On Wednesday, July 19th, 2017...just five days after her 35th birthday... Heather entered the emergency room at Christus Hospital in San Antonio because of some persistent stomach pains she'd been having. The ER doctor ordered a CT scan and immediately informed her of multiple tumors located in her abdominal area. Four days later, on July 23rd, we were given the diagnosis: Neuroendocrine Tumors (NET) of the liver, stage 4 cancer. We were told the disease is in its advanced stage, and that there is nothing they can do for her, outside of managing her pain.
To Heather and her family, this news was unacceptable. The wheels were put into motion to move forward and to somehow get her to a multi-disciplinary cancer treatment center as soon as possible ... not only for a much needed second opinion, but for the care and treatment she so deserves.
On July 28th, Heather was accepted as an ouptatient at MD Anderson, the world-renowned treatment center with many success stories. She will be under the care of a NET specialist.
At this point, our families are still trying to process the horrific news; but in the meantime, we cannot waste any precious time trying to figure out the finances and logistics of not only her medical care, but the daily care of our two beautiful children: LIzzy,12, and Austin, who will turn 6 this week. And even though it's next to impossible to forecast the cost of the treatment and care she requires and deserves, it's already accumulating fast. She is undergoing very aggressive rounds of chemotherapy, and she's receiving an arsenal of pain medications to stabilize her and give her fleeting moments of comfort. In the coming weeks and months, she will need to be transported back and forth between Houston and San Antonio for additional rounds of chemo, lab work, scans and all cancer-beating options available. She will likely require in-home services between in- and out-patient appointments to help get her back to some semblance of quality of life, plus travel expenses and accomodations for her husband and children to be by her side whenever possible. Between the lost income from Heather's obvious inability to work, the costs of her care, our co-pays, the claims disapproved by insurance, her prescribed medication, and work missed by her husband while trying hard not to disrupt the children's lives and routines too much ... the family already is, and will continue to be, under an intense financial burden and constant stress trying to meet their obligations and just maintain their lives financially. We are asking friends, family and extended circles to help in any way you can. The outpouring of love and support already has been overwhelming, faith-affirming, and humbling; and we are so appreciative to all. Unfortunately, we are in not in a position to allow pride to stand in the way of Heather's fight to return to health and a fulfilling life ... we find ourselves in need of financial help, along with the thoughts, prayers, and well wishes already so graciously given.
Heather is 35 years young and the epitome of good health and strength to this point, and lives every second for her family.
Any and every contribution is sincerely appreciated. No matter the amount, every bit counts.
We have to do anything we can to give her the fighting chance she needs to win this battle.
The family thanks all of you for the prayers and support in this frightening journey.
- Gloria and Rick Parpan
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