It’s been a pretty gruesome week for my aunt Lizette Williams Marlow. What started with a simple mammography ended up with the piercing diagnosis every woman dreads: breast cancer. Her gaze lands on the pictures on the office wall of her oncologist. Effortless tears fall from her eyes. Yes, this was a very excruciatingly familiar room. It was the exact room she had sat when they diagnosed her late husband with liver cancer in 2007 leaving her and their 3 young children behind. This above picture is telling of the kind of woman my auntie is: Loving and family-oriented.
In this picture, she lays for a 5-minute nap between calls for scheduling the PET scan (which insurance will not cover) to find out if the cancer has spread elsewhere, being on hold with the insurance company for ever and ever to see what they will and will not cover, wondering how her three children will cope with yet another parent going through cancer treatments, and not having slept for so many days trying to conquer her fears and holding onto the precious promises of God... As soon as she closes her eyes, the phone rings again.
How do I describe my auntie? I don’t think one simple word would do it. I tried to describe her above as loving and family-oriented, but she is much more than that. I remember my wedding 5 years ago. She spent endless hours decorating, contacting this person and that person for various resources and wedding things, even spending money of her own, to make our celebration a stunning one. Undoubtedly, it was a breathtaking wedding, thanks to her. She donated her effort, money, and time to make our wedding day the most precious day of our lives, and we did not even hire her, yet she outperformed our hired wedding coordinator with ease! When I asked her after the wedding why she helped so much, she replied with "Are you kidding me? You are family and I would do it again in a heartbeat!" That's just one story, but she touches the lives of many around her in similar ways, not asking for one penny in return.
Now here we are. She faces mortality again, now personally, and all the ugly reality that it is, with the frustrations, the fears, and yes... the costs. There are many costs that the insurance company will not cover and the bills keep piling on. I wish I could cover it all (and I would do it if I could), and just have her worry about getting better and fighting this monster, but I can’t.
I am starting this Go-Fund-Me, not only to help her financially, but to overwhelm her with the realization that she is not alone in this fight. She has touched so many lives and it is our turn to give back, even in a small way. If you do not know her, I wish you did, because your life would be that much brighter and sweeter.
Thank you for your love and support.