HELP KAREN BEAT CANCER
$61,785 of $32,000 goal
This is my original message for this page:
Some of you may remember my wife, Karen Black. She contributed tremendous work as an actress in movies of the seventies and eighties. If you've ever enjoyed her work, now is your chance to reach back to Karen "“ because Karen needs your help.
Karen has waging a battle for over two years with cancer. She has not talked about this publicly because she was hoping it would be cured and she could call herself a cancer survivor.
Karen was diagnosed with ampullary cancer in November of 2010. She immediately had the "Whipple," one of the most serious operations that is performed at the Mayo clinic were she had it done"“ a third of her pancreas was removed. This was followed by extensive chemo and radiation back home at UCLA in the Spring and Summer of 2011. After suffering through nausea, fainting and losing over thirty pounds, she was finally declared NED "“ No Evidence of Disease in July.
But by December 2011 a small tumor developed and another surgery was in order, which left her completely bed-ridden. Her cancer seemed conquered though. By spring 2012 she was doing a lot better and could walk around and was almost normal.
But in June 2012, the cancer came back "“ and it started spreading "“ one near her lungs and one in her lower back.
We started trying different things "“ through hit and miss we found some alternative treatments that seem to help, and she went to Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles and had two operations in January and February to freeze the tumor in her lower back that by then had grown to be four pounds. Even though the operation was a success, Karen was completely debilitated "“ even now she can hardly move around and is mostly bed-bound.
The cancer is minimized, but we know from past experience that it won't be long before it comes back. Her oncologist in Los Angeles has recommended that she do chemo therapy, but the problem is that she is skin and bones - before starting on this journey she weighed 156 pounds, she now weighs 96 pounds. That's a third of her body weight! Part of the problem is that missing a pancreas she doesn't digest food, and also chemo makes it very difficult to eat.
Karen has been confronting the fact that she would die soon if she didn't do something.
BUT THERE IS HOPE. Karen's family physician of many years called us two weeks ago and told us of success she has had with several of her patients doing a treatment in Europe as part of a clinical study there. I cannot go into more details now, but I promise I will in the future as we get involved. I will say that this is a medically supervised program and it targets Karen's kind of cancer. In fact, we personally know two of the patients that have had remarkable recoveries from cancer there. So we know it works, and right now it is her best and only shot.
But we have to move fast, Karen needs to go in the next few weeks, otherwise she might be to weak to go at all.
Karen will be there for two months.
So here is the big question; why would someone like Karen need money?
Yes, she was an actress in movies, but most of the high-paying work dwindled out many years ago. She has a modest pension and medical insurance (thank goodness), but as anyone knows who has fought cancer, that is not enough. In the last two years we have used up all of our savings keeping Karen alive "“ traveling "“ treatments, getting people to help her. We have nothing left. And the European treatment is not covered by insurance.
Your contribution will cover travel, living and treatment expenses for two months and will give Karen a chance. Please help anyway you can, we humbly accept it.
What a tumultuous 2 weeks.
Monday June 3rd, Karen was admitted to the hospital in the LA area not doing well at all. Her doctor confided to me later that when he examined her that day he was afraid she wouldn't make it through the night. She had pneumonia, liquid in her lungs, several infections and was anemic. Thank goodness for decent hospital care, she was put on IV infusions, antibiotics and minerals. After a week, she was healthier, but she was still breathless from a tumor near her lungs and was very weak. We feared the worst, her family flew in from all over. At that point I didn't see the point of raising money to "Help Karen Beat Cancer" when the cancer looked like it was beating her.
Just to backtrack a bit - We had always intended on going to Hungary in Europe to participate in program that is having great success there in clinical trials, but the Hungarian doctors told us back in late April that they didn't think Karen was strong enough to make the flight, the tumors were too advanced. They suggested doing a chemo treatment her at home in Los Angeles to knock back some of the tumor growth, get stronger and fly over then.
So flash-forward to June 3rd, Karen had now done 5 chemo treatments was showing signs of progress in the reduction of the tumors when she starting having problems.
So here we were this last week and a half. preparing for possible hospice and God knows what - and we a do a CT scan yesterday, compared it to the last one, and what do you know?
The tumors have stopped growing and even seem to be shrinking. There's other signs too - Karen stopped taking pain meeds and boy, what an appetite - a GREAT sign in a cancer patient.
So now the plan is simple, we go back to plan A: Karen gets stronger, a little more chemo to knock back the tumors, combined with the alternative treatments that do a good job of bolstering the chemo and rebuilding the system, and then, on to Europe.
But we are not there yet, we will know for sure what she is improving next week when we do some more test. I will do my best to keep you apprised.
None of this would have been possible without the overwhelming support, positive thoughts and prayers from all of you.
We thank you.
But the truth is that I couldn't have done this without the overwhelming love and support I have received from all of you. It has lifted my spirits and made it possible for me to confront traveling this long and often painful road that lies in front of me. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart.
Here's a quick and long-overdue update:
I wanted to go overseas for treatment, but my doctors agreed that I should get some chemo to shrink my tumors before going anywhere. But first I had to get stronger to handle the chemo, and that is where natural healing came in. I have been taking supplements to rebuild my immune system and a strict regiment of Chinese herbs that have made me stronger and even seem to help with the cancer itself.
