Charmaine's Fight Against Leukemia

In May 2018, our Mom, Charmaine was diagnosed with aggressive Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). Immediate treatment is vital to her survival. Without it, the prognosis given is one year. This diagnosis has hit our family like a ton of bricks. We can’t imagine our future without her and we ask you to join us in helping our Mom fight this awful disease so that we can get our Mom back. We need her!

Mom is the true definition of a fighter. She has faced a lot of adversity in her life. In 1989, we moved from South Africa to Los Angeles. She left behind her Mom; my grandmother, her brothers and sisters, and her daughter and grandchildren. This drastically changed the structure of our family, our support system. She also experienced devastating divorce, raised three kids on her own, and started over more times than we can count. To add insult to injury, exactly a year ago to the day that Mom was diagnosed, she lost her husband to colorectal cancer. A year ago, she planned a funeral and today she is faced with her own mortality. 

With most of our friends and family half way around the globe, this has put a lot of strain on her son and daughter (Jaco and Margaux) in the U.S. who have had to adopt the role of her primary caregivers. Due to financial constraints her daughter (Natasha) who lives in South Africa, is unable to be with us.

How you can help.

We’re here to ask each of you to consider donating to our Mom’s fight. She has to take a year off from life, to fight for her life. While she currently has medical insurance, it does not begin to cover all the expenses. Due to this diagnosis, Mom has experienced a significant loss of income and has had to move out of her current home and is living with her son and daughter.

Each week has been filled with numerous doctors’ visits for blood work, transfusions, chemotherapy, and bone marrow biopsies. Margaux has accompanied her to all visits, resulting in her loss of employment. Given that she has been the only full-time caregiver and will continue to be throughout the duration of treatment and month long recovery after discharge, Margaux’s loss of income is also having an impact.

The funds you donate will help pay for the following:

·       Medical expenses including medications not covered by insurance
·       Hospitalization (Our Mom will be in the hospital for one month or more and has already been hospitalized several times due to complications)
·       One-month accommodation in a sterile environment within 2 miles of UCLA Hospital (Westwood, CA) after discharge.
·       Transportation/travel to/from treatment center/hospital
·       Home health care provider
·       Loss of income
·       Moving expenses

No donation is too small. Margaux has created a blog to keep everyone updated on our Mom’s fight against this disease. Please join us on this journey at 

A few of you have already generously offered to be a bone marrow donor. We are happy to announce that a matching donor has been found. It is with immense gratitude that we thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all of your love and suppo
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Organizer and beneficiary

Margaux Hutchinson 
Los Angeles, CA
Charmaine Duncan