How can you help?
As you can imagine, Lyza will be facing several treatments and surgeries all of which will be very costly. We are expecting that Lyza will need a minimum of $10,000 for the upcoming life-saving procedures. If you can help by making a donation, any donation is very much appreciated and no amount is too small. Lets all help Lyza get to recovery!
Here is Lyza's story:
"In mid May 2017 I started to notice white flashes of light in my vision. I soon realized it was only coming from my right eye. I set up an appointment with an optometrist to see what was going on. At my appointment they told me I had a torn retina. (In the picture below within the white circle is the "torn retina" which later was diagnosed as melanoma cancer.)
Because there was nothing they could do, they referred me over to a retina specialist which I saw the very same day. At my appointment with the retina specialist I was informed that I may have a melanoma mass growing at the back of my eye. I was devastated and scared. The specialist then referred me over to UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute. I was able to get an appointment for a week later.
Mid June my mom and I drove down to UCLA early in the morning and after about 4-5 hours of testing and waiting it was confirmed... I have Choroidal Malignant Melanoma! It's hard to say how someone would feel in this moment... but for me, I was ready to take on the battle. First step, I needed to get a physical with my primary doctor and get cleared for sugery. At my physical they did an EKG, which came out irregular. Fortunately, I was able to get an appointment with a cardiologist for the next day. At the cardiologist I was cleared for surgery but I also learned that I have a rare condition called WPW (Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome). WPW is a syndrome in which an extra electrical pathway in the heart causes a rapid heartbeat. The doctor told me that it is not an emergent issue, but I need to have heart surgery when I am finished getting treatment for my eye.
For my melanoma, I need to have two surgeries done. First, I need a cataract removed and a lens put in (this will make my second surgery much easier). Second, I need to have a radiation plaque (seen in picture below) put in my eye that will stay in for a week and then get taken out.
So far I have had my cataract surgery that went really well! All my doctors and nurses said that I had a great attitude.
I still have my radiation surgery and eventually will have my heart surgery. I'm so lucky to have such supportive family and friends who have been there with me through this difficult journey. Cancer will always affect me for the rest of my life, but I'm not going to let it stop me from living."
- Lorraine Bernal
- Frances Gertmenian
- Avedis Gertmenian
- Deanne + John Moore
Organizer and beneficiary
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