The good news is that I got some blood tests just over a week ago and my white blood count is surprisingly high, which means that I can fight infection and rebuild my cells after chemo treatments. So with that in mind I started my first round of chemo this last Friday. And what do you know, it wasn't that bad, Sunday I had mild flu-like symptoms, but today, Monday, I feel pretty good.
So now, after letting a few days go by to let the chemo do its work, I start vitamin C drips and other anti-oxidants treatments starting tomorrow to rebuild my good cells and prepare me for the next chemo round.
So the future is looking bright.
I am FLAT OUT FLAT OUT THANKING YOU for giving me this opportunity to get well.
Because of your generous donations, I can continue doing the combination of traditional chemo and alternative medicine and diet that will lick this cancer.
And also because of the unexpected media attention my fund-raising campaign has brought, I can use what I have learned to help others navigate the shoals of cancer treatment in all its forms. I have learned a lot in the last two and half years.
Most of all I want to thank you for your positive thoughts and prayers. Knowing so many people care has given me hope, strength and willpower to continue. And continue I shall.
My love to you all.
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Incredible and exciting actress, but more importantly, just a nice lady!
Rest in peace sweet friend, there's no pain where you are now. You are free!
A tragedy that she took the chemo poisons. Chemo kills the body, not the cancer; it spreads the cancer. Many educated people posted wonderful alternative cancer treatments right here on this gofundme fundraiser but it looks like the old fashioned oncologists convinced Karen and her husband to do chemo which has no success rate and is not required to. Cancer doesn't kill the patient on chemo, heart attack from the chemo poisons does.
xhe sill will ;ive on my heart forever
Here is a link you might be interested in https://www.facebook.com/Anita.Moorjani
I will never forget our crazy, wonderful time with you giving "Warnings from the Bathtub." You delivered those lines like nobody can and your beauty in that blue, shimmery dress was stunning. I feel so grateful that our paths crossed. Forever your fan. Much love!
You are not accepting donations but you still want donations. What's the deal?
Karen I am so happy that the cancer treatments are helping you. My mom and my good friend were diagnosed with cancer, and for awhile I thought I was going to lose my mother. She is doing well now. I pray for you as you are a wonderful person and a wonderful actress who I adore! My prayers are with you always....
Hi Karen and Family. My name is Ian and I'm from Newfoundland, Canada. Karen has always been my favourite Actress and I wanted to share something with everyone here to let people know not only is this amazing woman an amazing actress but also an amazing person. Before that I wanted to say how sorry I am to hear of your battle with cancer. I pray and hope that you will beat it and feel better in the coming days. I wanted to let people know just how amazing this woman is because of something she did for me once. In September of 2004 I married my husband Andrew. It was a very small wedding, we had it n our little old house we bought together and invited only 13 very close family and friends. My husband knew how much I enjoyed your films and to my shock after our wedding when we were all celebrating, my phone rang. To my surprise it was Karen on the other end. My husband had spent some time trying to contact her agency to ask if she would be kind enough to call and say congratulations on our wedding day. She did. Karen you made my wedding even more special. I still remember her saying (while I was half in tears) "I just thought it was such a sweet thing to ask so I thought I had to do it. Congratulations to you both and I wish you happiness." So Karen my message to you is. Thank You from the bottom of my heart. Please continue to love life and be the kind person you are. Thank you from two people that you didn't know and didn't have to go out of your way for. But you did and it was such a very very very kind thing to do. Andrew and I were only 27 and 25 at the time. My birthday is today and I am 36 and happy to say we are still very much in love. I'm not allowed home until 5 because he is home right now planning a million surprises. On our Anniversary, Sept. 24, we always play One of your movies during the evening while we celebrate. Thank You Karen, be well. Love Ian and Andrew.
I have always loved your work, Karen Black. Finally, after reminding many friends--new and old--to watch "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean", I decided to google your name to see what you were up to these days. It is with sadness that I have been reading about your ordeal with cancer. No illness is fun, but cancer--that dreaded "C" disease--takes on a life of its own. You seem to be maintaining good spirits, great strength, and unyielding determination. No surprise, given the formidable characters you have embodied in many films. Your beautiful and vibrant eyes are still sparkling even amidst the anguish you must be experiencing. Thank you for giving the world a memorable body of work!! Please get well! DB
Honey, I hope all is good? As i always tell you "I think of you every single day". Sending love and admiration your friend Jeff.
Keep that OPTIMISM going Girl, we're all pulling for ya!
Wonderful news Karen! Hang in there. We love you!
Also try Black Mika!!!
Thoughts and prayers are with you Karen. You WILL be a cancer survivor!
Thank you for reaching out to the "fans", yet when someone watches Karen in "Come Back To The Five & Dime..." over 200 times, the word "fan" just doesn't hold up. We love you Karen! I will notify everyone I know about this situation. May you and your family be blessed by our Heavenly Father with strength and healing.
I'm so glad you reached and then exceeded your goal. I wish you all the best for the future, thank you for all the good times you have given everyone with your work.