Let's show Debbie D the love!

I have been best friends with Deb Dellolio for a LONG time…33 YEARS! She isn’t just my best friend, she is more like my sister. I consider her family and would do anything for her. We have shared a lot of memories over the years and have been through A LOT together. We’ve shared a lot of good times and our fair share of “not so good times”. Those “not so good times” include Deb being diagnosed with MS over 20 years ago. I remember thinking at the time how unfair it was that someone so young and in such good health could be dealt such a bad deal. I also remember thinking it would probably be the hardest thing she would ever have to deal with. Sadly, I was wrong. In 2012 Deb was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her life would never be the same but just like with her MS diagnosis, she was determined not to let it stop her or define her. She put her life on hold and put all of her focus into beating it. And she did...for 5 years anyway.

In December of this past year, literally just 1 week from celebrating her 5-year “cancer free” mark, Deb got the devastating news that her cancer had returned. And this time, it would be an even bigger battle. Not only would she have to undergo chemo and all that goes with it (again) but this time she would need to have a mastectomy. Her life would once again be changed forever. Doctors told her it was going to be a long road but that she had a good chance of beating it again. What they (and she) couldn’t have known however was JUST how long and difficult it would be. Deb had to take a leave of absence from her job to once again fight the battle of her life. The past 10 months have been filled with countless doctors’ appointments, chemo, surgery, and unfortunately all the bills that come along with it. Thankfully, she had medical insurance through Foxwoods and was able to get the best care possible from an amazing team of doctors in Boston. They have literally saved her life and given her a ray of hope. But Deb found out recently that her medical coverage would no longer be paid for by Foxwoods and is now her responsibility. It would be tough enough to pay over $800/month for insurance IF she was working, but without having worked in 10 months, well you get it. But she has no choice, insurance for her isn’t an option!  

In addition to now paying for insurance, Deb also has an unending stack of bills and the calls come daily related to her medical bills and “every day” life expenses. Although I can honestly tell you I have NEVER ONCE heard Debbie complain or ask “why me”, I see the toll it has taken on her physically, emotionally and financially. I see how she struggles and I know what it has done to her. And now, in just a few short days (Mon. Oct. 22) Deb will once again head back to Boston to have her life forever “altered” again as she undergoes yet another surgery to complete the mastectomy doctors started 8 months ago. I’m not honestly sure if I could handle all that she has gone through with the courage and grace she has shown and I ask God every single night that I never have to find out. But what I am sure of is that I love Debbie D. like a sister and would do anything to help her…so here I am! I know Deb is an intensely private person (and I’ll probably get yelled at for doing this!) but after seeing the many loving and supportive posts she got yesterday about her pic with Melissa Etheridge, I had an idea.  Deb has a lot of friends, co-workers from Foxwoods and family in NY, many of whom have asked what they could do to help. With all that has gone on, all that is going to come in the next few days and weeks and the fact that this TUESDAY, OCT. 16TH IS DEB’S BIRTHDAY!! I had an idea! I have set up a “Go Fund Me” campaign to allow anyone who would like to join me in showing Deb some love and support the ability to do so! Big or small I know every dollar and more importantly, every message of hope and love will mean the world to her (like yesterdays!). Deb’s focus and energy should be on beating cancer (again) and not worrying about how she is going to pay for it so I hope you’ll consider donating in honor of Deb’s birthday and/or in honor of someone you know who has, or is, currently fighting the battle. I have no idea how much we can raise to help her (so I put a goal of $1,000?) but I do know how in debt she is and that every cent will help. I also know how very much she’ll appreciate it!

And I would like to start it off with a donation not only in celebration of my best friend Deb’s 51st birthday but also in memory of my mom, Dorothy Burek DiBello, who lost her courageous battle 36 years ago this Wednesday (Oct. 17) … a day after we celebrate Deb’s birthday.

So, I hope you’ll join me in showing Debbie D. lots of love by…

- making a “birthday donation” to her Go Fund Me Campaign.

- sending her messages of love and support (even if you don't donate!)

- sharing this post with ANYONE and EVERYONE you can think of (especially her Foxwoods friends and NY family of whom I don’t have many addresses!)

- AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL…keeping Deb in your thoughts and prayers as she undergoes surgery next Monday in Boston.

Let’s give Deb one of THE BEST birthdays she has ever had and all of the love and support she can get to help her with what is HOPEFULLY the FINAL leg of this long journey she has been on!


Thank you for all of your love and support.

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Organizer

Lisa DiBello 
Organizer
Charlestown, RI
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