In January of 2017, after a year-long cancer battle and the much-anticipated completion of chemotherapy treatments for ovarian cancer, they learned Mary’s disease was not, in actuality, ovarian cancer, but instead stage 4 of the very rare small bowel cancer. The tumors returned with a vengeance and doctors gave her a grim prognosis. In addition, both Jonathan and Mary met job changes and were struggling with the financial burden of treatment. Still, they pushed through each day, working to maintain normalcy for their three beautiful children. They knew the comfort of daily routine would provide the children with vital stability in the midst of difficult, uncertain times.
A few short weeks ago, another trip to MD Anderson revealed the lower dosage chemotherapy had failed to halt the cancer growth. While this news was devastating, Mary was committed to fighting harder than ever, submitting herself to a higher dosage chemo in preparation for entering a trial in March. Mary and Jonathan knew 2018 would be their most challenging year yet, but they dug in, prepared to battle and continue to provide consistency and normalcy for the children.
Just days after the devastating news from Mary’s doctors, and despite facing a more aggressive chemo regimen, Mary flew to Las Vegas for work (yes, she is STILL working). Two days later, Tuesday morning, January 9th, Jonathan woke in the family’s Montecito home to the sound of pounding rain and rushing mud. Before he recognized the enormity of the situation, mud, rocks, and debris were hitting and filling their home. He woke the children and rushed them to safety, but not before pulling an injured, terrified stranger from the mudflow, covering him with a blanket and ensuring he received medical attention.
It’s hard to fathom how much this sweet family has endured over the last 2 years. They are grateful for their lives and are grieving the loss of friends and neighbors who weren’t as lucky. Their home is red-tagged and contractors estimate repairs will take at least 16 months. In the meantime, Mary endures the aggressive chemotherapy regimen, frequent hospital visits, and constant pain and nausea. She is still working, as is Jonathan, as they continue to prioritize their children.
Surrounding all of this is an underlying financial burden as the bills accumulate with increasing speed. Between medical costs and the many expenses not covered by insurance, the financial demands are overwhelming. In addition to all of this, there will be out of pocket costs associated with Mary’s trial in Houston (travel, housing, transportation, etc…).
This fund is established to help their family, friends, and community stand in the gap for this beautiful family, so they can focus solely on their children and Mary’s fight. ANY amount is appreciated and will go toward replacing all they have lost, providing for the children, and helping cover medical expenses as well. Thank you for your generosity!
- Beth Dinowitz
- George Carens
- Alex Eastman
- Steven Sturm
- Susan & Larry Fisher
Organizer and beneficiary
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