Back in 2012, my mom, Mariko was diagnosed with lymphoma. After 6 rounds of radiation and a tonsillectomy, we were overjoyed- she was cancer-free.
This past April, she went in for her bi-annual check up and there were no signs that her cancer had returned. We were grateful that after reaching her 5 year mark, she remained in remission.
But only a month later, she found a bump on the right side of her neck. We rushed her in for a biopsy and to our dismay she was diagnosed with stage 3 non-hodgkins lymphoma. While we're unsure if her current diagnosis of lymphoma is related to her previous cancer, we do know one thing - this cancer is much more aggressive than before and will require multiple intensive rounds of chemotherapy, more so than that of an average cancer patient.
My mom's condition is what they call a "double hit" (diffuse large B-cell) lymphoma, which is a high risk form of NHL. Needless to say, it was heartbreaking. I was at work when she called me with the news and after I hung up the phone, I couldn't stop crying.
Later that afternoon as I was driving to her house, I kept thinking to myself, 'I need to be there for her, I need to be the strong one'. But instead, my mom took me aside and comforted me and promised me that she would be strong, she would beat this again. I knew from that point, that even though I was worried, if anyone could survive this, it would be her.
Over 20 years ago, my mom came to the US from Japan as a single parent, seeking a better fit education for me and my brother. She raised us both on a teacher's salary while also attending a local college to further her own education. She has been teaching Japanese at the Westside Waldorf School for over 14 years. Her students have continually sought to learn from her, both through school and private lessons. Her efforts have been tireless, continually striving to help others and build a bright future for her students. My mom is lucky to have many friends and supporters, people who care for her well-being and want to see her make a full recovery.
My reason for creating a GoFundMe is to help pay for the remainder of her care and necessary expenses. While my mom is fortunate to have insurance for some of her treatment, there is much that is not covered and requires us to pay out-of-pocket. The outlook of her condition thus far has been positive, and this week she received good news from her doctors about her latest PET scan. We feel confidant at this time that she will make a full recovery and she is excited to be back in the classroom and teaching as soon as her cancer treatment is complete.
Again, if you cannot make a donation, please keep my mom, Mariko, in your thoughts and prayers. I cannot stress enough how important moral support is during this trying time. Any and all help, love and kindness is greatly appreciated.
I will be posting weekly updates and we are grateful to have you join us on Mariko's journey to recovery.