Debbie underwent genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The results were not good.
The oncologist said the latest cancer research showed that, having a harmful BRCA2 mutation, Debbie has an 80 percent probability of getting breast cancer. Her oncologist recommended a prophylactic double mastectomy as soon as possible. (Remember that beautiful celebrity who did the same thing?) Not having that person's resources, I am asking for your help to save my beautiful daughter.
Debbie is coming up on five years as a survivor of Stage IIIc ovarian cancer. She underwent a 5-1/2 hour radical surgery to remove everything having to do with reproduction and to remove a myriad of tiny tumors in her abdomen. This was followed by six months of the most aggressive chemotherapy treatments available for the rare type of ovarian cancer she had.
During this period, Debbie’s father was also receiving chemotherapy, and she and her Dad would walk hand in hand to the treatment room. Debbie had to be in a bed for her double infusions and her Dad’s recliner was brought into her room so they could be together. Sadly, her father lost his battle a month after Debbie completed her treatment, making her recovery even more difficult.
During this time when she could not work, Debbie depleted all of her 401k and savings accounts to pay for medical and living expenses.
Learning to glove and gown again. First post-cancer job!
After working in physicians’ offices and hospitals, Debbie is now a traveling nurse, with assignments all over the United States. This job does not provide any paid time off – no sick days, no paid vacation, no personal days. The time she must take off now is not compensated except for a short-term disability payment that barely covers her monthly health insurance payment.
Debbie lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan while her children were growing up. She enjoys being active and involved, and volunteered at the high school concessions, was one of the team moms for wrestling, and donated mountains of food to feed the big appetites of the football and wrestling teams.
In addition to donating yearly to local food banks, she buys locally and supports farmers markets. She volunteers at and donates to a fundraiser for the Cooper Township Fire Department and the Great Lakes Burn Camp at Pretty Lake in Mattawan, Michigan, which is free to children who have been burned or are otherwise disadvantaged.
A RUNNER FOR CAUSES
In spite of having significant asthma and allergies, Debbie took up running, participating in events such as the Kalamazoo Mud Run, which helps build wells in Africa, and provides fresh water and food in Kalamazoo; The Tough Mudder, which helps the Wounded Warrior Project; The Muddy Patriot, which also helps wounded soldiers; The Insane Inflatable 5k, which makes donations to local charities; and the Color Run, a national event. She likes to get involved in runs that have a purpose.
The Color Run has donated more than $5 million to charity nationwide
GIVING TO OTHERS
Prior to her cancer diagnosis, Debbie earned a Gallon Donor designation from the American Red Cross for her donations to their blood drives.
She is the Durable Power Of Attorney designee for an elderly friend who doesn't have family to help him. They frequently go out to lunch and shopping. She brings him groceries when she knows his funds are limited and helps him during the numerous times he has been hospitalized.
For reasons like these, Debbie is asking for your help because she believes she has much more to contribute to those in need.
I was dismayed to learn that medical costs for Debbie’s surgery can run from $15,000 to as high as $50,000. My goal is to raise $10,000 by May, 2018. Insurance unfortunately doesn’t cover all medical expenses. Your contribution will also help to pay living expenses during recovery and travel expenses to and from the out-of-town hospital for surgery and follow-up appointments. Each drive is a 220-mile round trip.
YOU CAN HELP
By donating to help cover these expenses, you will also be helping to ease Debbie’s mind at a time when she will be trying to heal and recover from another life -impacting major surgery, this time to prevent cancer. No amount is too small but I realize not everyone can make a donation. If you would share this campaign with your friends and family, spreading the word will make a difference. Your help means so much to us.
In her first battle with cancer, people who knew Debbie, and even those who didn't, prayed for her. The power of those prayers helped tremendously. If you cannot donate to this cause, I ask for your prayers as she goes to combat against cancer again.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and for sharing Debbie’s story with others. Her two sons and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for donating to her cause and helping to save Debbie.
- Masako Winchester
- Mike Lahaie
- Mary Becker
- Janet Silva
- Marcia Rooney
Organizer and beneficiary
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