The Murphy Family Medical Fund

My dear friend, Audrey Murphy, has been fighting Stage 4 Lung cancer (Adenocarcinoma) since April 2012, when her first daughter Lola was just 4 weeks old (now 18 months). Audrey was only 30 years old and prior to her diagnosis, she was in great health and a non-smoker.
Instead of basking in being first time mom, Audrey has gone through countless surgeries (she had 1/2 half her lung removed as well as a 3 ribs and lymph nodes) and treatments. Round #2 came early this year while pregnant with Baby Murphy #2. Her fighting spirit and her husband Jimmy's devotion are inspiring. Needless to say the medical bills are astronomical for all the hospital stays, surgeries, tests and treatments. With Baby Murphy #2 (Connor) delivered this past past August at 35 weeks and still in the NICU, the bills continue to pile up for this young family.
We are asking for you donations (of any amount..even $1 helps!) to offset any costs forced upon the Murphy Family at this distressful time.

Here is just a bit of the Murphy Family's Story...

After all surgeries in May (and her 31st birthday) the Summer of 2012 was months of chemotherapy and radiation, driving back and fourth between Charlotte and Duke Medical Center over 2 hours away. Tests and more tests followed. In October of 2012 Audrey was given the green light from the Duke "tumor board" to just live her life as it seemed the cancer growth had stopped. The Murphy family was looking forward to the holiday's with their baby girl! All the while Audrey still went to doctor appointments for MRI's and PET scans to monitor to monitor her health.

Unfortunately by February of 2013 Audrey had unbearable pain in her back, shoulder, head...the list went on. Nothing showed up in scans by the pain was debilitating her. Many sleepless nights were spent trying to get comfortable to no avail. Audrey couldn't really take anything for the pain because Audrey was miraculously pregnant with Baby #2 (something they thought would be impossible with all the chemotherapy she had been through). Baby Murphy was due in September 2013.

By To further complicate things in April (a year after she was first diagnosed), Audrey had an odd raised bump in the middle of her chest about the circumference of a tennis ball. Audrey drove to Duke and the news was what they feared and expected - that the swollen area on her chest that was biopsied showed more cancer.

The plan of attack was more radiation until Baby Murphy #2 arrived.
On July 8th, after weeks of radiation and no pain relief (or sleep for that matter) the results of the CT scan came in and a mass behind Audrey's heart was two abnormally large lymph nodes. A fetal ultrasound showed Baby #2 was doing well at 2.5 pounds at 29 week. By the next day the doctors were all on the same page. The consensus was they would do nothing in efforts to get baby #2 more weeks of development. The mass that Audrey had behind her heart is not life threatening at that moment. Acid reflux, back pain, and severe headache were all being caused by this mass. Audrey would have a blood thinner shot once a day to make sure she didn't have any blood clots. Ideally they wanted to get to the 32-34 week range before talking about delivering Baby #2.

Days later, yet another setback in the hospital. Audrey could not breath and a stent had to be placed which would open up Audrey's Superior Vena Cava (big artery next to heart) which they thought was causing the headaches and shortness of breath.
With Audrey still not improving in the ICU, chemotherapy (which was deemed safe for the baby) began to shrink the tumor. Yes, Audrey was 29 weeks pregnant and starting chemo. Thankfully 5 days later Audrey was able to go home and see Lola (aka Baby Murphy #1) although she was under strict orders to to lift her 17 month old (which anyone who ever has had a toddler can imagine in darn near impossible).

August came around and Audrey was still hanging in there, breathing was still difficult and she was still unable to sleep at night from all the pain. Audrey made it to 32 weeks and the new goal was now Labor Day (no pun intended). By the end of August a blood transfusion was needed because the doctors feared she would not have strength to deliver.

On August 25th after over 4 days of no sleep from the pain Audrey was admitted back to the hospital to be induced at 35 weeks.
Connor Michael Murphy Born August 27th 10:14 pm 5 lbs 7 oz. Audrey was amazing! Hours after delivering she was sent in to get a PET scan to see how her tumors were looking. The scans showed no change, though radiation would be needed to address the issues they found months earlier.

On September 7th Audrey and Jimmy met her doctors at Duke to go over her option, which were : 1. Do nothing and monitor Audrey's health 2. Just do Chemotherapy 3. Radiation and chemotherapy. They went over the consequences of doing and not doing treatments and decided that they wanted to stay aggressive with the treatment. Audrey started another round of chemotherapy and radiation. Connor was still in the NICU this entire time (trying to get his weight and temperature up) and in mid September he had to have a spinal tap to find out the cause of his low blood count. He contracted Strep 3 even though Audrey had tested negative during her pregnancy. A round of antibiotics and more time in the NICU were in order.

The most recent blow was on September 25th. Audrey was hospitalized with difficulty breathing. Walking up stairs was extremely difficult and bending down felt like her head was going to explode. She went to see her oncologist and after a quick check the doctor immediately admitted her in the hospital. She had a ct scan and echo cardiogram done. It turned out that the Superior Vena Cava stent that Audrey had done in July had a blockage. To make matters worse the echo showed fluid around her heart and she had fluid in her lungs from the pneumonia she had contracted a week earlier. Audrey would need surgery to drain the fluid around her heart and to give her some relief from her symptoms.
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Madeline Goins 
Charlotte, NC
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