Help Irina Battle Cancer

Dear All,

My name is Dennis Shats, and with a heavy heart I am writing this on behalf of my mom Irina Shats. Two weeks ago, quarantine seemed like the most prevalent issue in our lives, but looking back, that was the easy part. On April 6th our entire family’s life was turned completely upside down. It started with a call from my father explaining to me that they were in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. He said that my mom suddenly felt spasms all over her body and was overcome with pain. Upon her arrival at Bayview Medical Center the doctors detected a large amount of liquid in her abdomen, a concerning mass on her ovary, and a large blood clot in her heart.    Bayview did not have the appropriate resources to treat my mom’s multiple conditions, so they transferred her to Johns Hopkins Hospital.

That was the worst night of all our lives.  My mother was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit where  they drained THREE liters of fluid from her abdomen, all while her blood sugar was out of control. The doctors kept saying, “We are sorry and we are doing our best…”  and horrible thoughts started visiting our heads.  Thankfully, the incredible medical team saved her life, and we began to think that the hardest part was over. We were wrong…

My mom began telling us that her left leg was in pain, and unfortunately the doctors confirmed that there was no blood flow in her left foot. They said this was due to blood clots and suggested immediate surgery.  After the seemingly successful bypass procedure we thought we were out of the woods, but again we were wrong…

Complications arose during her recovery process because tiny clots began to form in the arteries of her foot which were inaccessible to medical equipment.  At this point, the mass on her ovary was found to be malignant so clot busting medicine was not an option.    I watched my mom suffer as doctors ran out of options. We were told that if the foot doesn’t quickly recover on its own, it will have to be amputated. Obviously, the thought of amputation was unfathomable, but as her pain grew intolerable and her leg became discolored, we were forced to make an unthinkable choice – my mom’s foot or her life. Despite the agony, the decision was made.

The amputation operation went as well as it could have. Although my mom lost her foot below the knee, her life was saved. After stabilizing her post operation, the doctors informed us that they found additional small masses around her abdomen area and they are planning to start in a week an aggressive chemotherapy to reduce the masses which are currently inoperable. 

My mother was barely stabilized when we learned that her medical insurance could only cover a portion of the numerous and very expensive emergency procedures. Unfortunately, there is no way that my parents will be able to afford this.  So now I ask for your help. Please help my mom get through these dark times however you can. Irina is an incredibly strong woman. She has always put others before herself, be it while teaching or researching Alzheimer’s and the Corona virus. This time she needs your help.  Your support will lessen her unimaginable burden and let her concentrate on healing, so she can continue her life’s work - helping others.


Dennis Shats



  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 9 d
  • Aaron Ucko 
    • $50 
    • 15 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 15 d
  • Marina Bean  
    • $50 
    • 15 d
  • Liya slobodsky 
    • $50 
    • 16 d
See all

Fundraising team: Family and Friends (4)

Dennis Shats 
Raised $6,773 from 27 donations
Derwood, MD
Leonid Shats 
Maya Zuhl 
Team member
Raised $175 from 2 donations
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