Melinda is a strong and amazing woman but right now, she could use some help with conquering breast cancer.
Dearest friends and family, my name is Arleene "Jerby" Velayo and I'm Melinda's sister-in-law. Melinda is the love of my brother Arthur's life and since the day they met 20 years ago, she's been part of our family.
In the beginning of their romance, my brother started shopping at J-Crew, listened to sappy Kai and Backstreet Boys love songs, started wearing matchy matchy sneakers and t-shirts with her, and the day he brought her home to meet my parents, I knew he was "sprung" and that they were inseparable.
Melinda "Jean" is a phenomenal mother and a model of strength and kindness to my nieces and nephew.
Emmy (age 8) is her eldest daughter and is feisty and caring AND is the spitting image of her mama. Avery (age 5) is their middle boy who is a budding mathematician and is already a die-hard Star Wars fan just like Melinda. Evie (age 4) is their youngest and is thoughtful and sweet but also assertive, again just like mama.
And now for the C-word. Here is the backstory in Melinda's own words (which I stole off her Facebook page =):
Backstory: I’ve been diagnosed with early stage 2 breast cancer and I’m going to beat this sucker into oblivion.
Every three weeks I’ll come back for another treatment cycle for a total of 6. I’m completely healthy otherwise.
I discovered the lump on my own and had it checked out. I’ve had one about 9 years ago that turned out to be nothing, unfortunately this time around was more serious.
We are touched by the outpouring of support, prayers, well wishes, good juju, and love being sent our way.
Those of you using your talents in drug development and research trials, keep up your amazing work! And to my fellow cancer warriors, fight on! ✊
My big brother is my hero. Quick to befriend and easy to love. Whereas I'm the hard-headed sibling, Arthur-Beejay has always been the calm/collected one.
So last month on one of our morning commute phonecalls, I could tell something was wrong in his saddened voice. He and Melinda would later brake the news to me and as much as I was devastated... it's hard for me to even comprehend what they are going through.
Melinda and Kuya's schedules and responsibilities are going to change dramatically during her 18 weeks of chemotherapy (and then follow up procedures).
During this time, she'll be weak and my brother will need to tend to the kids to give her time to rest and recover. The loss of his income will be an immense burden for their family. Though I am heart broken that I cannot support them physically every step of the way (due to distance), I decided the best way for me to help them was by starting a GoFundMe account.
Our goal is to raise $15,000.
This will help minimize the effect Kuya's lost wages have on their family and to assist Melinda and Kuya with the insurance co-pays for her treatment. Additionally, Kuya and Melinda do not have family in Sacramento. The travel between my parents, Melinda's parents, and I to help be with them will be costly. There also will likely be days Melinda needs extra rest, and may need to hire a babysitter to watch the kids, order out rather than cook dinner, or pay someone to clean the house so that she can use all of her energy to fight her cancer.
Melinda started chemotherapy last week, therefore she is in urgent need of our help. Please remember that even small contributions ($5 or $10) can have a huge impact if enough people give. With that in mind, please consider sharing this with as many people as you can through social media, text, email, or by phone. And if you cannot, your prayers are also more than enough.
Here is what your donation will do for their family:
- $15 will buy an hour of babysitting while Melinda is getting her chemotherapy and Kuya is at work
- $120 will pay for a housekeeper to clean their Sacramento home (giving Melinda rest time)
- $40 will pay for a take-out meal on days she is too tired to cook
- $100 will pay for the gas necessary to get their parents (both Velayo's and Posas's) to and from Sacramento to help with their grandchildren
- $250 to fly Art's babysister (me) to help with the kids
- ?$ for unforeseen medical bills
- $ Cover the cost of Kuya's lost wages
Like all of the challenges Melinda has faced in her life, she is handling this with optimism and grace. We are confident she can beat this with the support of her family and friends. With our faith in God, your love, and prayers, she will overcome this obstacle! God bless my sister-in-law, her family, and everyone looking after her during this journey.
- Ariela Grinnell
- Jamie Evangelista
- Sharleen Regan
- Grace Mahoney
- Olga Villeda
Organizer and beneficiary
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