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Donate to help Jocelyne Bell fight cancer

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If you met Jocelyne Bell, you would be struck by her contagious smile which would brighten your day. Her exuberant excitement for life and her vibrant, bubbly, go-getter, “living life to the fullest” mentality are undeniable. Jocelyne is a humble, kind, generous person who cares for so many loved ones around her, both near and far. She has been a support for many in her life and is constantly lending a helping hand to others.

As you may or may not already know, Jocelyne was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive cancer over a year ago. Undifferentiated Squamous Cell Carcinoma with SMARC B1 (INI-1) deficiency is a gene-based cancer, and there are only 87 people in the world to date to have been diagnosed with it. Over the past year, Jocelyne has had major surgery (removing a large portion of her skull), radiation and chemotherapy. The chemotherapy Jocelyne is doing now is known as a “last resort” in Canada because her cancer is considered terminal (meaning it cannot be controlled). Despite the fatigue, nausea and all of the other negative symptoms from her treatments, Jocelyne continues to put on a brave face and live her life to its fullest every day. Unfortunately, the chances that the treatments she is currently undergoing in Canada will save her are extremely low.

We are aware of a survivor who has overcome this aggressive cancer through the newly FDA-approved drug called Tazemetostat. She has been able to reverse cancer growth and keep it under control for three years.

Without insurance or coverage, this drug costs about $15,000 US a month and can only be obtained in the US. Jocelyne is currently trying to get accepted for Tazemetostat on a “compassionate basis,” which could reduce the cost and make it attainable in Canada. In the meantime, she needs to be on the drug as early as August 25th, 2022 (if she doesn't continue chemotherapy), and she will be taking it for the rest of her life. In addition to the cost of the drug, Jocelyne will have to travel to the US to receive the medication and cover her living expenses when she cannot work. To help her with these costs, we have started this GoFundMe page to raise money for Jocelyne so she can explore this alternative cancer treatment.

All of the proceeds from the GoFundMe page will be used toward:
  • Medication costs - until Jocelyne can obtain Tazemetostat on a “compassionate basis,” the drug will cost around $15,000 US per month (that’s $19,337 CAD for one month).
  • Travel costs for Jocelyne and a support person to and from the US where Tazemetostat can be administered.
  • Living expenses for when Jocelyne is unable to work.

With your help, we can get Jocelyne closer to her goal of affording this alternative medicine. Please consider making a donation toward her treatment, and by helping to spread the word to others who may be able to help. We graciously accept anything you have to offer. Every little bit helps, and we cannot wait any longer while our dear friend Jocelyne’s life is at risk.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this message.
Jocelyne’s family and friends thank you for your support and generosity.


"Most of you who are reading this already know who Jocelyne is. For those of you who don't, I would like to take a moment to tell you and share with you the impact she has had on my life. I spent my early adult years going out to shows in the Winnipeg music scene looking for someone special. The day I met Jocelyne was the day my life changed. Jocelyne has taught me many things. She made me feel it’s safe to be authentic, to dream big, to dance in the rain, figuratively and literally. She taught me how to be creative in all situations, and to hold on to imagination for dear life. She showed me how to choose growth and movement, especially when life becomes uncomfortable. I have been able to discover who I truly am because of her. No matter the distance, she is always there for me. She continues to inspire me every day, and makes me want to live and love life to the fullest. This is just my relationship with Jocelyne, and there are so MANY people all around the world who I know love Jocelyne just as much as I do."
- Chloe Madden

"When I met Jocelyne, we clicked instantly. I was drawn to her positive energy, which makes everyone around her feel welcome and comfortable. I've always admired how independent and goal-oriented Jocelyne is, not to mention a hippy and outdoor adventurer at heart. Some of my fondest memories are doing crosswords with her at a summer fishing lodge we worked at, and practicing acroyoga together in our neighbourhood park. She has a way of making situations feel easy-going and fun.
Jocelyne is the type of person who treats everyone with kindness, regardless of who they are. I remember one time, our mutual friend told me that his son went to high school with Jocelyne, and she was one of the few people who treated him with kindness. Jocelyne has friends from all around the world in places like Scotland, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Churchill and the Yukon. It seems so unfair that, out of all of us, she's the one that had to develop this relentless cancer because I’ve always known Jocelyne to take good care of herself.
I've always imagined that Jocelyne and I would continue to be good friends as we grow older. Since she was diagnosed with cancer, I just can't fathom the idea of losing her at such a young age. I want to do everything possible to make sure that doesn't happen. Anyone who knows Jocelyne would agree that the world is simply a better place with her in it."
- Elise Ahrens-Townsend

“To sit here and think about Jocelyne only warm and happy feelings come to my mind. Her beautiful big smile, she is always excited to see you and has an upbeat greeting followed with excitement with her positive energy! If you know Joc, you know exactly what I mean.
I was so lucky to have met her through friends and in time we got to build a friendship of our own. Being close to Jocelyne we bonded over live music, shows, and festivals.
If you were at any of these events, you would want Joc to be with you.
Seeing how determined she was last year to be good to her body while fighting this aggressive cancer made me feel so much strength from her. She battled this with all she had while wearing her big smile. She kept her upbeat energy and positive vibes. Knowing that she must face this again and the battle is only getting more intense is hard to think about.
I want Jocelyn to keep living her life to the fullest and to one day fall out of a van door again with her! (Ok, a lil inside joke here)”
-Kelly Hudson


To respect Jocelyne's privacy, please contact one of us if you want to reach out to her: 
Jessica Bell 
Chloe Madden 
Kelly Hudson 
Elise Ahrens-Townsend

Organizer and beneficiary

Elise Ahrens-Townsend
Winnipeg, MB
Jessica Bell

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