Our youngest sister, Jessica, recently informed us that she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. We were shocked because there is no immediate family history of breast cancer, she is only 35 years old and she is active and healthy. She is extremely positive about it and plans to fight it in every way she can. Jess has always been tough (read “stubborn” to older siblings) and none of us is surprised in the least by her readiness to tackle this thing head-on.
We are all quickly learning everything there is to know about breast cancer. We have become quite knowledgeable about the different types of cancer and stages as well as how to attack them. We have read about chemo, radiation, surgery, and hormone treatments. She plans to do all of them, starting with chemo. After that will come surgery, then radiation, then hormone treatments.
All of this makes us very hopeful, but it is extremely expensive. Jessica must miss work for each appointment, test, and treatment. And her doctors are telling her that she should plan to take a week off every time she has a chemo treatment, which is every 3 weeks. This is mainly unpaid leave. And she has co-pays and prescriptions to pay for as well.
We are trying to anticipate and provide for her every need, although she stubbornly insists that she is fine and we should just visit and “hang out”. It seems the only area that is beyond our reach in terms of supplying help is financial. If we could all pitch in and pay for her medical expenses we would do it in a heartbeat. But the sheer magnitude of the price tag that is attached to fighting cancer puts it out of reach for any one family.
That is why we are asking for your help. Any amount you are able to give to help our sister would be appreciated greatly. We are desperately trying to provide Jess with enough comfort and peace of mind that she can focus on the only thing she should be focusing on right now: Winning this fight.
- Shawn and Gina Brown
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