Naimo and I both share the unfortunate diagnosis of thyroid cancer that spread past our thyroids, but our stories are very different. After leaving her entire family and support system behind in Somalia due to the civil war, Naimo found herself in Ecuador where she found other Somalians and made her way up to the United States. After spending 2 months in a detention centre she was released but was forced to make her way up to Canada when ICE began ripping her friends out of their houses and sending them back to places that used to be home but are unfortunately far too dangerous for them to live in. Naimo had been feeling a little under the weather for a while but without access to health care she was forced to take an antibiotic here and there, and to try and sleep it off and feel better. After walking for 6 hours in sub-zero temperatures in February 2017, Naimo crossed into Manitoba, coughing up blood and was sent to the hospital. At the hospital she was dismissed and told it was nothing. This happened 3 more times until she finally met a doctor who listened to her. 1 month after arriving in Canada, Naimo was diagnosed with advanced thyroid cancer. Completely alone and without her family or friends, Naimo underwent a 13 hour surgery, including a tracheostomy and the removal of her thyroid and 45 lymph nodes. After surgery she had high levels of radioiodine therapy, and external beam radiation that left permanent scarring on her neck. During all of this, Naimo went on to complete her GED but was told at a follow-up with her oncologist that she did not respond completely to treatment and that her tumour markers are still high. Naimo has now been advised to seek a second opinion in Toronto at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
Naimo still has three months left on her lease to pay, and can't afford to break her contract. She has a friend in Toronto who has said there is a room waiting for her -- she just needs to get down here. Please help me get Naimo to Toronto so that she can see the amazing doctors at the head and neck clinic at PMH. Naimo is my sister and my friend. My life is richer with her in it, and if you met her, yours would be too. She exudes warmth and is a hilarious and smart woman. Please donate whatever you can.
P.S. As per request by GoFundMe I am required to mention that I am Marcia Wickett and I live in Toronto, Canada. Naimo is my friend. The funds will be spent to help her pay for her rent in Winnipeg before she leaves and in Toronto when she arrives as well as cabs to get from West Toronto to Princess Margaret Hospital, and to pay for food and any medications/treatments not covered by OHIP. The plan is to withdraw the funds once we reach our goal and give them directly to Naimo so she can use them. Thank you.
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