Last week, I received shocking news about a very dear friend of mine. Her name is Marianne, "Mimi" to those who know her well. Mimi was very recently diagnosed with stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. When I was told about the diagnosis, my heart sank. I felt helpless and the only words I could find were "what can I do?" Knowing that I have experience in raising funds through crowdfunding, Mimi asked if I would be willing to help her raise money so that she could afford optional treatments that could, at the very least, prolong her life.
Of course, I will do anything I can to help my friend.
These past few days have revealed to me an incredibly strong woman, even in the face of such devastating news, Mimi has shown more grace, fight, courage and strength than I have ever witnessed, with an attitude and positivity that humbles and inspires me and anyone that knows her.
She is ready for this fight. And it will be worth every single penny raised during this campaign. Please know that you are backing a fighter who will not give up.
Mimi has so much to live for, especially the anticipated arrival of her first grandchild in April. We want to make sure that she has every chance possible to experience the joys of being a grandmother.
Mimi's journey began when she started feeling pain behind her shoulder blade followed by digestive discomfort, it seems these symptoms came almost overnight. She sought out medical treatment, chiropractic care, and massage therapy for her back pain and used antacids for her stomach issues. Neither of these treatments worked with much satisfaction and two months later she reluctantly found herself in the emergency room for tightness under her rib cage and the pain and discomfort she had been feeling for sometime. She then underwent an ultrasound that detected a mass on her pancreas and “spots” on her liver which indicated that further testing was needed.
After a CT scan of her abdomen, it was learned that Mimi had a large mass in the tail of her pancreas, several lesions within her liver, and a conglomerate of tissues in her lymph nodes. Of course these test results created a lot of unease and concern; the doctors recommended that she undergo a liver biopsy to analyze her tissues.
On November 20, 2017, Mimi, together with her son and daughter-in-law (Curtis and Audrey Patterson), learned that she had stage IV pancreatic cancer. She has been told there is no cure, only palliative care with chemo treatments for 6 months to shrink the tumor.
The diagnosis was heartbreaking.
Where the funds will be used
Marianne will be seeking additional medical opinions out of her medical network in order to connect with the top oncologists in the nation from MD Anderson (in Texas) and their partners in San Diego. AND anywhere else she can receive the top medical advise! Once she is under the umbrella of both Kaiser and MD Anderson, our hopes are that the two medical groups can coordinate to ensure that she can receive the latest advances in medicine and the most comprehensive treatment available.
Funds are needed immediately to provide the treatment and visits required. The funds raised will be used for the following:
Air Travel and overnight stays in hotels, food and transportation for Mimi and her travel companion.
Medical expenses (repetitive tests, consultations, including imaging, blood work, medicine)
Also, we expect that if chemo is needed outside of the Kaiser network, this will mean that exorbitant costs will incur
Everyday household daily living expenses (due to reduced wages and not working)
A more personal look at Mimi
Mimi is a mother to Curtis, mother in-law to Audrey, and soon to be first time grandma to their baby boy who is due to arrive in April of 2018.
Mimi grew up in the Pinole neighborhood of the Bay Area. She is very close with her three sisters, Terri, Linda, and Paulette, and is also a loving aunt and cousin to her wonderful extended family
Mimi is a self proclaimed inspriring artist and co-founded Banners on Parade in Placerville, a community art project that raises funds for the Main street downtown Placerville. In her spare time she enjoys panting.
Mimi is a teacher, and has devoted over thirty years to children as a teacher, through owning a preschool, Growing Minds Early Learning Center, and working for El Dorado County Office of Education Head Start. Mimi's love for children has impacted thousands of kids and she has worked with many organizations that benefit children like Choices For Children and also helped start the annual event, Kid's Expo.
Mimi is a G0-Getter! She has an entrepreneurial spirit and over the years, her experience in event planning led her to starting and working with a number of organizations including the Educational Outlet, Body & Sol and Cafe JoJo.
Mimi is one of the 70 plus Lakeland Ladies, an annual event for girlfriends & sisters meeting in Lake Tahoe that she started 37 years ago.
Mimi is also a fierce American River Poker Pirate and has been playing in our Ladies International Poker League for more than 12 years, as well as many tournaments and loves to go on poker cruises with her fellow pirates. "It's a game of skill, not gambling" she would tell you.
Mimi is also a Bunco Babe - for over 20 years, with the same group of woman who continue to meet monthly.
And she's also a homebody. Mimi loves being in nature, surrounded by her dome home with peaceful gardens and her favorite place to hang out - on her deck.
Please help us raise the funds necessary to help our friend, mother, sister and loved one. We are the only hope she has to get the additional treatment needed to give her the best possible chance.
Thank you so much for your kindness and generousity!
For more about Marrianne's story, and to keep up to date on her progress, please visit her CaringBridge page.
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