My name is Hannah Messer; I am 23 years old and a recent Arizona State graduate living in the sunny, beautiful state of Arizona. Just as I was starting to embark on a career and work towards my dreams, my life was flipped upside down. On March 10th I was diagnosed with stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma. Never in this lifetime would I ever imagine my life unraveling the way it has in the past few months. I can not put into words the helplessness one feels when they are diagnosed with cancer. Everything I thought I knew about where my life would be or who I would become has forever changed.
As you may have guessed, living an active, or even normal life is difficult to do while fighting cancer. Most days I am exhausted by the simplest of tasks like running errands, cleaning or even doing laundry. Due to my low energy levels, I have been unable to work consistently, which has caused me to fall into financial trouble. As expected, medical bills continue to add up and will continue to do so even when I am cancer free, especially due to medical expenses not covered by my insurance. On top of the already growing medical debt, my everyday expenses and bills such as rent, utilities, car insurance, and groceries don't stop coming. I also went through an expensive egg retrieval procedure (not covered by insurance) to guarantee a chance for me to have children someday. Fortunately my family and friends pulled to together and managed to help me take care of this procedure, but it's just one in a long line of expensive necessities.
Asking for financial assistance is not an easy task. I have spent several months trying to cope with the devastation that this cancer has left me with and I know that I will continue to deal with these hardships long after I am cancer free. As the financial responsibilities grow I'm constantly working to gain back the strength to get into my normal routine, but I worry about the financial debt I now find myself in. I have chosen to make my goal $20,000 based on the medical bills my insurance does not cover, as well as future procedures and follow ups that will ensure I stay cancer free. For whatever amount you can donate, I am forever grateful. Every little bit helps, and I can not thank you enough for helping me fight this battle.
Despite all this adversity not all is lost. These treatments and tests that have cost so much are doing their work, and I am responding very well to the aggressive chemotherapy! Take that cancer! While I am on the road to recovery and going through my last treatment, I continued to remain hopeful and encouraged that at the end there is a life to be lived without this affliction. If it weren't for my amazing team at Mayo Clinic and my selfless, caring family and friends, none of this would be as smooth as everything has turned out to be. I would also like to thank my incredible support system which has shown me an endless amount of love and assistance while I am on this journey. I honestly do not think I would have been able to remain as hopeful without everyone always showing me strength. So thank you to everyone who has surrounded me with endless love and support through my journey. And for those of you helping me financially through this page, thank you so incredibly much for joining in with me, here in my lowest moments. You've chosen to step up and become a part of my family in this struggle, and words can't express how thankful I am for each and every one of you.
For those of you who are with me in this fight against cancer or for those of you who have someone who is fighting, do not lose hope. You are stronger than you can image, and although at times everything can feel lost remember there is a community of people fighting with you who want you to come out on top. Keep fighting and stay full of hope.
For more information about my journey, I have created a caring bridge website to update my health and progress over time as well as a video. I have provided both links below.
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