Kathleen is an elementary school art teacher and mother of three daughters. In April 2017, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called uterine leiomyosarcoma (LMS) while undergoing routine surgery for fibroids. Only about 6 out of one million women are diagnosed with this cancer in the U.S. annually. It is almost always found by chance during surgery to remove what are thought to be benign fibroids. There are usually no specific signs or symptoms, and because it is so rare there are few treatments available.
After surgery, Kathleen started chemotherapy. Unfortunately, she was allergic to the chemo and had a severe anaphylactic reaction as well as acute infections that caused her to be hospitalized in critical care, and the treatment had to be stopped.
In November 2017, the cancer recurred in her pelvis and in her IVC (the big vein that goes from the lower body to the heart). She underwent 25 rounds of pelvic and abdominal radiation therapy. Since then, we have been waiting and watching to see if the tumors would shrink. However, we just received bad news. There are three tumors that have enlarged in her pelvis and metastasis to the lungs.
This cancer can be aggressive and the chemotherapies available are not considered curative, they only hope to shrink tumors and buy more time. At this point, the doctor is recommending chemotherapy, but the response rate is only around 30% -- not particularly good odds.
The first thing we need is prayer. Please pray that God would intervene and heal Kathleen from this horrible disease. Please pray for her family. Her daughters are 15, 18 and 20. Her youngest is just entering 10th grade.
The second thing we need is financial help. After researching the options and talking with people who have been treated for cancer outside of the U.S., Kathleen has decided to go for a 3-week inpatient stay at an integrative cancer clinic in Mexico. This facility has been highly recommended for the comprehensive range of treatments available there. Because her previous chemotherapy was so poorly tolerated, we want to explore all options available before we commit to more chemotherapy.
Kathleen needs treatment immediately. Treatment, travel and follow-up will cost approximately $50,000. That’s a lot of money. But, to put it in perspective, every dose of Taxotere (the chemotherapy drug she was given that caused the anaphylactic reaction) cost $17,000. And while we had insurance coverage to help pay for it, the chemo didn’t work, it just made her very sick.
One of the problems with sarcoma cancers and chemotherapy is that sarcomas become chemo-resistant and new recurrences require new drugs. Because the cancer is so rare, there are few drugs available. Chemotherapy also doesn’t target the cancer stem cells, so while it may shrink tumors, the stem cells that originate the cancer are not killed.
Nothing is impossible with God. The circumstances are dire, but we are looking to God every step of the way. We feel that this is the next step. Kathleen wants to be healed. She wants to see her youngest daughter graduate from high school, and see her girls grow up. Please pray for wisdom and guidance. Please pray for healing. And, if you are able, please donate. We look to God to see what miracle He will provide!
Thank you and blessings to you,
The McFall Family
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