Today is Monday, August, 25, 2014 and my niece Dana is now with Sam... Dana is the daughter of my sister Helen who is fighting this fight with us from heaven... Mem needed to return home to attend to some important business matters....Sam is scheduled for a biopsy on Wednesday August 27, 2014, however, we do not know what time and we do not know this because there are certain things Sam has chosen not to talk about, and we respect that. Sam is not a number, she is not a statistic, she is not a success story, she is a person with a family, a husband, a daughter, a grandson, a life, a career, a reason to live. What we do know is that we need everyone's continued prayers. This is a source of tremendous strength for Sam and we are focusing on all the positives, that the results of the biopsy will result in a remission and mean that she can move forward with the bone marrow transplant as long as that is what Sam's choice will be... and Sam we are respecting your choice.
So many people are really coming forward to help spread Sam's story...
This Is from a graduate colleague after an amazing interest in wanting to do more to help Sam... so I suggested some avenues...she writes...
I believe many of you know Sam from grad school. She is in the fight of her life right now! She's been admitted to Moffitt Hospital with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) . She was diagnosed with this aggressive cancer in Mid July and went to Lee Memorial Hospital. She underwent several aggressive rounds of chemotherapy which failed to eradicate one rouge cancer cell - hence her journey to Moffitt where she is undergoing more chemo and trying to gain strength for a possible bone marrow transplant.
Your prayers would be greatly appreciated!! And if you are able, there is an effort to raise funds to help with the enormous expense her and her family are experiencing. This link will bring you to a Gofundme page where you can donate and follow Sam's progress. http://www.gofundme.com/brl2so
I know that I do not have all of Sam's classmates emails here, so please forward this to anyone you feel will remember this incredibly kind woman!
This, of course, deserves to be repeated...and for those who have just joined us...
Today is August 21, 2014, This is from Jim, Sam's Husband
Many of Sam's clients and friends know her as a caring and loving person.Sam always had the extra moments and words of comfort that left them with a feeling of calm in their lives.
As someone closest to her, as someone who shared in her daily travels,(although Sam was much too modest) I would like folks to know some history and what was involved in her daily life.
Before completing the necessary education to become a professional Sam was known as a good listener by family and friends.Her concern for others always present.
Sam worked to pursue her education as a psychotherapist and social worker at Florida Gulf Coast University.Later to become licensed by the state of Florida and continued on to be certified in grief counseling.
Organizations that Sam worked with here in Florida:
ACT shelter for abused women
Children's Advocacy Center (abused children and family's )
Children's Medical Service, Early Steps ( evaluating infant to 3 years ) counseling parents of children with medical needs.
Sanibel Community Church ( therapy,grief counseling )
Private Practice ( psychotherapy )
Sam's passion is working with family's.Her travels led her to affluent neighborhoods and to areas of the very needy.Unfortunately family's with children in need may no longer be eligible for services once the child reaches age three. Sam continued providing assistance to many family's receiving no compensation for her time.Often inroute stopping for diapers or a gift for a child.When there were trials involving child abuse Sam would take the time to accompany the child and family.
Material goals and life style were never a priority in Sam's vision.
I hope this helps to draw a picture of Sam's day to day and what motivates her to continue to help others.
IT IS INDEED A TREASURE TO SHARE!
We are all taught this when we are children, to share that special toy with our friend and reluctantly we do it...and do we remember the good feeling inside at the delight on our friends face while they played with that special toy?
My hope is that each and every one of you have experienced that good feeling for sharing with Sam and her family. Sharing is in each and every one of us, and sometimes we just need prayer and God's help to make it happen and when it does it is a beautiful and incredibly meaningful gift for the giver and the receiver.
Ashley, Sam's daughter, has a strong faith and an even stronger belief in sharing. She is amazed by the number of friends, family and people who are unknown to her, who have come together to share in the burden that is facing her family. She knows they have a long way to go, but she feels so blessed and hopeful that this sharing will continue As the journey of her Mom continues, she hopes that the prayers will not stop because they are the most important of all and she would ask that the link http://www.gofundme.com/brl2so is shared among friends.
