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Get Mel Out Of Oncology and Back to Pedagogy

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The Short And To The Point:
Mel Chua, our favorite Deaf techie/community organizer/human jumper cable, has metastatic bladder cancer (see below for a more whimsical rundown of The Story Up Until Now). Our hero has:

-Been hospitalized in multiple countries

-Had an International Medevac (This is not an inexpensive mode of travel)

-Had to find and retrofit an apartment in the Bay Area that could accommodate their wheelchair, that is also close enough to their oncology team at Stanford that they can make their appointments.

-Mel's current oncologist is unsure whether a curative route can be pursued. The outcome for this kind and stage of cancer is usually dismal....for the more common population with this type of cancer, who are generally more than twice Mel's age, so she refuses to give up. Surgery with HIPEC is something she wants to investigate, even though it will be excruciating during treatment and recovery, and some doctors may hesitate to recommend it. This means a budget is also needed for 2nd and 3rd opinions and relevant transport.

Mel wants to live, and is willing to go through painful treatments to get there, dangit.

-Living alone in the Bay Area with mobility and sensory disabilities, while also coping with cancer pain and chemotherapy symptoms is really more than Mel is physically up to at the moment, so some funds will likely go towards further adaptive equipment and services, and hiring Personal Care Aide(s)

-Treating cancer is inherently expensive, but the exact pricetag that it will get to isn't clear yet, so some funds will likely go to paying additional medical bills, or other treatment options that aren't currently in the plan.

A more whimsical rundown, with apologies to the Fresh Prince:

This is the story all about how
my life got flipped turned upside down,
And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there,
I'll tell you why I'm here asking for your care


While working - yeah I'm still ABD -
on my dissertation - for a Purdue PhD
researching, teaching, GA Tech, NTID
And speaking at conferences where you might have seen me,
When my legs and my joints started acting like elastic,
So I started using wheels to get around - I'm fast AND spastic
While looking into why my limbs were full of lightning,
The doctors took a look and we found something fright'ning,
And what did they find, to my surprise,
But a tumor in my bladder that had to be excised

A year went by, so far so good,
and I thought I could visit friends outside my neighborhood,
But while I was in Toronto,
I needed more help pronto,
The cancer was back when I thought I'd said so long to 'em,
it metastasized and blocked my duodenum

So now I'm back at Stanford as you can see
and I'll put updates here if you want to know what's up with me
I can use those prayers and supports to the best of your ability
and food, but mostly liquid, since I've got some dysmotility

(beatboxing outro, cut to beginning of next episode...)


  • Anonymous
    • $200 
    • 8 d
  • Jennifer Strickland
    • $20 
    • 14 d
  • Justin Blanchard
    • $2,500 
    • 15 d
  • Erica Sim
    • $100 
    • 15 d
  • Shauna Gordon-McKeon
    • $100 
    • 19 d

Fundraising team (2)

Mel Chua
Raised $31,151 from 74 donations
Mountain View, CA
Erin Dowd
Team member
Raised $1,965 from 8 donations
This team raised $25,561 from 125 other donations.

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