On May 6, 2020 my dear, beautiful friend Raelynn was diagnosed with colon cancer and her whole life turned upside down. So far, in the height of Covid lockdown she had to endure a 6.5 hour surgery alone, and has powered through 9 out of 12 chemotherapy rounds with grace and the strength I can only describe as a superpower! Chemotherapy is never easy, but hers has resulted in two hospitalizations from complications due to severe reactions to some of the chemotherapy drugs. However, she endures because there is only one option for her and that is to be cancer free and healthy, so she can watch her babies grow.
Prior to her diagnosis, Raelynn was a ‘stay at home mama’ and she and her family lived conservatively off of one income. This meant no extras, no holidays, sticking with a two-door car for a family of four and of course no savings. Her husband, Mike has taken a leave of absence from work to care for Raelynn and be the ‘stay at home dad’ for their girls. Mike can’t return to work until Raelynn has completed chemotherapy because she is severely immunocompromised. CERB has kept them afloat until last month. Their initial claim for a caregiver benefit has been denied, but they are appealing the decision, but even with the benefit they will still not be able to make ends meet.
Raelynn is a people pleaser and therefore asking for support or help is hard for her. She’s not asking, I am. I know 2020 has been a struggle for many, but if you feel you could spare even a little to help Raelynn and her family out, it would go such a long way.
- Hayden O'Neal
- Julie Smart
- Kimberley Turner
Organizer and beneficiary
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