Mel is a daughter, sister, business owner, world traveler, mental health advocate.
She is the kind of person who makes everyone she meet, feel comfortable and heard.
This campaign is organised by Mel's closest friends Jay, Premi, Peach, Lyna, Kriss and her partner, Rackley. Below is an account from Rackley's point of view:
- - - - -Mel is the love of my life,
and at the end of September, an unimaginable nightmare begun:Mel has leukemia
At 29 years old, she was happily skiing only a week before the diagnosis.
We have made it through the first round of chemo, but there is still two more to go before she can get the lifesaving bone marrow transplant.
This could happen to any of us and I'm still in shock that it's happening to my Mel. I can't count the tears we have cried. We are heartbroken, and scared.We are afraid we won't be able to afford the treatment that can save her life. Hear how much Mel means to her friends around the world:
Here's how a sore throat turned to cancer and chemo within 3 days:September 28, 2019
For the past week Mel had been battling fevers and a sore throat. We'd gotten antibiotics from our local doctor, but it did nothing to reduce her pain or swelling. So just before midnight, we jumped into the car and drove the 45 minutes to the hospital in the hope we could reduce her pain.
We waited four hours when we got there because they thought it was a sore throat. They gave her medication and she threw up immediately. They opened an IV line and by chance took a blood test. If she hadn’t thrown up, they wouldn’t have taken a blood test and would have sent us home.
An hour later, they said someone would come speak to us about the results. They moved us to a private room and wheeled Mel in on her bed.September 29, 2019Sunday morning:
At 8:30am a doctor came and told us the worst: Mel has acute myeloid leukemia.
Her white blood cell producers are rapidly growing and replacing the healthy cells in her body, killing the other important blood producers in her bone marrow.
Her white blood cell count was 171, a normal and healthy count is 4-10.
Her body has malfunctioned and is killing her.
Within a few hours, they took Mel into intensive care, inserted a tube through the vein in her neck to take blood from her heart, they put it through a machine to seperate out some of the white blood cells before returning the rest into her body. This was a quick fix to buy us some time before we could start the chemotherapy.October 1, 2019
He received a plasma transfusion to prepare for chemo. A slightly itchy neck turned into hives all over her body and excruciating pain in her stomach, her blood pressure dropped dangerously low.
The transfusion gave her body an allergic reaction that could have killed her. Five doctors and a room full of nurses worked on her desperately. They gave her high strength painkillers and antihistamines (Fentanyl and Phenergan) to stop the reaction and the crippling pain she was experiencing.
She fought, survived and spent the rest of the day passed out from the drugs they had to give her.Tuesday night:
Chemo started once they knew she wasn’t going to die and her body had calmed down. Chemo treatment happens twice a day. It’s exhausting and is killing her immune system.
Chemo kills cancer along with your body in an attempt to try save it. Now she’s going from a massive white blood cell count to zero. These are the good cells that give your body an immune system.
In the next few weeks we expect fever, vomiting, hair loss, fatigues, mouth sores, and her body is susceptible to all kinds of infections.
- - - - -Current situation:
She has finished her first round of chemo, and the specialist said she has handled it exceptionally.
My Mel has so much fight.
Next we have to fly her back to Singapore where she will continue with the next two rounds of chemotherapy while we hope to find a matching donor for the bone marrow transplant.
Then we wait, with luck she will be out after 3 months of recovery, it's a long process and the risk of host vs graft disease is really scary for Melissa.
- - - - -We need your support:
Mel had been visiting me in New Zealand to meet my family for the first time. She doesn’t qualify for medical coverage here and at $85,000, the first round of chemotherapy has used the majority of her insurance.
We need help to pay for her upcoming medical bills.
Over the next 6 months we have a daunting process of treatments, hospitalisation and waiting to see if we have beaten it, these things are gripping her with fear, while I am anxious about how we are going to pay these costs to keep her alive.Mel is fighting to stay alive. Help us fight for her.
With much love,
Rackley & Mel's family & friends - - - - -
Donations are charged in USD, and as Jay is a US citizen, he will be collecting the donations under his name for direct transfer to Mel. He is Mel's best friend and has been a great support to Mel throughout the leukemia as well as the years before.