Sylv was born in Canada and came to the US in 1994, back when Canadiansdidn't even need passports to come here and well before 9/11 complicated immigration. She came because she was offered a job speaking French for a company in Indianapolis that had won a contract in Eastern Canada, and they were going to handle her immigration paperwork. The business went under before any of that ever happened.
She spent what little she had to get here and was now stuck - being estranged from her family, she had no 'home' to go back to. She lived with friends, providing daycare while they worked, and we met online in 1996. A year later we were married.
Being disabled myself, we never had much money since she couldn't work and I had a hard time getting anyone to hire me. We were never able to file her immigration papers, and despite 18 years of marriage, she still has no legal status. Homeland Security knows she's here and has no issues with it, but neither can she be giveen any benefits or even buy insurance. Without $2k AND a sponsor making over $50k a year willing to take responsibility for her, she can't get citizenship.
Last December she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. We can only get her Emergency Medicaid, which paid for the surgery necessary to remove a 15cm tumor and a full hysterectomy, but it won't cover chemotherapy, and without it the cancer has started to return and spread.
We have chemo lined up, but we need help raising the funds to pay for it. The treatment itself isn't terribly expensive, but the booster shot that goes with it to keep her from getting sick and the PET scan needed to see if it's working are. Here's the breakdown of the three main costs for every three weeks, which needs to be repeated for a total of six rounds:
PET scan: $1600
Total: $5814 a round
That's about $30k for the full six ronds.
There are additional costs, such as placing a port to put the chemo feed into, blood tests and such, that will crop up over time.
Some of this we MAY be able to get at low or no cost, but her citizenship status makes qualifying for most programs difficult.
That's just medical costs. We may also need additional aid care since I'm disabled and won't be able to care for her when she's sick, and help covering food and bills when I can't go draw caricatures on the Strip because I might bring a bug home when her immune system is compromised. These are real concerns and side-effects of dealing with the chemo.
This is about one thing only: saving my wife's life. Every bit helps her to fight another day and beat this. With your help she can and will fight on.
Q> Why not just go back to Canada?
A> And live where? We would need to uproot and move somewhere, pay to rent a place, pay utility deposits, hire an in-home aid (as an American I won't get one in Canada) and go through all the process of getting her back in their system to be treated. I would not receive any Social Security there, either, reducing our income to zero. Treating her here is actually cheaper and easier, and most importantly, it's FASTER. She needs chemo sooner rather than later.
Q> Have you tried X foundation/program?
A> Probably! Still, feel free to offer suggestions and I'll look into them. Just understand there's avery good chance she won't qualify due to our unique situation.
Q> Are you doing anything else to try to pay for it?
A> Yes! Sylv and I are comic book creators, and we're getting some friends in the industry to auction art to help raise funds. I also draw caricatures here in Vegas and am trying to set up a new Guiness Record for drawing by mouth and want to challenge the casinos to match whatever my attempt raises. I'm also obviously putting every spare dollar I make doing caricatures into treatment as well. I am NOT just asking strangers for spare cash.