My brother, Kenneth Masaganda, and his wife, Girlie, were living a full and happy life until just a few months ago.
Kenneth is a US Navy veteran who had served for four years of active duty and an additional four years in the Navy reserve. He married his college sweetheart, Girlie. They have two beautiful children, a 6 year-old daughter, Dominique Antoinette, and a 2 year-old son, Kenneth Ryan. In July, 2017, Girlie received news that would drastically change her life and the lives of her family.
Earlier this year, Girlie began to experience episodes of back pain. She pushed through the pain as she was busy raising her two young children while Kenneth worked two jobs. However, the episodes of pain became more frequent and severe, and she was finally forced to have it examined. The worst possible outcome was realized when she was diagnosed at the age of 43 with stage IV breast cancer with metastatic lesions in the ribs and spine. Further scans showed that the cancer had also spread to the liver and lungs.
Over the next couple of months, Girlie experienced progressive worsening of pain and disability in her upper and lower back. The rib pain made it difficult to breathe, and one of the vertebrae in her lumbar spine was fractured. Her body was wracked with muscle spasms every time she tried to sit up or move. Only after a course of radiation and several chemotherapy sessions has she been able to get any measure of relief. Along with the pain she continues to endure from her illness, she suffers from the side effects of her treatments, including haziness from the pain and spasm medications, nausea from the chemotherapy and mental, emotional and physical exhaustion.
Needless to say, her whole family has suffered greatly due to the cancer. She can neither drive herself to the many doctors’ appointments nor take care of the children. Kenneth, who had already been working two jobs, struggles to maintain the family income while taking multiple days off to care for his wife and children. Even with help from his immediate family, he continues to be overwhelmed by the cost of endless medical bills, the house mortgage, utilities, food, clothing and school supplies for the children and countless other necessities.
Prior to July 2017, Girlie and Kenneth led a joy-filled life with their children which they worked hard to maintain. But after Girlie’s cancer diagnosis, their life has become a constant struggle just to keep going, just to make it to the next day, and to make sure the children are cared for. At the same time, the despair of her terminal diagnosis hangs over their heads at every moment.
Please help my sister in law Girlie and her family ease some of their burden. We hope to raise at least $20,000 to aid in medical and living expenses, so any contribution is appreciated.
Thank you very much for reading. Please remember them in your prayers and spread the word to a few people you'd like to share their story with.
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