Annette's Memorial Fund

On Friday, May 26th, after battling brain cancer for many months, Annette was called home to be with the Lord. She is survived by her son and daughter, Shaine and Shannda, as well as her grandson, Jayden. Many brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and her Mother, Corrine. Annette lived a life dedicated to faith and service to her family and to those in need. She was an active member of her church and was often seen in the stands of the choir praising the Lord with her brothers and sisters in Christ, The Voices of Praise. 

In November 2016, a year after undergoing surgery to place clips for a potential brain aneurysm, my mom went to the doctor after experiencing severe headaches and memory loss. The doctors discovered that she had bleeding in her brain and she went in for emergency surgery to reclip the coil which was supporting the aneurysm.  At the time, we thought that she would recover, however, our time in the emergency room had just begun. 

After continually complaining about headaches and displaying signs of confusion, we returned to the doctor. Brain scans quickly revealed that she had a mass in her brain and we moved forward for a biopsy. At that time, the doctors told us that the mass was removable and that she should recover.  After several more visits to the emergency room and receiving advice from specialists, we scheduled the biopsy in February 2017 to gather more information before removing the mass. When the doctors performed the biopsy, they discovered that the mass was inoperable and that it was stage 4 brain cancer. 

Throughout the time that we were waiting for medical paperwork to process and tests to be performed, mom continued to decline. As we were attempting to file paperwork to obtain power of attorney and make sure her affairs were in order, we were met with resistance on every front.  Due to the nature of her injury and the quick decline in her cognitive abilities, she was unable to advocate for herself, however, her benefits office would not speak to the family without the power of attorney, which took weeks to process (and never did). Throughout this time, her medical insurance also failed to file paperwork for her long term disability, so disability checks were not consistent. Therefore, the family took on the financial responsibility of her medical and living expenses. By the time we received the news from the biopsy, the doctor advised us that she was too weak to undergo radiation. Seeing her physical state, the doctors recommended that she be admitted into a nursing facility.

Two days after being admitted to the nursing facility, we received a call letting us know that her insurance had been cancled in November due to a lapse in her premuim payments.  Since we had been denied access to her benefits accounts, we were unable to receive assistance reinstating her insurance.  We had to bring her home and arrange care at her house, with our family and friends as well as my sister and I staying on different days throughout the week since she required around the clock care to ensure her safety.  At this point, my mom, a once very active and independent woman, needed help to perform basic daily tasks. 

In April we took mom to the emergency room again because she was complaining of stomach pain. When the doctors performed another brain scan, the tumor had grown even larger and we began the course of treatment to ensure that she would be comfortable. Upon hearing our story, Capital Caring provided medical equipment, medicine and nurses who came several times a week to ensure mom was comfortable. We are forever grateful for the care that they showed mom in her final days. 

On Friday, May 26th, mom passed peacefully in her sleep at home. She was surrounded by loved ones. We are so grateful that she is no longer suffering. We know that she is guiding us from above now, much like she guided us throughout our lives.

While we have recieved much support from many people during this most difficult time, we ask for a different type of support. Because of all of the costs incurred in the care of mom, my sister and I do not have the funds cover the cost of the funeral expenses on our own. Please help us give mom the home going services she deserves. All Donations will be used to help offset funeral and medical expenses. We plan to have the funeral on Friday, June 2nd. 

Thank you all soo much for your generosity.


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Shaine Gaskins 
Centreville, VA
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