My name is Kim, and I am Diane and Paul Widmer's cousin through marriage as well as best friends of almost 30 years. Paul and Diane are from Southeastern Wisconsin for those who may donate from out of state. All the funds will be used specifically to cover medical bills, lost wages due to Diane's inability to return to work, Paul's lost wages due to being with Diane at all her appointments, treatments and caring for her and his daughter at home. I have set up this account, so all funds are automatically transfered to their account weekly that only they can access. Our intent is to be as transparent with our donors as possible. The following is Diane's story:
My name is Diane and I am 49 years old. I have been married to the love of my life, Paul, for almost 29 years. We have been blessed to have a son Jacob and a daughter Sarah.
My story begins around the middle of October 2017. I wasn't quite feeling myself. I was experiencing upper abdominal discomfort, which was persistent. After a couple weeks of this, I ended up in the emergency room at the end of October where they did a CT scan and blood work. Everything appeared okay except for a couple slightly enlarged lymph nodes. I continued to not feel well, so my doctor ordered me to have an endoscopy in November, and they discovered I had an H. Pylori infection (bacterial infection in the stomach) and some gastritis. They treated me with a course of antibiotics, which did help a little bit, but the pain continued to persist after that treatment. I was starting to have chronic acid reflux, which was making it difficult for me to sleep in my bed and found myself having to sleep in a reclining chair quite frequently. In late December, I noticed a cluster of lymph nodes in my neck had popped out, so my doctor felt it may be a good idea to have a neck CT scan and biopsy those nodes. A few days before I was scheduled to have my neck CT scan done, I had a major attack of abdominal pain on January 21st, which sent me to the emergency room. After more blood work and an ultrasound, they determined my gallbladder was the issue and noticed gallstones, which they thought were blocking my bile duct. Because of the blockage, they needed to do an endoscopy first to remove the stones and then were going to remove my gallbladder the day after as a separate procedure. However, when they did the endoscopy, they realized that it wasn't gallstones, but a growth blocking my bile duct. They also discovered my bile duct was twisted, so they had to put in a stent to keep it open. This was the point that they realized it was not my gallbladder at all, so surgery to remove my gallbladder was canceled. They did what is called a brush technique on the growth and two days later, on January 24th, we were given the devastating news that I had pancreatic cancer. In an instant our families world was turned upside down. Everything seemed to go into hyper speed. They put a port in my chest the next morning to prepare me for future chemotherapy/radiation treatments and they also biopsied the lymph nodes in my neck. I was then sent to another hospital that same afternoon to have another doctor biopsy the growth on my pancreas. Before the biopsy was performed, the doctor came in and very matter a fact said to me and my husband that I have stage 4 cancer and it is incurable. Disclaimer, I believe in a miracle working God and refused to accept his opinion. I know what I am up against, but I have seen people in my church and heard many stories of people in my situation that were healed and have lived cancer-free for many years, so I plan to fight as long and hard as it takes and only the Lord will decide His plan for my life. I was finally released to go home after 5 days in the hospital.
The reason our family decided to try a GoFundMe page was because some of our closest family felt that the burden of financial worries would only bring on more stress to an already stressful situation and wanted to help us, so we reluctantly agreed to allow them to help. As me and my husband pondered this idea, we came to the realization that mounting medical bills, my inability to return to work and my husband's desire to be with me at all my appointments, procedures, etc. would mean he would need to take time off of work without pay once his vacation/sick time ran out. We also have our daughter still at home to take care of, so we gave our family our blessing to go forward and set this up for us.
We can't tell you enough how humbling this is for us, but feel tremendously blessed by the prayers, support and generosity that so many have already shown our family through meals, gift cards, flowers, visits etc.
Because so many of you are willing to help us in our time of need, we make a commitment to you that if any funds are not needed, we will give to other charities with any leftover unused funds and pay our blessing forward to others in their time of need.
In closing, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking time to read my story and giving from your heart. We know some of you may not even know me personally, but may have heard about me through somebody else and you felt compelled to help my family. We thank you for caring.
I will continue to update the page as we know more and would appreciate continued prayer for strength and healing as we go forward. I have a PET scan on February 2nd and would ask you to pray with us for a better report.
Diane & Family
- Cheryl Rodriguez
- Kristi Dopson
- David Sustachek
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