A New Diagnosis
Our friend’s Mom has been diagnosed with cancer... again. Only a few weeks ago their small and courageous family was getting ready to celebrate a new milestone in her post cancer treatment and they were planning a trip back to their motherland. This would have been a wonderful present for Mother’s Day, but all their dreams crashed over new blood work and a CT scan. Now their only thoughts are of how to keep her stable and alive, and how to gift her another chance at beating the cancer by being able to afford countless rounds of chemo and radiation... again.
We are starting this fundraiser to help ease some of the stress and burden of the insurmountable medical bills that our friend and her family are carrying. Our friend, Neetu, has spent her life’s savings on medical bills to help her mother beat cancer and has been supporting her family while they are here in the US.
With no savings left, Neetu and her family need help and lots of it. We are hoping to raise $100,000 to cover past and current medical bills and will be forwarding all funds straight to Neetu to spend on upcoming procedures and to put toward past medical bills.
How You Can Help
We are asking you to help Neetu and her family by giving whatever you can, even if it’s only a few dollars – no donation is too small. Donations will add up and can pay for Santosh to get another blood transfusion or a chemo round to give her another chance on life with her family!
• Each round of chemo costs approximately $35,000
• A course of radiation treatment costs approximately $10,000
• Current outstanding medical bills: $32,000
• Each doctor visit costs $500
The First Diagnosis
Two years ago, our friend, Neetu, welcomed her family (mother, father and sister) to the US for a short visit. Her mom, Santosh, a retired biology teacher who loves nature and enjoys watching birds and growing plants, was looking forward to visiting and exploring California with her family. Unfortunately, not too long after arriving, Santosh fell ill and was taken to urgent care for treatment of her diabetes and hypertension.
While in urgent care, the doctors also discovered a mass which turned to be stage 3 breast cancer and advised Santosh to start treatment immediately. Due to the complications, Santosh could not travel back home and started her treatment in the US.
It was a long way to recovery as she faced rounds of hormone therapy, a mastectomy surgery, several rounds of chemo-therapy, and six weeks of radiation treatment. Getting treatments away from home in a new environment was very taxing and the family braved through adjustments as their short trip turned into two years of emotional, physical, and financial survival while Santosh struggled through the treatments.
A Huge Financial Burden
Before their trip to the US, Neetu had purchased insurance for all her family members, but, unfortunately, visitors’ plans are quite limited, and they denied covering any treatment. Neetu spent all her savings of 10+ years, over $100,000, to ensure her mom started receiving the care she needed. Also, thankfully, Stanford Medical Center gave them some financial aid, but it was not nearly enough to pay for all the treatments, medications and hospital visits her mom still needed.
After almost a year and a half and with the bills mounting up, the end was in sight - Neetu’s mom finished her treatments and was declared cancer free! The family
made plans to return to their home.
The family then had to cancel their international trip when Santosh developed problems with her eyes. She required injections to reduce the swelling in her eyes that could possibly cause her to completely lose her eyesight. The doctors were worried that flying over the ocean with this condition could add stress and trigger further damage and cause blindness.
Neetu had to file for another extension with US immigration and the family went through another round of adjustments. Neetu continued to work full time so that she could support her family financially.
Neetu Mom’s eyes slowly started to improve, the swelling subsided, and the family began planning their trip back to India, to be made on April 28, 2019.
The respite from health problems came to an end on April 19, when Santosh was taken to the ER for extreme dizziness and weakness. Her bloodwork showed very low hemoglobin/red blood cell levels and she required an immediate blood transfusion.
She was admitted to the hospital for further testing, and two days later the doctors discovered she was bleeding internally through a large area in her small intestine. This type of lesion, they said, was inoperable. CT scans further revealed a mass on her pancreas, in her lungs, and lymph nodes. And then came the biopsy results – stage 4 GI cancer.
Santosh is still in the hospital as the doctors are trying to stabilize the bleeding with radiation and medication. This poor woman has already been through so much and this diagnosis has been devastating for Neetu and her family. They are barely holding together at this point.
On top of the diagnosis, they need to get another extension to stay in the US legally and avoid deportation while Santosh is undergoing the treatments. Neetu has been filling out hundreds of pages of immigration documents herself because they cannot afford legal help at this point. She works on the paperwork between working her full-time job and trips to the hospital, where she spends all her time now – close to her Mom. She sleeps in the hospital, in a chair next to her Mom every night. She does not complain; she keeps going and keeps HOPE.
Give Neetu, Santosh, and Their Family Hope
We keep that HOPE with our dear amazing friend and her family. By starting this fund raiser, we hope to help ease some of the stress and burden of the insurmountable medical bills that are yet to come, for the previous and current hospital stay, and for the aggressive treatment regimen she must undergo. With no savings left, Neetu needs help and needs lots of it. So, we are asking everyone to help Neetu and her family and to please give whatever you can even if it’s only a few dollars – no donation is too small as it will all add up and can get Santosh another blood transfusion or a chemo round or give her another chance on life with her family! We believe it all can help and ask you to please, please share this with everyone you know. If everyone who reads this has it in their heart to donate, we can make this next round of cancer treatment for Santosh possible. She is a sweet, adorable woman and has the will to live!! Thank you for reading her story. And thank you for giving from your heart.
Neetu Chopra came to the US from India in 2005 to pursue her dream to become a scientist. She received her PhD in Material Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. She was awarded an Exceptional Ability green card for her contributions within her field of study and has just passed her US citizenship test. Elena, Neetu, and I met at our former workplace and became immediate friends. Neetu has an infectiously bubbly personality and an endlessly positive attitude toward life. She loves kayaking, water tubing, sight seeing, and road trips. She is kind and generous and extremely devoted to her family and friends.
￼￼Neetu, Patrice, & Elena
More about Santosh and the family
The Chopra family comes from Delhi, India. Santosh is a retired biology teacher who raised her two daughters and took care of her elderly mother through sickness until her passing. She was a wonderful, caring mum and taught her daughters how to cook delicious, traditional Indian food. (Which all of Neetu’s friends are happy about!). She shared her love of nature with her children and was a great influence in their success. Her daughter Nidhi has a PhD in Education and enjoys arts and crafts, and her husband Prem Chand has a Masters in Public Administration and enjoys volunteering at a local senior center in California.
￼￼Santosh and Neetu
￼￼The Chopra family
- Mayank Kaushik
- Rohit Pandya
- Gaurav Sultania
- Ritwik Mohapatra
- Ritwik Mohapatra
Fundraising team: Team Santosh (4)
Raised $720 from 6 donations
Raised $1,000 from 3 donations