My Sister Irma

Hello Friends and Family - As most of you know, I have a sister who I am really close to.  My sister Irma is my significant other, my “person”. I make no decisions without discussing with her. 

This past year has not been good for Irma - health wise.  Early in the year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo intense radiation five days a week for 5 weeks.  Her insurance covered some but not all medical expenses.  Also, she was not covered by state disability.  Because of this, she worked through her treatments.  As draining as they were, she continued to work and have treatments every day.  She was amazing.  Irma is now cancer free but is struggling to eliminate the subsequent debt.  Despite making payments throughout her treatment, her share of the bill is over six thousand dollars.  

As if beating cancer wasn’t enough, Irma's health issues did not stop with that diagnosis.  Approximately a week before starting her radiation treatment, she had a serious bout of diverticulitis.  It was under control while going through radiation treatments but after a few months it returned in full force.  At this point, to avoid developing life-threatening sepsis, she requires major surgery within a week.  This time she will be hospitalized for several days and unable to work for weeks.  Treatment and recovery from this condition will prevent her from chipping away at the original medical bill on top of incurring additional debt.  We are asking for your help to reduce her financial burden so she can focus on healing.

Irma, as many of you know first hand, is a beautiful person with a generous soul.  She has positively influenced countless people’s lives as a school counselor, a sister, mother, and friend. She still counsels individuals through the State specifically working with disabled individuals including veterans.  She encourages creativity, embraces diversity, guides and mentors youth without hesitation, but above all… she nurtures. Her influence is so meaningful and genuine that most of her students continue to keep in contact with her decades later. It will surprise no one that she, while going through radiation therapy herself, still constantly checked on a 95 year old friend ensuring she had companionship and conversation. Irma has given so much, yet never complains.

Needless to say, it pains me to see my big sister facing major surgery so soon after dealing with cancer.  I now see her stressing and worrying about not having an income for the next couple of months.  So again, I ask that we please come together to give back to this wonderful deserving woman.  I’ve started a GoFundMe page in her name.  Anything you can contribute to help her with medical costs and meet her expenses while mending will be very much appreciated.  Also, please know that if you are not in a position to contribute, I know she will be so grateful for your prayers and good thoughts while she recovers.  Thank you so much. #focusonhealing
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Iris Leal 
Fairfield, CA
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