In October 2014, Kari reached out to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Illinois, where she was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma (Non-Hodgkins stage 3). From her first visit, they immediately started chemotherapy. Kari would travel back and forth to Illinois for 8 months to receive chemo once a month. During this time she would still work and help support her family by working 3 – 12 hour shifts as a nurse’s assistant. June through December of 2015 her regimen would be decreased to every 2 months for treatment due to lower activity within her lymph nodes.
In January 2016, Kari would have a PET scan and find that her cancer has developed further and become more aggressive. These new results would have CTCA taking another biopsy, starting more aggressive chemo, and then performing a stem cell transplant. They took Kari off work immediately and had her travelling to Illinois every 3 weeks, staying 5 days at a time for treatment and monitoring.
Unfortunately, Kari would not be able to take FMLA time due to her “just short” of hours worked according company policy. Now end of March, she has just found out that she has lost her job and all benefits. Not only did her benefits cover her, but also her husband and two of their children. So this leaves Jeff being the sole provider for their family. However, his company does not provide any benefits; leaving the next option for the family to apply for COBRA insurance.
Beginning in April, Kari will begin the process of collecting her cells (hopefully 4 million) from taking 2 shots a day. In the beginning of May, she will be admitted to the hospital for 30 days and will receive the aggressive chemo treatment to bring her cells to 0. Then which they will begin the transplant process. After receiving her stem cell transplant, Kari will be up against a long recovery.
Kari will need to remain secluded for 3 months. She will not be able live in her home with her children or pets as she has a high risk of infection. Thus this will leave Jeff to be the only parent taking care of the Steele household physically, mentally, and financially.
We are reaching out to all our family friends, and to their family & friends in hopes of some support! Please find it in your dearest hearts to help Kari and her family towards her recovery of cancer. Your donations will go towards Kari’s medical bills, insurance costs, and help for the family. We welcome and thank you for all your encouragement and support.
DonationsSee top donations
- Paul and Sylvana Boguski
- Beta Sigma ESA
- Elswick Family
- Amber Kolhagen Ovalle
- Terry & Kristin Milliken
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