On behalf of my family, I am coming forward to tell the story of my mother’s battle against Lupus and now Stomach Cancer. My mother, Laura O’Hanlon, is a strong, beautiful and proud woman. She started her life in a small city in Mexico and moved to the U.S., where she raised 5 girls with my father and now lovingly helps raise 8 beautiful grandchildren.
I remember as an adolescent, seeing our mom in strange discomfort and fatigue. Slowly these symptoms became stronger and new symptoms began to arise. Just over 14 years ago, she suffered from an attack of constant debilitating pain. It was soon discovered that she had Lupus. The mother of five daughters, she adapted and took a “show must go on” attitude and she told herself that she would be fine. All who have met Laura knows that she is full of life, and she’s as stubborn as an ox, even a chronic disease would not keep her down. As our family learned more about Lupus, we all thought that with proper medical attention, the Lupus symptoms could be kept under control. Sadly, that was not the case.
For years, the Lupus remained persistent. As time went on the pain and discomfort became a normal aspect of our mom’s life. So when my mother started to feel more severe pain throughout her abdomen, we would all account it to Lupus. We did not imagine it could be much worse.
The past year our mom has been in the ER multiple times, known to be a Lupus patient, she would be treated as such, given some meds and sent home. At the end of June, she was hospitalized yet again, left in such severe agony that she could not leave the hospital without more answers. An endoscopy revealed cancer in her stomach. A moment we will never forget. After a recent surgical procedure to examine the extent of the disease, we have been informed the cancer is stage 4, “terminal”. This unbearable news has shocked and distressed our family, but we will not give up. Traditional medicine has given us no other option than to seek out alternative care. The doctors at UCSF, a leading hospital in cancer treatment, have made it clear that her chance of survival is dependent on her lifestyle choices from here on out. Many cancer treatment options have shown to prolong the lives of cancer patients, and even cure in some cases. Our family has all come together in the purpose of finding the best healthcare for our beloved mom, grandma, wife, and friend. We have started her on treatments that have shown to aid in the fight against this horrible disease, but more is desperately needed.
We are now humbly asking for the help of all of our friends and family. We believe an immersive treatment—basically an integrative cancer boot camp—could help Laura’s fight. These camps fight the disease by building up the patient’s immune system, making the patient stronger, detoxified, then using some traditional treatment (light insulin-directed chemotherapy), and finishing the program rebuilding the immune system and the patient’s physical strength. The treatment would be 8 weeks long and takes place in Arizona.
We ask you all kindly, to please help Laura through this battle. Whether by donation, thoughts, or prayers. We appreciate any support. We intend on sharing the details and progress of Laura’s experiences, in hopes of helping and encouraging those of you who may be dealing with similar situations. There are more options out there. Please help us with our war on cancer as we strive to find answers, not only for our mom, but for all families and individuals battling this horrible disease.
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