Friends of Captain G

Gina and I have been friends for over 25 years. Since I've known her, Gina has had stomach problems that doctors dismissed as stress, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ulcers, gastritis, and problems with digestion. It wasn't until April 2014 that Gina finally came into the care of a doctor who suspected that her stomach problems were more severe than previously thought. After a grueling exploratory surgery, Gina was diagnosed with stage 4 Carcinoid cancer and given 2-20 years to live. For folks that don't know about Carcinoid cancer, it is a slow growing cancer that is often found within the soft organs of the abdomen. Typically, Carcinoid cancer is found accidentally, and long after the tumors have invaded the stomach, colon, appendix, small intestine, lungs, and/or rectum. Although there is no treatment for Carcinoid cancer, Gina is part of an experimental study through Dana Farber Cancer Institute where she receives regular injections of inhibitors that have, so far prevented the growth of Gina's tumors. 
Since her diagnosis four years ago, Gina has gone on to marry the love of her life, maintain full time employment as a veterinary nurse, travel, build a loving community of family and friends, and reengage with political activism. 
At this time, Gina is four years past diagnosis and has already outlived the low end of her initial prognosis. Though Gina's cancer has not advanced, the effects of living with cancer have their effect on Gina. Depression, fatigue, body pain and weakness, stomach pain, intestinal issues, and stress affect issues of daily living. Despite her illness, Gina is committed to remaining employed full time, but due to health concerns, maintaining her third shift employment will not be possible indefinitely. Because Gina's sleep and circadian rhythms are greatly affected by her cancer, working overnight is simply too depleting to Gina to be sustainable. Along with giving up her third shift schedule, Gina will also be forced to give up the third shift differential that makes her self care and ability to enjoy life to her fullest ability possible. 
At this moment, things are looking pretty bright for Gina; she has a loving wife, family, good friends, and a vibrant community. Since her diagnosis, Gina has renewed her commitment to building community and social justice. Gina is a respected and loved member of many communities, and she needs our help to stay as healthy as possible. . With your help Gina will continue to enjoy all that life has to offer  Every donation will make a difference.
  • Nonnie DiFazio 
    • $25 
    • 35 mos
  • Karen Kerschbaum 
    • $20 
    • 36 mos
  • Jean Firetto  
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Mo Boland 
    • $20 
    • 36 mos
  • Steve and Julie Crocker  
    • $30 
    • 36 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Melvin Parkley 
Arlington, MA
Gina Pagano 
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