I want want to share a story about a woman named Ruth. Ruth, my sister in-love, is 42, has 3 children, a husband, my brother, and has been living with stage 4 breast cancer for 5 1/2 Years. For those of you who may not know, stage 4 is the highest number in breast cancer stages. Ruth was diagnosed when their youngest was just 7 months old. Ruth has had multiple surgeries, undergone chemo therapy, radiation, and numerous ongoing treatments since her diagnosis in 2012.
Everyday Ruth draws her strength from the LOVE, joy, and desire to get out of bed and make certain her family is fed, prepared, and off to school or work. Even as she struggles with this disease, taking care of her family and helping others is a part of her daily routine-a testament to what she has always done and who she has always been. Ruth always says and believes
This past summer June 2017, their son Anthony, suddenly went into liver failure. Just a few days after Anthony turned 12, he was admitted to Stanford Children’s Hospital. An unexpected stay where he would remained through August, to be observed, studied, poked, and medicated. Although the Hospital does not yet have a clear diagnosis, the recommendation is to have a liver transplant.
While waiting for a final diagnosis, Anthony is being schooled at home and doing everything he can to gain weight and the strength for surgery. Everyday is a new day for him. One day he feels good enough to be outside, do schoolwork from the *G.A.T.E program he is enrolled in, or even ride a bike. Other days are spent frustrated and exhausted from his liver condition. Allergic reactions to some foods and medications have limited his activities and what he can eat. One major challenge has come from steroid-induced diabetes. The steroids are definitely helping to keep him steady, but the diabetes also limits the foods he can eat, which makes it harder for him to gain weight and get strong enough for surgery and recovery.
Overall Anthony’s spirits are good, because he is strong like his parents. I have to say that it has been hard at times for him to find a smile since Life as he knew it has come to a drastic hault: participating in the G.A.T.E program in a school setting, playing the saxophone, competing with the chess team, participating on baseball, basketball, and football teams, or just being able to be out and about in public.
Ruth’s cancer treatments are not going as we need them to, and so in October 2017, she began another round of chemo that will last through the end of January 2018. The cancer has become wildly active in all the areas the cancer was originally found and is also showing up in her lungs. Ruth’s breathing has become labored, it hurts for her to laugh, and now she is having an incredibly difficult time walking due to extreme pain in her hip and leg. Ruth now needs to have an additional surgery. She needs to have a rod put in her leg before it breaks and can not be fixed. Which would be life changing again for her family.
As anyone could imagine, having one family member in need of on-going medical treatments is financially burdensome. Having both Ruth and Anthony in need of long term medical treatments, puts them in a very rare and challenging category. It has become impossible for them to see over the pile of bills to see or know where the right path may be.
Im sure you could understand the stress of a mother living through this heartbreaking time. Ruth wants nothing more than to be here with her family and LIVE. She wants to be here to care for her family and to create memories together. Yet, the thought of financially devastating her family is emotionally crippling at times. She tries not to focus on it often because Ruth believes
Therefore, I am asking for help with their son Anthony who needs special care, attention, special food, a liver transplant, and his Mom.
I am asking help for a very special Mom, Ruth, who has stage 4 breast cancer herself while attempting to provide her son, and family, with what they need.
I am asking for this special, loving family
I am asking for help to alleviate the financial strain on this family. Allowing them to LIVE the best life they can. The financial burdens are weighing heavily on them and to have one less boulder to carry on their backs would be a blessing.
I am asking on their behalf, because frankly they would never ask this of anyone.
Thank you for your consideration and generosity to help be a part of and to prove
Thanks for reading this story about Ruth. Please donate, and spread the word to a few people you’d like to share my story with!
With much Love and Gratitude,
Nichole and family of Ruth and Anthony
*The”Gifted and Talented Education” program
- Fermina Quinones
- Yolanda Carayanis
- Michael LoMonaco
- Cynthia Runyon
Organizer and beneficiary
Nichole Portillo Andre
San Jose, CA