I'm Rhonda, also known as R. S. A. Garcia, a speculative fiction writer from Trinidad and Tobago.
Last December I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent an urgent mastectomy on my right side. I've just completed 8 cycles of chemotherapy in September. Because I'm BRCA2 positive, my doctors recommended I do preventative surgery, including a mastectomy on my left side and eventually reconstructive surgery.
However, this past week, the doctors found some worrying signs of endometrial cancer and have recommended a full hysterectomy, in addition to the other procedures. The recovery time required and the need to do reconstructive surgery means that I don't expect to be able to work again for another 6 months to a year.
I was let go from my job when I had my surgery. Since then, my sister's has been covering all our household expenses but we now find ourselves in a difficult situation.
I only got a permanent job in 2018 after years of part time employment. During the pandemic, my bosses reduced my salary to less than half of my contract to keep the company going. In 2018, there was an earthquake which did some damage to our foundation, and my bedroom. In the middle of my chemo, our bathroom started leaking water into our house and foundation, forcing us to spend thousands to repair it, which we were only able to do by maxing out our credit cards. The house inspection after found we have significant water damage to the foundation, and we have been cash strapped for so long our house needs repairs, to the roof (which leaks in my room), electrical and flooring.
We kept hoping I'd be able to get back to work and then we could get a loan, but my sister is now in a short term job with no paid leave available. She doesn't qualify for any loans and with me not working, we have no options. It's just the two of us now. She takes care of me and the house despite working a demanding full time job.
My medical costs are mounting with a minimum of two surgeries planned for the next six months and potentially as many as four. The results of my biopsy on November 25, will determine the next phase of my treatment. We're already in debt and have liquidated our insurance policies to try to keep afloat.
So we're asking for your help.
Whatever you can give, even $1, will help.
Donations will be used to pay for a combination of my medical expenses that are not covered through my the public health system, home repairs and living expenses while I'm recuperating.
Any money we make beyond funding will help my sister to be able to take a few months off work to care for me, or even allow us to hire some part time help.
My good friend and professional colleague, Arula Ratnakar, will be handling this Go Fund Me on my behalf. She will collect the funds into her account and then forward them to me via international wire transfer. We've already tested this and it went seamlessly.
The money will be used in the following manner:
Medical Expenses for 4 Surgeries: $50,000
Repairs to My Home: $15,000
Living Expenses for a Year: $8,000
Fees (Wire Transfers etc.): $2,000
Thank you so much for your support.