Breast Cancer Treatment for Nadine

My name is Nadine Fernandez. I’m 32, and I have breast cancer. My first reaction to feeling a hard lump in my breast was “this is just a cyst.” After being tested and biopsied, my diagnosis was confirmed, and treatment had to start right away.

I’ve been lucky to have incredible people offering me support and guidance to get care. I am currently undergoing treatment at Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards, Colorado. As a result of being young and the kind of cancer I have, my treatment must be very aggressive: I will undergo several months of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, likely followed by hormonal therapy and possibly more chemotherapy.

I did things right and purchased private insurance a while back, but it was completely useless as it didn’t even cover the initial doctor-ordered biopsy. I also don’t qualify for Medicaid because I need a minimum of 5 years of residency in the country and I have only been here for 4. While the staff at Shaw have been incredible, they have not sugar-coated the cost of my treatment which is likely to be in the $200,000 to $250,000 range. I’m now having to pay completely out of pocket with a life-threatening disease and massive bills that keep accumulating in my mailbox.

I feel powerless and hopeless saying this, but the treatment to save my life has a cost I can't afford on my own. I need your support.

I live in Aspen, Colorado because I’m in love with this community and the mountains are a source of strength and inspiration for me. I’m originally from Patagonia, Argentina, where the entirety of my family lives. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started Argentina’s borders are closed, and it is impossible for my parents to be here with me during the most challenging moment of our lives.

I’m starting this GoFundMe because all the wonderful people in my life have asked how they can help, and for this I can never adequately express my gratitude. If you are someone I know you understand how hard it is for me to ask for help and how I’ve always tried to be independent and test myself against the world. In this case, the world has knocked me out, and I need your help to get back on my feet. I can’t do this alone.

Thank you for reading all this. I know with everything going on right now this just seems like one more bad thing. Yes, cancer sucks, and the things my body will endure to recover are beyond my imagination. Yet this disease has also shown me something: I’m now part of this circle of patients, survivors, caregivers, nurses, etc., this “cancer fraternity” who are here to help me, a stranger, with an open heart only because I’m suffering. It is because of their strength that I believe I have a chance. I hope to count on your help so I can continue bringing my own version of hope and joy to those around me, but also so I can serve this cause too. I want to get better so I can give back all the love and support I’m receiving from this fraternity, this powerful source of hope and love, to anyone who is forced to walk in my shoes in the future.

Life is hard for many people and life is hard for me right now, but I’m holding on tight because LIFE IS ALSO BEAUTIFUL and no matter what happens, if there’s one universal truth among us, is that when we work together things get better faster. I'm grateful for all the amazing people here in Aspen who have stepped up to become my family during this challenging time.

Thank you.
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Organizer

Nadine Fernandez 
Organizer
Aspen, CO
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