A few years ago, my mother gave my sister and myself the 23 and me gene test. We both spit into a tube and waited anxiously to see our family heritage and traits. We would never have thought it would lead my sister into finding she had a very high chance of getting Breast Cancer. After meeting with her OBGYN and having a simple blood test, she found out she was positive for the BRCA-1 gene. The BRCA-1 gene means that you have a mutation in one of the breast cancer genes. With yearly mammograms, my sister was at ease, but during one of her more recent mammograms her doctor noticed abnormalities. Cindy was sent to an Oncologist, and ultimately given a 90% chance of developing breast cancer.
Her doctor gave her a few options to choose from, but ultimately her breasts being removed would be the solution. Due to my sister’s ongoing health issues, including Ankylosing Spondylitis, L4 and L5 fused disks, psoriatic arthritis, asthma, uveitis, being prone to pericarditis, Crohn’s disease, bivalve bicuspid and hemochromatosis there was no way her body would be able to fight off Breast Cancer and with that, she made the decision to have a prophylactic two step bi-lateral mastectomy.
On February 28th my sister underwent her second surgery. Unfortunately, her plastic surgeon was not able to complete her reconstruction surgery at that time and she will have to under go a third surgery to have her implants put in.
The first thing Cindy said to us when she woke up from her second surgery was “I can’t afford anther surgery.” It was heart breaking to us. That should not be the first thing she’s worried about during this difficult journey, however, Cindy’s insurance is only willing to pay 60-80% of her surgical costs all based on the exact procedures performed and what is found. Which leaves everything else on her shoulders. The typical cost for this procedure usually ends somewhere between $15,000-$55,000. Unfortunately, no federal laws require insurance providers to cover a prophylactic mastectomy despite her high risk of getting this horrible disease.
I am asking you to please consider donating to my sister’s medical expenses and I sincerely thank you for any donation you can give.
Melissa DeLillo (Cindy's sister)
- Pamela Brown
- Heather Linardos
- Joan Williams
- Melissa Mathieson
- Susan Brown
Organizer and beneficiary
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