God Bless Everyone
Agnes Comeau Brand and Family
Sarah Freck whose maiden name is Comeau, is originally from Collingswood New Jersey. Once again, because of all of our great friends, we have been encouraged to include this information as a way of identifying Sarah (Sam) so that more people begin to make the connection. Yes, that is correct, she is one of the six Comeau girls who lived on Knight Avenue and went to Collingswood High school and belonged to St John's Parish. the rest of the sisters are from oldest to youngest: Marianne, Helen, Agnes, Sarah (SAM), Terry, and Michele. Thank you for caring enough to bring this to my attention so that Sam would get more attention which is what she needs, especially now! We are hoping to reach family who have moved away and may not be aware of Sam (Sarah's) illness.
She is facing another 4 weeks of intensive chemotherapy and her family is doing everything they can do to handle things without her income. Again, we are truly grateful to all of the gifts that have been received on Sam's behalf. They have help immensely. But it is a long road that they are facing.
Many of you have read this, but many friends have been added and so we are circulating this again with the hope of getting the word out there for Sarah, aka SAM , and her family. Our sister Sarah ,aka SAM, was diagnosed with a rare AMLeukemia on June 25, 2014 and underwent extensive chemotherapy. At the time she was diagnosed, she was 80% leukemic cell which meant she had about 2 weeks 2 survive unless she began chemo immediately. One minute she was taking a shower and the next minute he life was not her own. This type of cancer, we were to find out is not genetic, but a cancer brought on by stress, with no real symptoms, until, it is almost too late. None of us were able to see her because her treatment needed to begin immediately. My younger sister Michele, has been with her 24/7 since this began, and needless to say, the stress she has experienced and witnessing what Sarah ,aka SAM, has endured cannot even be put into words. Sarah, aka SAM, has a husband, a daughter and a very young grandson. Sarah, aka SAM ,has spent much of her career doing for others as a case worker helping those who were unable to speak for themselves. She has been successful helping starving children receive food and very sick children receive medicine when there was no hope. She has worked in some of the most hopeless of conditions and yet somehow brought hope to those she came in contact with. Now Sarah ,aka SAM, is in need of prayers, hope and help.
Sarah, aka SAM, was the primary earner and now she is unable to work. They all live in Florida and the rest of us live in NJ and PA. Unfortunately, on July 14, Sarah ,aka SAM, was told that the chemo therapy did not work and her prognosis was not good. There is a rogue cell that is very aggressive and is inhibiting her cells from regenerating her cells, and at best she might have 2 months as another round of chemo would be very risky and may not work. The other option was to transfer her to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa Florida, however, that too, carries a great risk. She has great faith and for two days she was leaning towards Palliative Care, however, on Wednesday July 16, Sarah, aka SAM, got this feeling that she should try and fight and so she is gong to Moffitt which is 2 1/2 hours from her family who will need to travel to be with her and find accomodations which will be costly in addition to the already mounting medical bills and other household bills. We are hoping that her stay at Moffitt will prepare her and strengthen her for a bone marrow transplant which will present another flood of financial issues. My sister Michele, who left her family in NJ has also been unable to work, but feels that Sarah, aka SAM ,needs her, which is what sisters do, to be with Sarah, aka SAM, and will stay on with her because my sister Sarah aka SAM is highly compromised at this point is susceptible to infections which is why she is not allowed to see anyone or touch anyone. Michele is providing a sense of family and comfort and healing. We, her other sisters, family and friends, are helping as best we can from a distance, but we could sure use some additional help. We appreciate that everyone has experienced their own certain hardships and we respect that, but if there is any way you can help, or if you know of anyone who can help us to help them financially, to ease this part of what they are experiencing, I know my sister and her family, actually all of us would be very grateful. God is looking out for her and we are really trying to do our part. By the way, in case you got tired of reading all of the Sarah, aka Sam, I, her sister Agnes, have always called her Sarah. It seems that most everyone else, except the people who are associated with me know her as Sam -so someone suggested that I should make reference to both names. ( however, she will always be Sarah to me :)) Thank you for taking the time to read this and God Bless You for your Prayers and support. Agnes Comeau Brand and Family.
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