Connie's Medical & Living Expenses

Connie has Stage 4 Melanoma which has metastasized and is, so far, inoperable. She did not respond at all to four rounds of Immunotherapy (4 treatments is all that is allowed) and then moved to Targeted Pill Therapy. Targeted pill therapy is used when there is a specific mutation in the cancer. Connie has BRAF mutation, which is present in 40% of melonoma. There are a few problems with Targeted Pill Therapy...1) The side effects are so severe that most people cannot withstand treatment 2)  Your body stops responding to the inhibitors in a short period of time (4 - 6 months); and 3) the cancer mutates again so the treatment doesn't work....usually within 4 - 6 months.

Because Connie didn't respond to the Immunotherapy, she has no "Maintenance Plan" to fall back on. Meaning, if we can't get this tumor shrunk enough to have a surgical option, there isn't really anything that can be done .... other than clinical trials. 

Connie started the Targeted Pill Therapy in early December and has not been able to withstand the side-effects.  This is the 2nd time she has had to stop treatment in this short time. She can't even walk when she is on the treatment. It literally cripples her. She can't eat. She is in constant pain. Her body aches and she is hunched over. Always nauseous...started with vomiting but only dry heaves as treatment progressed. 

Connie has been being treated locally but being overseen by the professionals at Sloan-Kettering. Tomorrow we have another scan and then appointment with the surgeon, Dr. Charlotte Ariyan.  We met Dr. Ariyan for the first time in August and I'll never forget that visit because Connie said to her "You are the first one that has given me any hope" and they hugged and cried. Unfortunately Connie wasn't a candidate for surgery at that time and hasn't been since.

So tomorrow we are hoping and praying for a Christmas Miracle.

Connie grew up in Ravena, NY. It is a small but strong community. She married the "man" (he was 5 years older than us) that she fell in love with while she was in high school (he already graduated) and had two beautiful daughters. The marriage didn't last but not for lack of hope and effort on Connie's part. She fell in love again a number of years later and I'm happiest about that because my goddaughter came of that love. She still lives in Ravena, raised her 3 girls there, almost all of it as a single parent. Connie put herself through nursing school as a single parent of two little girls. She is still my hero over that. I mean, I was her best friend in high school. Math just wasn't her thing. Neither was blood & gore. And here she is with a 26+year career at Albany Med. And she has a lot of special skills. Mostly I can't describe without gagging because they involve her work and putting needles in and such. My stomach isn't the strongest and I can say I have actually vomitted just hearing her describe something to me! But her other special skills include being one of the most genunine people I  have ever known. So real. She is the soft and comfy part of my heart and life. 

I have put a goal amount of $27,000 (yikes!) because Connie's monthly expenses with the medical bills exceed $4,500 per month. Six months at $4,500 = $27,000. I am hoping the little bit of disabilty she will eventually receive will cover the amount over the $4,500. 

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for considering to help my friend. 

Please share, share, share this message if you feel comfortable doing so. I realize I have set a big goal. To me, this is a 6 month goal (not really but in order to compartamentilize my emotions) ....a six month life goal for Connie.  Thank you so much. 
  • Mary Brockbank 
    • $400 
    • 46 mos
  • Lisa Sutton 
    • $30 
    • 46 mos
  • Ellen Gilhooley 
    • $25 
    • 47 mos
  • Wolfgang&Francine Kurth 
    • $100 
    • 47 mos
  • Michael Fitzsimmons 
    • $35 
    • 47 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Audrey Toussaint 
Clifton Park, NY
Connie Bridgeford 
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