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Moving Medical Mountains for Jennifer West

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My name is Jessika Tumbaga. I’m Jennifer West’s cousin through marriage. She has become what I call My Best Friend Sister Cousin.

She is 47 years young, married 25 years to her husband Rick. They have two children, Victoria (11) and Jesse Mateo (6), whom she has homeschooled from “Day One”.

Last October, after a few weeks of indigestion and otherwise casual symptoms, she noticed her eyes were jaundiced, though she had no pain anywhere in her body (& continue to have zero pain). She was admitted to the ER in her town, then transferred to Modesto (1 1/2 hours away from home and her children).  She stayed for five long days and had a procedure (ERCP) done to remove what the doctors assumed were gallstones. Upon operating, doctor discovered a polyp was blocking her bile duct, which he partially removed for a biopsy. The biopsy results came just a day after she was discharged from the hospital, and they confirmed adenocarcinoma.

Because her family was between private insurance enrollment periods, they applied for MediCal to cover this emergency visit and procedure. It took their county forty-five days to approve her case, all the while, her surgeons and doctors were extremely anxious to move forward with treatment. When her case was finally approved, their shared cost was nearly the same amount as her husband’s net monthly income. They could not move forward.

On January 1, 2019, their private insurance became effective, and she began the scan work the doctors needed. In early February, her PET Scan results revealed that the cancer had spread from the bile duct to various lymph nodes and proved she was not a candidate for surgery any longer.

Chemotherapy was the treatment plan prescribed for the cancer that had moved to the lymph nodes throughout her body.

She began one of the higher doses of chemotherapy on Feb 25, and will be continuing for six months- every other week until Aug 2019.

She is paying out of pocket for certain parts of her dr appointments and treatment, all the while bills, mortgage, and regular day to day expenses come. She works cleaning an Airbnb when she can physically push through to help out financially.

I made this page to reach out and see if anybody would be willing to help her and her family. Can we help move these medical mountains, and minimize the amount of financial pressure and stress that this current season has them in?

Jennifer’s scripture over cancer and her body. Matthew 19:26

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””


  • Irina Gedarevich
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Jessika Tumbaga
Twain Harte, CA
Jennifer West

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