Melissa's Journey of Faith

No one wants to hear the word "cancer" when they are sitting in their doctor's office awaiting the results of recent medical tests.  Once reality sets in, the questions begin....."Why me? Now what? How am I going to live through this?  How will I pay the medical bills?".

Melissa Kennedy received this news from her doctor in July, 2017. Although she asked some of these same questions, she is determined to stay positive and to make this a journey of faith.  She believes God is in control of her life and He has a purpose in everything that life brings her way.  Even the news that she has breast cancer.

Melissa and her husband, Chuck, are very active in their church.  She is the part-time church secretary and Chuck works as the part-time custodian.  Two years ago, their church burned down and was destroyed in the fire.  The church office is presently in their home and both Melissa and Chuck setup and tear down for the church services every Sunday at a local community college (temporary location) until their church is rebuilt.

Melissa is a licensed massage therapist and has operated a small, private business out of her home.  Chuck works on the custodial staff of a retirement complex in their local community.  Melissa and Chuck are kind, caring, and ministry-minded people, who give of themselves in numerous ways to help people around them.  This is the reason why this GoFundMe account has been, at a time such as this, Melissa and Chuck can receive kindness and help from others.

This Journey promises physical, emotional, and financial difficulties.  It is their faith and trust in God to provide every need that will get them through each one!

In November 2016, Melissa had a mammogram that showed the need "to watch" a spot in the breast that was revealed.  On July 28. 2017, a follow-up mammogram led to a biopsy.  That weekend, Chuck ended up in the hospital with chest pains.  Tests revealed a 99% blockage and a stent procedure was performed.  Thankfully, there was no damage to the heart, but Chuck ended up missing several days of work in order to recover from the procedure.  It was the Wednesday during his recovery week that Melissa heard the words, "You have breast cancer".

Melissa's massage business came to a halt when she had a lumpectomy on Aug. 10th.  The lump was removed and the results found an aggressive type of cancer in its early stage.  Although the lymph nodes showed no cancer, the treatment determine for her would include 6 chemo treatments every three weeks, followed by 16 radiation treatments to the site and one year of the medication Herceptin.

The weekend following Melissa's surgery, she had complications with her breathing and oxygen levels.  She was hospitalized for two days to strengthen these levels, after which, she was sent home with oxygen for four weeks but was slowly able to remove the need for oxygen after the levels in her system stabilized.

An infection (MERSA) developed in the incision, from her surgery, a few days later after she was released from the hospital.  A drainage tube was placed in the incision and antibiotics were prescribed to fight the infection.  This delayed any possibility of working with her massage customers, as she hoped she could do before chemo started.  Chuck has missed several days of work to be with Melissa through these complications, doctor appointments, and the hospital stay.

Melissa will not be able to begin working with her customers until her cancer treatments are completed which, if all goes well, will be a 6 month process for treatments and recovery.  She is  also experiencing nerve damage from the removal of the lymph nodes.  Chuck's paid sick and vacation time is within a few days of expiring until July, 2018.  He will not be paid for days he must miss if he needs to care for Melissa.

These have been difficult and discouraging times that delayed her treatment, but on Sept. 13, 2017, Melissa began her first chemo treatment.

The loss of Melissa's income will be crucial to Melissa and Chuck, as they deal with having to pay medical and living expenses.  Her desire is to be able to return to work as soon as possible.  Medical bills for Melissa and Chuck, above their medical insurance costs, are unknown at this time.

Difficult times also bring difficult decisions.  It is hard to ask for help when you would rather be giving.  Melissa and Chuck are grateful to friends and family who have helped in the past few weeks and they appreciate their continue support. 

Now it is a time to help them.   They are sure God will meet their needs!  Will you consider having a part in Melissa's Journey of Faith?

Psalm 56:3-4,  "When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid."

Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you", this is the Lord's declaration - "plans for your well being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

When I met my wife, 10 years ago, she asked me about Melissa and I remember telling her that Melissa was geniunely one of the nicest people that I know.  I've known Melissa for over 33 years now and she has been a wonderul mother to our son Brandon.  Over the years, I've gotten to know Chuck as incredibly kind and has been a great stepdad to my son.  I'm grateful that both of them have helped shape the man my son has turned out to be.  It's in moments like these that we need to support those who deserve it the most.  If you would, please consider a donation, whatever the size it may be, to help alleviate the financial burden that Chuck and Melissa will be going through during this journey.


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Organizer and beneficiary

James Chastain 
Elyria, OH
Melissa Kennedy 
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