(Disclaimer: I found writing this gofundme to be very emotional and I struggled to be concise, so thanks for taking the time to read my ramble.)
My name is Magna Elmendorf and I'm reaching out because my fabulous sister, Michelle Latham, needs our help. Michelle recently went to the ER due to massive hemorrhaging and very severe edema. Among other things, she was down 5 pints of blood. Yes, I realize most people would be dead after losing 70% of their blood, but most who know her have figured out that Michelle not your average person. She survived.
She may be a near medical miracle in this case, but it winds up Michelle was diagnosed with stage 3B cervical carcinoma (a type of cancer), which for her includes a nearly 11 cm, grapefruit sized tumor sitting at the top of her cervix and pressing into her abdomen. At this point the cancer has spread into her bladder and the lymph nodes closest to her uterus as well as the area in her pelvis surrounding the tumor, but has not metastasized to other parts of her body. Because of the tumor's size and the fact it's wrapped around the other organs, it's inoperable. The radiation treatments are going to do all of the work to get rid of the tumor, along with weekly chemotherapy which will act as a "booster".
While she is fortunate to have medical insurance, the cost of fighting cancer is still expensive. Michelle is going into treatment on July 19th with a physical deficit -- a number of her bodily functions have been compromised as so much of her body's energy has gone to fighting cancer. That said, between the treatment and rebuilding her health, it's become clear that she will not be able to return to work through the rest of this year at the very least.
The goal is to raise $30k to help Michelle with her medical and related expenses while she fights cervical cancer -- so that she doesn't have another thing worry about. Stress is not anyone's friend, especially when they're fighting cancer, and we want to alleviate any stresses we can for her so that she can focus on her recovery.
Michelle is one of the strongest people I know. I picked the photo of her filming on location because I think it represents the powerful woman that she is -- one who thrives when she's in control. And the only way for Michelle to get control over this cancer is to give up her control, in this case to her trusted medical and oncology teams. This is a lot of trust to give blindly, but she has assembled a stellar team of oncologists at Cedars Sinai and we feel very good about them.
My sister is badass! Michelle is a beautiful human being , the best sister and friend I could ask for, a savior to the countless creatures she's fostered and owned, a mentor to numerous colleagues and friends, one of the funniest people I know -- and this is just the tip of the complimentary iceberg. You can bet that her wicked humor will be present during the treatment process (google brachytherapy for a sick laugh, her final treatment, which sounds downright barbaric), but we all know that cancer is no joke. F*ck cancer...and here's to Michelle's successful treatment!
And thanks again, in advance, for your time and support. It means a lot to me but it will mean more to Michelle. And she's what matters most right now.
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