Gina had long been planning a trip to Thailand with her Husband, Peter, and three year old son, Eli, to celebrate a milestone birth day. But on the day she planned to leave the country with her family, she was told the heartbreaking news that she had a large, cancerous mass in her chest - and on her 40th birthday, instead of celebrating with her family, she was embarking on her first day of intensive chemotherapy.
On the 16th May 2018 Gina was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage IV. She was immediately flown from Mildura to Melbourne to begin 6 months of aggressive chemotherapy. Leaving Eli behind, in the care of her family, while she and Peter began the agonising journey of an unknown end. Initially after 6 rounds of treatment, results were promising showing the tumour had shrunk and Gina was start to feel herself again. But it was on the 13th of October 2018 when they received the devastating news that the tumour had not shrunk, but instead grown considerably. Their world had shattered all over again. Their lives were on hold for a second time. Their future hung in the balance - uncertain.
This came to Gina as a devastating blow. Not just as a person, but as a mother. Peter and Gina had harboured hopes that there would still be a chance of having another child after her initial chemotherapy. But after learning that the tumour was only continuing to grow, they were told that she needed to begin chemotherapy immediately to survive - destroying their chances of ever having children again.
Gina ever so bravely commenced a second lot of intensive chemotherapy. Only this time, Gina experienced severe pain with every round of treatment. Tragically this was all to no avail, as on the 17th of December 2018 Gina was informed that treatment was not working and that the tumour was not only growing - but growing rapidly. They were running out of options. The oncologist confirmed that their only option at this point were immunotherapy trials with no guarantees. With the worst of this news being the cost. One treatment alone $6000. Which does not promise a cure, only the chance to delay the tumours growth. At this stage, the small chance Gina has of survival is Car-t Cell Therapy which costs upwards of $600,000 - a lifetime of savings.
Before her diagnosis Gina was a fit Mother, who worked as a primary school teacher in her hometown of Mildura. She is well loved not just by her large extended family but by the many people she has touched within the local community. Gina has always been a vivacious and light hearted person, radiating joy and love. No one is immune to her smile or laughter. Warmth and light follow her wherever she goes. Almost 5000 people are diagnosed with blood cancer every year in Australia. There is no question that like any battle with cancer the burden is heavy. Not only emotionally nor physically, but financially - especially for those within rural communities.
Gina is a tenacious woman, a fighter and a survivor of many things. But she is first and foremost, the mother to her 3 year old boy - Eli. A little boy that has too many years ahead of him and a father that cannot raise him on his own. Do not let money stand in the way of her survival. Donate now to save Gina.
Our boy needs his mother.