Jen's Journey - The Breast Cancer Warrior Fund

As the latest updates to Jen's Journey are still rolling around in my head having a hard time finding a place of acceptance, my mind is overcome with a feeling of helplessness.  For 2+ years, Jen has been fighting stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.  For 2+ years, she's been trying to pack a lifetime of memories into whatever time she has with her boys.  For 2+ years, she has bravely fought in the absence of her parents.  For 2+ years, she has had to open her eyes each morning and face the fact that a beast inside is trying its best to defeat her. 

All along this journey, there has been nothing I can do to change her prognosis, nothing I can do to bring comfort to her when she tries to wrap her mind around that prognosis, nothing I can do when I hear the words disease progression, failed treatment, hospice informative appointments, and palliative care.  The pain I feel is so overwhelming the last few weeks.  We have definitely turned a corner.  The new normal is something I wasn't expecting, or maybe something I wouldn't allow myself to think about.  But here it is, right in front of us.  I cannot even begin to know what it must be like to live in her skin.  I sit helpless as her big sister, which is by far the most unsettling feeling I have ever had.  I can do nothing to fix what is broken.  I can do nothing to alleviate her suffering.  I can do nothing but pray and offer my love and support, which put simply just isn't enough. 

As I sit here tonight wrestling with thoughts in my head, trying to file them in some sort of organized fashion in hopes to better understand something I know I will never have the ability to, I find myself wanting to act, wanting to do SOMETHING to make the struggle less difficult for her and her family.   The demands of not being able to do for herself or the boys have placed additional financial burden on them.  She no longer has the energy to cook or clean.  A maid now comes in to care for the house and dinners are often ordered in or eaten out since her and Dave are going in so many directions while the boys play ball.  It's rare they even get to share a meal at the kitchen table, and even when they do Jen's appetite is nearly nonexistant.  

Over the past few weeks, so many have asked what they can do to help, whether it be rides for the boys, meal trains, house cleaning, errand running, etc.  The fact of the matter is, there is absolutely no good way to coordinate all of the help that is being offered, as every single day for Jen is now an uphill battle.  She pushes herself to not miss a single baseball game for the boys, spending the rest of her time in the confines of her bed trying to rest and regain her strength.  There is no way of me knowing what the boy's schedule is without being overly intrusive, or whether she’s up to visits from friends with meal deliveries and other offers of help.  I have no clue how to coordinate it all when each day is so uncertain at this point.  

What I do know is this, balancing her checkbook each month has become more and more difficult.  The generosity of so many from 2+ years ago has made life a little easier for her and the Brush boys.  It has allowed her and Dave to pay for things most 40-year-olds should never have to pay for.  It has allowed them to pay bills each month while realizing more than half of their income is gone and will never return.  In some small way, we have all made a difference by bringing a little sunshine into such a dark place.  But the reality is, the funds are now all but gone.  She has used every dime on daily living expenses she can no longer pay due to the loss of her teaching salary.  

So I stand before you yet again doing the only thing I know to do, asking you to reach into your pockets and give generously to a family that has been through so much.  This is where we can help them the most.  This is where we can alleviate some of the burden.  So please, give generously to a person that has given so much of herself to those in the local community and those she loves, teaches, mentors and supports.  Give generously to the woman that has made a difference in your life or the life of your child or children.  Give generously to my baby sister, who shouldn’t have to worry about how to pay her life insurance premium while fighting to breathe.  

I know no other way to help her.  So I ask you to...

Please help by donating to this campaign.

Please help by sharing this campaign.  

Please help by praying for our girl.  

Please help by never giving up hope.  

Love to All, Kate
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 25 mos
  • Connie Sondergeld  
    • $25 
    • 25 mos
  • Mary Kehoe 
    • $50 
    • 25 mos
  • Cristy O’Connell 
    • $25 
    • 25 mos
  • Anita Shaffer 
    • $75 
    • 25 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Katy Shaffer-Patton 
Organizer
Bradenton, FL
Jennifer Brush 
Beneficiary
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