Bessie's Cancer Fund

Our mom, Bessie, was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer three and a half years ago.  During this time she has had three surgeries, multiple biopsies, ongoing chemotherapy, and several months of radiation therapy. She has had a lumpectomy and all lymphnodes removed from under her right arm (which caused lyhmphedema). Bessie had six tumors removed from her lymphnodes. After telling us that she was declared cancer free....The doctors recommened chemotherapy and radiation as a "preventative".   After all the treatments, infections potentially caused by nurse error, long hospital stays, ambulance rides and radiation, her cancer escalated to a much more serious condition with several secondary issues and tumors.

In April of 2015, while in the hospital, a bone scan revealed numerous tumors growing directly on her spine.  Since then she has tried three other treatment plans which were not effective and two additional liver tumors were found in addition to the tumors in her bones.  The bone tumors start on her skull and go throughout her entire spine and all the way down to her feet.  We asked the oncologist how many tumors can they see and he said there are so many that the radiologist cannot count them all!   The radiation therapy she completed caused burns to her lungs, major breathing issues and massive inflammation throughout her entire body.  Because of this Bessie spent two months in the hospital on two separate occasions.  This is a painful condition for which she has been on continuous steroid treatments for the last two and a half years.

In addition to seeing her regular oncologist and medical team, Bessie has seen doctors at U of M and has also traveled to California to see specialists there as well. Another CT scan was obtained in February 2017 which sadly revealed two more liver tumors bringing the total now to four liver tumors.

On a recommendation from my father-in-law, we traveled to Illinois and met with a doctor who practices traditional Chinese medicine.  We were impressed with how smart and caring this doctor is.  Bessie started on a treatment plan for both the bone, breast, and liver tumors.  As we learned, this treatment is not covered by her insurance, but not having many options we decided to try it.  The doctor talked to us almost daily (including weekends) to make sure Bessie was not having any allergic reactions.  This treatment involves following a very strict diet and only drinking warm liquids...but after six weeks of this treatment there was a 50% reduction in her pain level and slight reduction of her liver enzymes, while they are still high, they are decreasing.  Yes!  Now we're getting somewhere and the blood tests prove it!!

We have also found a local holistic doctor who has accepted her into his program and after one treatment of Ozone Therapy her brain fog was improved and her energy level went from a 1 to a 5.  It was like we had our mom back!  This too is not covered by insurance...but it is working!  While our mom is very tired she is NOT DONE FIGHTING!  And we are fighting right along side her.  Her only bucket list items are to see her only son get married and to be able to be a grandma!

Since her diagnosis, our parents have spent almost all of their savings on medical bills, therapies and treatments. We have FINALLY found these holistic treatments and they are WORKING!!  The cost of these treatments are $400-500 per week.  This is a promising beginning for her, but we will not be able to maintain the cost of these treatments on our own for much longer.

All donations received will go directly to paying for these weekly life-saving treatments.

For those of you who know Bessie, she has always remained positive and never complained about her condition or her pain.  In fact she continues to help others even when she herself is not feeling her best, including caring for her 77 year old husband who suffers from mental illness.  We are all doing what we can to get her the best treatment possible, but we now need your help to continue giving her the best possible chance for success at beating this!

On a final note....please do not let looks deceive you.  Our mom is battling bone, liver and lymph cancer for years.  She has lost and regrown her hair, suffered from numerous surgeries, burns on her lungs from radiation, yet has stayed positive.  She doesn't "look sick", but she is fighting for her life.  Truth is that most cancer patients don't look sick until they are too far gone to be helped! How she looks on the outside does not show what is going on in the inside. We need the inside of her body to be as healthy as the outside!

Even if you are unable to donate, please leave us a comment and keep our family in your thoughts and prayers as every little bit helps.  Thank you for taking the time to read Bessie's story and share it with your friends and family.

Donations (0)

  • Nick Roncone 
    • $50 
    • 28 mos
  • Ignatios Voudoukis 
    • $100 
    • 28 mos
  • Christine Roncone 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 30 mos
  • Victoria Dallas 
    • $50 
    • 30 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Patty Hillakas 
Organizer
Saint Clair Shores, MI
Bessie Hillakas 
Beneficiary
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more