After over a year of fighting this disease on our own, we need your help. The care Kat is receiving is expensive and the cancer is proving to be very aggressive. The next step for Kat is immunotherapy – a treatment that is going to have to be funded by ourselves – hopefully with your help!
Kat's and Tyler's story
I came to Australia on a whim when traveling around Asia in April 2018. After just 3 weeks here I fell in love with Brunswick's atmosphere and I also met this amazing guy. We spent an incredible week together, thinking it was just a holiday romance. Leaving Australia proved to be harder than I thought, and so I rented out my room in Poland, packed and sent one 20kg box with my stuff towards Melbourne, boarded a plane and came back. It was here I was able to find the love of my life, an amazing group of friends, a great workplace filled with amazing and inspiring people, as well as home and new family.
My cancer story
The symptoms started in November, but it wasn't until the last day of December 2018 that I got my diagnosis: cervical cancer stage 3b - too big to operate, but with no far metastasis. And so began my 2019. From the very beginning my visa status was a problem - I'm here on a 482 visa - which means I do not have medicare, so I have to rely on a private insurance. It covers around 60-70 % of the medical costs, but for the first year it would not cover anything, as my insurance provider ruled that it is a preexisting condition. Not having much choice, Tyler and I went to Poland for 3 months to get the radiotherapy and brachytherapy treatment there. People in Poland are great, but the public health system is horribly underfunded and very problematic, so those 3 months were quite traumatic for us. We made it though, and on the 3-months-after checkup everything looked great! Sadly, I did not made to 6-month-after check up – I got diagnosed with recurrence only 5 months after the treatment in Poland.
Between October and now I've been receiving chemotherapy, lost my hair and went through many bodily changes. Some are post-radio side effects, some of them are cancer symptoms or chemo side effects. I'm in constant pain, being able to move around only thanks to strong painkillers, relying on Tyler to help me with most tasks, like baths and preparing meals.
Unfortunately the chemotherapy did not work as expected, with the cancer still growing and spreading. My last resort is Immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy is only available via clinical trials (for which I'm not eligible) or private funding. One dose, to be received every three weeks, costs over $6,000, and that is not the only cost we have at the moment. The money from our GoFundMe will help us get through the next six months of immunotherapy treatments and will help cover all the medical costs.
While we were able to stay afloat until now, we have depleted all of our savings and no longer have a backup amount we can rely on, so we are turning to you. Tyler is also working less in order to take care of Kat as the disease has progressed, causing a further lack of income that unfortunately cannot be helped.
No matter the amount you can give, we would like to let you know that we are so grateful for the support and that it will make all the difference in our lives.
Kat Iwanska and Tyler Minder
- Célestine ALIS
- Krzysztof & Kasia Kocel