Cancer...Thriving for Life

Jo Ann Mirabelli is a wife, mom, friend, sister, aunt, cousin, niece and so much more to everyone who has been a part of her tribe.  Jo is a former Prairie, Washington and currently a Naperville North parent.  Jo and her husband, John, have 3 amazing kids.  Their oldest has left the nest and currently lives in Nashville and is in her 2nd year of teaching elementary art.  Their middle daughter is a junior at Western Kentucky University studying interior design and their youngest is a Freshman at NNHS where he is racing the halls, learning the ropes, swimming and hoping to play water polo this spring.

Jo’s story is not unlike many other women’s story out there.  She first faced breast cancer in April 2011 when she was diagnosed stage 2B.  Jo went through the traditional treatment of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and then began to move forward with her life.  She was able to live well for 6 years in remission until one day everything changed.  In April of 2017, Jo was given the news that her cancer has returned. She is Stage 4 with the cancer spreading to her bones.  I am sure you can imagine what a shock this was for her and her family.

Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer is an incurable form of cancer, it is however, very treatable.  The thing is, there is no end to this treatment; Jo will be in treatment for the rest of her life (however long God chooses that to be).  In the meantime, Jo and her family are on a constant rotation of doctor’s appointments, scans, tests, etc to try and always stay one step ahead of this nasty disease.  Currently, Jo is taking a targeted oral combination chemotherapy nightly – one of the most debilitating side effects of this drug is the extreme fatigue.  At some point, Jo’s cancer will get smarter than the protocol she is on and then her treatment will change.  Each new treatment will become increasingly more aggressive and more invasive.

The toll this disease takes on a family is too profound to put into words.  John is self-employed and with that comes it’s own challenges and especially high costs of insurance premiums that exceed $3000.00 a month.  Since April, their business has suffered; there are many unplanned days off which impact their revenue stream.   On top of missing work, there are things they never thought they would have to work into their already tight budget… extra treatments not covered by insurance, special dietary needs, lotions, potions - you name it.  Sadly, Jo has met her $4000.00 annual deductible 4 days into 2018.  Again, this is something no one is ready for even though you know it is coming.  Jo balances a blend of Western medicine and holistic alternative therapies to compliment what her doctors are prescribing.  

Any funds raised are going to help cover the cost of their monthly medical insurance premiums, insurance deductibles, any treatments and therapies not covered by insurance, and some alternative health and wellness treatments.

Jo will tell you, there is the good, the bad and the ugly that comes along with having metastatic breast cancer.  It has given her a new quieter personality, she has found peace amongst the chaos of this disease and has allowed God to bestow Grace upon her heart.  Jo writes often of how humbling this whole experience has been, her world was turned upside and she works hard every day to be a shining, living, loving, peaceful role model for her children and husband.  But this does not come without cost.   To learn more about her journey, please check out her blog…  .  
Jo and John are so very grateful for the many blessings they have, the wonderful community of family and friends who have reached out to help support their fight.  They know this is not a journey that can be done alone and the road will only get more steep, more treacherous, and more challenging.  It is with kindness, love and respect that we are asking for help for this family.  Thank you so very much for any support you have to offer.
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 49 mos
  • Karen Blaha 
    • $100 
    • 55 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 56 mos
  • Jan Hitchcock  
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
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    • $50 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Tamara Schultz 
Naperville, IL
Jo Ann Mirabelli 

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