Leah's Fight For Life

We are writing this on behalf of our mother. She is 64 “years young” with 2 grandchildren (ages 1 and 3 yrs.).  She retired at the end of September 2016 with a brand new granddaughter, excited to spend quality time with family and friends.   In April 2017 we were struck with a huge shock in finding out that she was diagnosed with stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma not treatable with Chemo, Radiation or surgery.  It has shaken our whole family, and our whole world. 

She has battled skin cancer off and on throughout her life, always staying on top of it.   Just a few years back her Dermatologist had sent a referral letter to one of Canada’s leading cancer hospitals requesting she be seen for a regular screening and a closer following based on her personal and family history of melanoma.  The first letter was apparently confused with what was being requested so a second letter was sent to explain and give more details.  No follow up was made on this request from the hospital.

In January 2017, after experiencing a persistent cough and treating it with several weeks of prescribed antibiotics, a nurse practitioner requested that she go for a chest X-Ray.  Results showed several spots on her liver, esophagus and lung.  She was then scheduled for a biopsy and later diagnosed with cancer.  They were results we never saw coming.  She was declined clinical trial at Princess Margaret based on receiving two treatments of immunal therapy prior to finding out about the trial.  With very little medical options to offer in Canada for this type of cancer, she was recommended by a friend (now 12 years in remission) to seek treatment in Germany where they have many advanced treatments to offer.  Two trips have already been made since May of 2017 in combination with the one treatment she is currently receiving in Canada.  Some progress has been made but she has a long road ahead of her if she is to have a chance at life. 

She is a strong and positive woman that has not accepted that this is going to beat her.  She is now faced with a decision based on her best and immediate options being in Germany.  Life saving medication is available there but not available in Canada through our medical system.   Cancer Care Ontario has been approached to provide access to the medication but has repeatedly shut the door on her due to lack of data and research done in Canada even though response to the drugs have proven successful through clinical trial outside of the country.  Frustrated and stressed, she has been left with no alternative but to travel away from her home and family.  Our parents have made the decision to sell their home to pay for life saving treatment using up their equity, and retirement savings. 

Treatment in Germany is private and expensive.  Having to be away from family has added stress and anxiety to an already difficult time in her life.  We are asking for your compassion and help to raise funds for treatment required for this type of cancer. 

Our goal is:  $85,000 estimated for medication and clinic care only.

Your support is sincerely appreciated by our family.  Thank you for your consideration.  Any remaining money raised will be donated to Melanoma Cancer Research.
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Lauren Bond 
Orangeville, ON
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