My name is Amy Johnson. I created this fundraiser to ask for your support so that we may provide my mom the comfort and care she deserves as she continues her fight with cancer. Though her spirit is unwavering, and she has never given up on the fight, we know her time with us is now limited.
After fighting for almost two decades, on June 9th, 2018, Oncologists at Mayo Clinic in Rochester (MN), estimated she had only 4-8 weeks to live. She has already surpassed this and we are blessed to still have her with us. We’ve come to a time where we are no longer able to support her needs and we’ve had to transfer her to full-time care in a nursing facility. Unfortunately, this is not a covered medical expense and costs nearly $9,000 a month to care for her.
The trips to Mayo Clinic over the years have allowed mom the best fighting chance; but have also created a huge financial strain. On top of insurance premiums, medical expenses not covered, travel and lodging expenses, my dad has struggled to keep his business afloat, leaving them in a constant struggle to make ends meet. Having to borrow to get by has in left them in an unmanageable amount of debt, needing to reach out for help.
As her Daughter and Advocate, I thank you for taking the time to read Terri’s story. Myself, my mom and my family will appreciate any help in sharing her story and are beyond grateful for all your prayers, support, and donations.
ABOUT TERRI & HER FAMILY
For those of you who don't know my mom personally, she is a determined and creative woman. She enjoys knitting and crocheting; donating hats made with love to cancer treatment centers. She loved attending summer concert events, campfires, and making new friends. She’s a lover of nature and capturing its beauty through photography. She cherished the time riding with her husband on the motorcycle, especially along Lake Superior near the Porcupine Mountains. She is a woman of strength and resilience and values her time spent with loved ones.
Terri has been married to Richard for nearly 40 years. They had two children together, and now have 4 grandchildren. Richard has been by her side through it all. Being the sole Owner/Operator of his trucking business, it has been extremely hard for him to take off to care for mom. Time off = no income. Although each trip would set him further into debt, he would try his best to always be there for my mom. He works harder than anyone I know, yet rarely gets ahead. When he wasn’t able to be there, I would care for her. She lived with my daughter and me for several months while she went through treatments in Green Bay. My grandmother, Dolly, my brother’s fiancé, Nikki, and others, have also dedicated many years to helping my mom live her best life.
While Terri was fighting for her own life, I was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma in December 2017. It broke her heart to watch me go through the same journey she’s had to endure mentally, physically and financially. With the support of family and friends, I made it through my fight. I have been cancer-free since I completed chemotherapy (February 2018) and radiation (April 2018). From the beginning I decided #strongistheonlyoption… learning how to fight and stay strong from my mother.
TERRI’S FIGHT: A JOURNEY OF RESILIENCE
Many of you may already know Terri has endured an extremely difficult journey; fighting what originated as a rare Ovarian Cancer over 18 years ago. She has fought through countless diagnostic procedures, several major surgeries, targeted radiation therapy, and numerous oral and IV chemotherapy treatments. Several of these had brought her close to death.
Though she has never abandoned hope for healing, the cancer has now metastasized, filling her entire body with multiple aggressive and rare cancers. The spread of the cancer has resulted in many falls causing numerous painful fractures.
Most recently her hip was broken beyond repair, as it was already severely deteriorated from the cancer. In order to regain her ability to walk, she is in need of a full hip replacement. Unfortunately, this is no longer an option due to her current condition.
After this discovery, in June 2018, she was hospitalized for over a month. Because her wishes were to be at home, she was transferred into the care of her family with limited nursing assistance available. Her needs exceeded our ability to care for her properly when an ongoing resistant infection and severe side effects from a new medication made her unresponsive; resulting in immediate hospitalization.
This brings us to her recent transfer to the nursing facility. Although this is not where we would like to see Terri being cared for, this is what we have concluded as a family is necessary to ensure she is safe and monitored by medical professionals. We thank you again for reading her story and for offering any support you are able to. If you would like to visit or send her mail, please reach out to me for the information.
(Note: the photo was taken of my mom and I at a follow up at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, a few years ago - after she had received some good news that the cancer was shrinking)
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