Monica Bullard lost two loved ones to terminal lung cancer within 7 months of each other, first her sister and then her mom. She was the primary caretaker for both of them from their point of diagnoses (3 months apart) until their last breaths.
Five months after her mother’s passing, Monica began to realize that the headaches and pains in her arm she had been experiencing for several weeks were more than they seemed. It suddenly transitioned into stiffness in her neck and numbness in her arm and leg, impeding her ability to move. She went to the hospital. They kept her overnight, for two nights and multiple tests and scans.
On August 11th, 2017, exactly one year from her sister’s passing, Monica was diagnosed with a Glioma Brain Tumor.
On September 22, six weeks after the general diagnosis and a ton of research, Monica went in for brain surgery to have the tumor removed and biopsied at UCSF.
The great news is that the team of doctors was able to achieve total gross resection of the tumor, more than they originally thought, but because cancer cells are left behind, the tumor will come back.
When conducting the surgery, they discovered that her optic nerves were not *against* the tumor (as they had originally suspected from the scans) but rather wrapped through and around it.
Monica is now legally blind, with a major loss in both peripheral and spacial vision. She may gain back some of her spacial vision within the next two years, but her peripheral vision will never return.
Within two weeks of surgery, the results of the biopsy came in. Monica was just officially diagnosed with Grade II, Difused Astrocytoma.
This is a life-long battle that Monica will have to endure. While they were able to remove ALL of the tumor, Grade II, Difused Astrocytoma is highly likely to come back. She will require regular monitoring, which requires her to follow-up every 8 weeks for tests and scans and to meet with her life team at UCSF.
Despite all the loss she has had to endure, her laughter still prevails. She continues to live life full of grace and love. She has two beautiful children, Hayden and Wyatt, and a supportive husband, Rich. She is honestly the most positive, happy person you could ever meet.
We are asking for help because Monica has incurred exorbitant medical costs. The bills are already rolling in. And with life-long treatment and follow-ups required, the costs will continue. This includes travel to San Francisco; food and lodging for two (she has to bring someone with her, since she is legally blind); ongoing scans and lab work; and countless medications and prescriptions she must take.
Monica is a helper, always giving to and caring for others. She has always been independent and self-reliant, never asking for anything. If ever there were a time for her community to rally and help her out, it is now.
Thank you for your support.
- Ashley Messer
- Shevaun Campanella
- Grandma & Grandpa Applegate
- Robin Campbell
- Dae Jun Kim
Organizer and beneficiary
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