Help Kate survive

Kate, a single mom of three beautiful children, has been battling colon cancer for over a year. Recently divorced and on the cusp of a bright new career in mediation, she was diagnosed with stage IIIC colon cancer last February. She had surgery to remove the tumor but, because it was determined that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, she also needed 12 rounds of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, at the end of the chemo protocol, a CT scan revealed 12 new tumors on her liver. She now had stage IV colon cancer. To say that news was devastating is a huge understatement. Kate’s greatest fear – that she may not be there to support her children – was now lurking around the corner. But she did not give up hope.
Kate started a new chemo regime last October and, once it was established that no new tumors were growing, she had a procedure done called Radiofrequency Ablation to remove a large tumor on the left side of her liver. She continued chemo and, this past week, she underwent major liver surgery to remove the right lobe of her liver (the side with 11 tumors on it). She is now recovering at home and doing remarkably well, all things considered.
During this terrible ordeal, Kate has continued to lovingly mother her children and work two jobs. Kate has her young teenage children full-time and has continued to meet all their social, academic and athletic needs. Over the past year, ensuring that her children always had the parental support they needed sometimes meant that Kate had to drive them to events or attend their ballet or musical events while connected to a chemo pump. She has been determined to provide as much of a sense of normalcy and stability for her children as possible. At the same time, she has shown them that their mother is a person who gives her all, despite the odds. Though many people have pitched in where they could, she has weathered this storm alone and has done so with beauty, grace and dignity. But now she needs our help.
In less than 2 weeks, Kate will be traveling to Germany to begin dendritic cell therapy, an immunotherapy that has been shown to be very effective and that has allowed people in similar situations to Kate’s to live cancer-free for years after a terminal diagnosis. Using tissue from Kate’s own tumors, doctors will develop a targeted “vaccine” for Kate’s specific cancer. They will then harvest her white blood cells, combine them with the targeted therapy, and reinject them into Kate. She will receive monthly injections for the next five years. Trials using similar methods have been done in the U.S. with the same positive results, but the procedure is not yet approved in this country. For this reason, the costs are not covered by Kate’s health insurance. She will need to raise up to $259,500 to cover the costs for the next five years. We are asking for any assistance you are able to give so that Kate can continue to be a presence in the lives of those who love her - her family, her friends and, most of all, her children. Thank you


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Organizer and beneficiary

Kirsten Elin 
Hanover, NH
Kate Cruickshank 
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