Joanne vs. Metastatic Breast Cancer

Hello Friends. I am Thomas Fischer from Brampton, ON and have been a close personal friend of Joanne McLean for the past fifteen years. Throughout this time, I have been captivated by the beauty of her spirit and her wisdom, humour and capacity to lead others through challenging situations.  This is why, when I recently learned of her prognosis and decision to seek medical help in Germany, I knew I had to help.  Joanne has spent a lifetime in service of others.  She has never paused to help someone in need.  Now, she needs help.  I invite you to read her story, and support her and her campaign to change the conversation about metastatic breast cancer.   All the funds raised from this campaign will be withdrawn directly by Joanne to pay medical expenses and to focus attention on the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

Thank you, Thomas Fischer

                 Joanne vs. Metastatic Breast Cancer

My Story:  For the past four years, I have been on a challenging journey fighting Stage Four Breast Cancer that has metastasized to my liver and spine.  In seeking to manage the cancer, I have undergone surgery, multiple chemotherapies, hormone therapy, extensive radiation, genetic profiling, and 2 clinical trials including immunotherapy, and gene therapy. Unfortunately, the treatments that I have undergone to date have not been effective to combat the cancer. 

 As a result, my team of oncologists recently {Jan 2} handed me a grave prognosis: I would be in liver failure in two months or less. That was unacceptable to me.  I have much more to contribute in this life.  So, we re-investigated a treatment performed in Germany called regional chemotherapy which offered more hope to me than any alternative at home. 

 Essentially, the chemotherapy is applied to the site of metastases in a localized manner in a concentrated dose.  This approach for metastatic breast cancer patients is not performed in Canada, and comes at considerable expense.  Each cycle of therapy costs roughly $35,000 (CDN) plus travel and living expenses.   My husband and I decided in one day to pursue this treatment, so have travelled to Germany and have begun the treatment plan.  The physicians here have suggested that it will take about 6 cycles of treatment.

 The Emotional Roller Coaster: During my four year cancer journey to date, I have found that too often the impact of the medical process is disempowering.  Fear, disorientation and anger are all too common emotions as I left one disappointing conversation after another. I have talked with many patients and they feel helpless and lose hope. They simply give up and resign themselves to the doctor’s prognosis. 

 But that’s not me.  I am a fiercely positive person.  For those of you who know me, you know that my experience in health promotion and wellness, my self-learning with respect to this disease, and my last 15 years as an executive coach leading change have sparked a fire in me to keep trying for myself and to help others.

 My Inspiration: My own experience with cancer and my conversation with a trusted friend and colleague led me two years ago to co-found a community based, non-profit organization focused on providing self-care support to cancer patients, their care givers and the health care professionals who serve them.  I see a tremendous opportunity to expand the work we have done so far, based on my learnings and experiences.

I am very motivated and passionate about making a difference to ensure others diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer don’t experience the journey I have experienced, and get to viable treatment options sooner.  Suffice it to say, there is a need for change, and the time is now.

 My Goal: My objective is to raise $200,000.00 through this GO FUND ME initiative for two key purposes:

 1.       To provide financial support to assist with the extensive costs of the treatment plan through the private clinic in Germany that is not covered by any health care plans or insurance, and

2.        To enable me to lead the charge to continue to build awareness, to inform and to educate people about metastatic breast cancer, integrative care and treatment alternatives.

As I continue on my journey to fight cancer and discover new learning I intend to update you on our progress towards fulfilling these objectives.

 I hope that you will embrace the opportunity to invest in this cause.  Please like and share this request amongst those in your mailing lists, Facebook and Twitter networks, and know I am so very grateful to each of you for your love and consideration

 With love and light,

 Joanne  and David McLean

Joanne and David McLean arrive at the Clinic 

The Clinic

Day 1: Joanne is prepared for first treatment

Joanne recovering from first treatment in hospital room

Donations (226)

See top
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 5 yrs
  • Eileen Simpkins
    • $50 
    • 5 yrs
  • Dominic Scaffidi
    • $100 
    • 5 yrs
  • Joan Hill
    • $100 
    • 5 yrs
  • Dominic Scaffidi
    • $100 
    • 5 yrs
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Thomas Fischer
Brampton, ON
David McLean

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.