Martha's Brain Surgery Recovery Fund

A message from Zoe and the rest of the Grovers:

Hello Friends (and soon to be friends)!
As many of you know, my sister, Martha Grover, was diagnosed with “Cushing Disease” over ten years ago. Since then, Martha has had two brain surgeries and a third surgery to remove her adrenal glands.
For over a decade, Martha has juggled more medications than most pharmacists, distressing and pervasive insurance issues, and chronic pain that frequently makes it difficult to do much besides watch tv.
Through all of that, Martha has been an active member of her community, spearheading “The Peoples Guide to Portland,”  helping organize an annual gift drive for local homeless individuals, and supporting female and non-binary creatives in the Portland area with at-cost retreats. As if that weren’t enough, Martha has been a major source of emotional support to our (giant) family, frequently being called upon to mediate conversations, listen to us vent, and act as our cheerleader.
BUT now Martha needs our help. Martha found out that she has to have a third brain surgery on March 4th.
After her surgery, Martha will have to take extended time off of work and will use these funds to meet her basic needs: health care costs, food, car payments etc.
Please help us help her.

A message from her writing community:

Martha Grover has worn many hats in Portland’s artistic community over the past seventeen years. A zinester (she has been writing and publishing Somnambulist since 2002), and an acclaimed author (her second book, The End of My Career was a finalist for the 2017 Oregon Book Award in creative nonfiction and was recently listed by Cheryl Strayed in the New York Times as her "favorite book no one else has heard of") Martha, once called "the voice of Portland right now" in the Portland Mercury, writes beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking essays with incredible vulnerability.

Martha has also hosted several popular storytelling series in Portland and East County, served as a longtime volunteer for the Portland Zine Symposium, and is a wonderfully idiosyncratic visual artist. Anyone familiar with her work will also know that Martha has accomplished all of this while being chronically ill. Next month, Martha will undergo a third brain surgery to remove a tumor on her Pituitary gland that has been wreaking havoc on her physical and mental health over the past two years. She’s in need of some financial help as she faces this surgery. Thanks for sharing with anyone you know who might be in a position to help one of Portland’s literary gems get back on her feet!

More About Martha's Disease (from Martha):

In 2008, I was diagnosed with a rare endocrine disease called “Cushing’s Disease”. In addition to being a dangerous and deadly disease, Cushing’s is usually cured by removing hormone-producing tumors on your pituitary gland. (Located in the center of your brain.) I had two different unsuccessful brain surgeries in 2008. They weren’t able to remove the tumor. I tried an experimental drug study that was supposed to block my body’s ability to absorb excess cortisol (the cause of the Cushing’s Disease). None of this worked. In 2010 I made the extremely hard decision  to remove my adrenal glands.

Removing my adrenal glands cured me of Cushing’s disease and excess cortisol, but it gave me another disease to manage: Addison’s Disease. My body can no longer produce cortisol and other hormones on its own. I have to take daily medication to stay alive. Over the last ten years, I’ve managed my up and down health as best as possible with regular doctor visits, daily medications and the constant support of my family and friends.

What’s different now?

Every six months I have to get an MRI to check up on the tumor on my pituitary gland. The last time I got this routine MRI about a month ago,  I was informed that not only was the tumor growing, but that it was spewing out large amounts of ACTH (the bad hormone that causes Cushing’s). Long story short - I have to get this tumor removed.

Furthermore, the large amount of ACTH being produced by the tumor most likely accounts for how poorly I’ve been feeling for close to two years. My family and friends have all noticed that not only has my chronic pain and fatigue increased, but my mental health has suffered as well. I can’t tell you how many work meetings, social engagements, and artistic pursuits, (including three teaching jobs) that I’ve had to miss out on because of my health.  It really makes me sad to think about the weddings, birthday parties, readings and baby showers that I’ve missed. Being sick sucks.

This fund will help me see my therapist, pay for a lot of delayed maintenance on my car, and generally have the peace of mind knowing that at least for a few months, I don’t need to worry about my income. Thank you so much in advance. Your support means the world to me.
  • Karleigh Brogan 
    • $50 
    • 14 mos
  • Jill Mack 
    • $100 
    • 14 mos
  • Maria Solano 
    • $100 
    • 15 mos
  • David Roche 
    • $50 
    • 15 mos
  • Bobby Hayden 
    • $25 
    • 15 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Grover Family (4)

Zoe Grover 
Raised $2,600 from 19 donations
Gresham, OR
Martha Grover 
Martha Grover 
Team member
Raised $4,036 from 52 donations
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