Sam's Stage IV Breast Cancer Fight

Samantha Nelson is a beautiful, vivacious, 25 year old young lady diagnosed January 2018 with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer.  She is an English teacher and cheer coach at Pikeview High School in Princeton, WV.  She is a graduate of Concord University and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Special Education there as well.  Samantha has served as both a mentor and a site supervisor for the last 6 summers for a program through West Virginia University and Americorps called Energy Express (a reading and nutrition program for elementary students in the state of WV).  Samantha has also waitressed at Macados on weekends because she thought the environment and co-workers were fun!  She is the daughter of David and Lisa Nelson (Orange, VA) and Derek Zane Snodgrass (Martinsville, VA), big sister to Hannah and Hailey Snodgrass and Kyle Nelson.  She is also the auntie to her very precious, one and only, Maddie Nelson.  

Her journey really began about a year and a half ago when she was having significant back pain.  A nodule formed on her spine.  Numerous tests/xrays/MRI's showed a fracture that several doctors and therapists dismissed as an old cheerleading injury or a developmental deformity.  Later, she found a small nodule in her breast.  Ultrasound found the nodule and they believed it to be a benign lesion.  A later follow up revealed and very slight change, still believed benign.  Within a few short months, she noticed a dimple in her left breast and called to have her next follow up done early.  As soon as the doctor saw her breast, he immediately biopsied.  There is cancer in her left breast, lymph nodes, several spots in her spine, in her arm and ribs, and two small spots in her liver.  It is HER-2 positive as well as estrogen and progesterone positive.  

Because of the spinal cord concern, the doctors have elected to begin her treatment with radiation for the spine.  She is undergoing  treatment for the HER-2 and hormone positive cells concurrently because they don't interfere with one another.  Weekly chemotherapy will take place for several weeks.  Probable future mastectomy/double mastectomy (to be determined) and additional radiation/chemotherapy. 

This is considered an incurable situation; however, treatment can prolong her quality and quantity of life greatly.  She is a fighter!  She is spunky!  She is being a cancer diva princess!  Her hashtag is:  #cancerisanexpensiveaccessory and she wears it with big hoop earrings and bright red lipstick!  (if this gives you any idea of her personality)

She wants very much to be able to continue with her passion to teach and coach; however, she has only just begun treatment and it is already wearing her down due to the extreme exaustion and side effects of the treatment.  We do have decent insurance for the time being; however, in July, she will no longer be covered by our policy as she turns 26.  Current out of pocket expenses are already at $2000 just 20 days into the new year.  New deductibles will need to be met.  Regular bills (house, electric, water, auto)  will need to be paid.  Family members have limited financial resources at this time due to taking leave of absence to aid in Sam's care.  

We know her treatment will be life long.  We are ready to fight!  We would appreciate anyone who is touched by this story and is moved to contribute what you can for the surely insurmountable future costs of fighting this horrible disease.  

Many Thanks and God Bless!
  • Charlie Thomas 
    • $50 
    • 52 mos
  • Alvin Setzepfandt 
    • $50 
    • 52 mos
  • Gian Gualco-Nelson 
    • $100 
    • 52 mos
  • Kirsten D'Onofrio  
    • $5 
    • 52 mos
  • Scott and Paula Burgess 
    • $25 
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Lisa Toler Nelson 
Orange, VA