As some of you know, mom, Mary Lou, was recently diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer called mucosal melanoma. She has already undergone surgery to remove the primary tumor, and fortunately this has not shown to have metastasized anywhere else. We were told that there is a 75% chance that this will come back within a year even with treatments. Most people are told 100% chance of it coming back so being told 75% chance was actually positive news. The doctor also told her that it will most likely not come back in the same place the primary tumor was found. This means it could come back in any of the other mucosal tissues in the body as well as the lymph system, so regular scans and starting treatments immediately will be necessary.
Given the nature of this cancer and the very poor prognosis, as well as doctors not knowing for sure what treatments work to stop this from recurring, there are little treatment options available and the only one approved so far is extremely expensive. So the only other route was to get qualified for a clinical trial. Previous clinical trials using chemo and radiation have not shown positive results, however the oncologist told mom there was one trial using immunotherapy that had shown positive results out of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. They immediately started working on getting mom's file to Mayo to get her qualified for prescreening...and she did!
Mom and Dad spent last week in Minnesota at the clinic having additional tests, scans and blood work run to make sure she fit every criteria for the trial. The doctor told them that they have only had 10 people come for pre-trial testing and mom is only the 6th person to qualify. The other four did not qualify because the cancer had returned within one month of the primary tumor being removed. It has been about two months since moms tumor was removed with no show of it being anywhere else, more positive news! This means treatments will be covered by Mayo, however lodging, food, and travel cost will not.
Mom has already had her first treatment, but there are 14 more to follow, and treatments are 3 weeks apart. Given the distance from home to Mayo this means a lot of flights and overnight stays away from home. Our goal is to help cover the cost of these expenses so that there isn't the added financial burden on Mom and Dad with already dealing with the stress of the next year of treatments and side effects, travel and time missed from work.
I am speaking on behalf of my siblings and parents that any donation will be greatly appreciated in helping get mom to these treatments. We are taking the 25% odds of beating this and being able to look forward to many more cancer free years with mom!
Thank you in advance for all donations given to this fund!