Cancer. We hear the word every day in the news, on social media and in conversation. We stop and say a silent prayer for those who need strength to fight and then we go on about our day. Cancer isn’t particular. It affects men, women & children of all ages and walks of life.
Today, sadly, we learn that cancer is going to be a part of our family once again. My Aunt Karen, my confidant, my rock, my heart, has learned that her breast cancer has metastasized and is now at Stage 4. We are heartbroken, but we are strong and we will be by her side as she fights.
Karen was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer 2014. She underwent many tests, biopsies and eventually a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. The prognosis was good with follow up tests and a prescribed 5-year regimen of tamoxifen. During this time the family also went through other financial strains and Karen was not able to continue with her health insurance coverage, thus resulting in not being able to afford her aftercare and medications….but life went on.
Fast forward to March 2017. Karen landed in Urgent Care as she had a bad cough that she could not shake. She was given some breathing treatments and inhalers and was sent home. For the next 6 months, she struggled with breathing and the cough worsened. She also developed a horrible pain in her back. As she was now able to afford minimal health insurance coverage again she saw her doctor and he gave her the alarming news that the cancer may have returned.
Over the next several months she had an MRI of the brain, CT Scan of the chest, PET Scans and biopsies. After waiting what seemed like an eternity for the results she was finally given the diagnosis. Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer which was now in her lungs and extensively in her lumbar spine, pelvis, lymphatic system and throughout other bones.
Karen continued to work all through her diagnosis, tests and surgeries. She works as a hairdresser in a Senior Living community several days a week and is on her feet all day. She is strong and works through even the toughest days. She plans on continuing to serve her elderly clients as long as she is able, but the income is minimal.
In discussing treatment with her doctor she was notified that the medication that she recommends is $10,000 per treatment, for which she must pay 30%. The amount of treatments at this point is unknown but they anticipate well over $9000 per treatment for just that particular medication. There will be others, as well as co-pays, follow up exams and tests which all are very costly and minimally covered with the challenging insurance plans that are now available.
How You Can Help:
This is where I ask for your help and your generosity. My Aunt Karen means the world to me, her family, friends and clients. She works hard. She makes a difference in this world and those close to her want to help support her in all the things she will be facing in the months ahead.
I have set up this Go Fund Me campaign in hopes of helping my aunt raise the money she will need for treatment, medical bills and living expenses as we are not sure how long she will be able to continue to work. Our family learned what happens when treatment is not affordable. Cancer returns.
Her loved ones want to rally around her and fight with her, side by side. No one should fight cancer alone. If you are able, any amount you can donate to this campaign is deeply appreciated. Even the smallest of donations help as together they add up.
Even if you are not able to donate, you are still able to help. Please share this post with your social media friends and/or email this gofundme link to your contacts. Every share is hope for much-needed help for my aunt. Of course, prayers are always welcome and appreciated.
My Aunt Karen will be strong and fight because that’s the kind of person she is. My greatest hope is that people will rally behind her and help us help her with the fight.
Thank you for reading our families’ story and for your generosity in whatever way that you are able to give. Know that each and every one of you who donates money, shares this post and sends prayers to Karen and our family are in our hearts and we are forever grateful.
We will remain hopeful for my aunt’s recover and pray, with all of our hearts, that your family never be affected by this terrible, aggressive disease.
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