Help Aimee Fight for a Cure

I'll never forget the day, October 13th, 2014, when I got the call that caused my world to shatter. Mom had cancer. How could this be? MY mom? No way. There are no words to describe how that news causes your world to come to a complete and heart-shattering halt. However, no matter how much you think it should and feels like it has, the world does not stop. People still depend on you, and others' lives go on as normal. 

It has been a long journey for us. It was around September when Mom felt like her throat was clogged. She thought it was due to allergies and didn't really think much of it. ...until it didn't go away. It got worse. She finally went to the doctor to get checked out. They were pretty sure it was a mass, probably malignant. The next step was to do a biopsy to test it. Several biopsies later, they were all inconclusive. The doctors believed it was probably thyroid cancer. The plan was to go in surgically, remove the mass, and possibly treat with a dose of radiation if it turned out to be cancerous. Once they were in surgery, they found something totally unexpected. There was no mass, but tentacles of lymphoma that had wrapped all around everything in Mom's neck. What awful news to wake up to.

The wait for everything to get determined, doctors established, insurance to approve, etc, seemed like a lifetime. To say we were anxious is an understatement. The only course of treatment is multiple doses of chemo. 

The battle continues. Not only does Mom have cancer, but it turns out that she's allergic to the main chemo drug used to treat it. A few days after her first treatment, her sodium levels and white blood cell count dropped fatally low, and we almost lost her. She was admitted into the ICU, and they were able to stabilize her. All of her doctors have consulted with multiple cancer institutes and allergists to figure out a new plan.

Through the endless amounts of support, prayer, medical advances, and great minds, we've hopefully found a way to administer treatment.  For each treatment, she is admitted into the hospital for several days. The main chemo drug in her cocktail, the one she is allergic to, is administered at an extremely slow rate. They do this in order to counteract her allergic reactions. After that, they administer the other three drugs in her cocktail.  She is finishing her third treatment as I type this. We are not sure how the cancer is even going to react to her treatments; we are just rejoicing that treatment is an option. Without this main drug, her survival rate is around 6%.

In addition to all of these struggles, Mom and Dad are finding out that their insurance is refusing to cover many of her bills. They aren't sure at this point exactly what is going to be covered, but they do know that her surgery alone is $40,000. Her nurse also informed her that the main drug in her chemo is also $40,000 a treatment. Mom had to quit her job due to being so ill, and Dad is on the road constantly for his- leaving Mom all alone.

Cancer is a battle no family should ever have to go through and is the result of a broken world. Please consider even a small donation. Prayers are also so very much appreciated. Thank you.
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Shawna Vera 
Gouverneur, NY
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