Please help mom beat kidney cancer!

Many would say, I'm a good writer, but in this instance, I don't need to tell a fictional story. A true story follows.

And if you know me and my sisters personally, you already know about our mom and what an amazing person she is. 

All 3 of us were supposed to be by her side for a major surgery at the end of September (we haven't all been together in over 5 years), but a hurricane screwed that up. 

Here's my mom. 

In June, during a routine lower back MRI, she was told the devastating news that a mass was seen on her left kidney and it was cancer. Kidney cancer. 

You walk into a doctor's office expecting to get a prescription for physical therapy and they give you, what feels like, a death sentence. She didn't shed a tear. (My sister, who was with her, did.) The first thing my mom said was, What's the next step? What about my children?

After a horrific month of appointments with several doctors and going from kidney cancer to kidney/pancreas/liver cancers to no, just kidney cancer to we can remove a part of the kidney to no, you have a renal vein tumor as well- we have to remove your entire left kidney. 

After the surgery, when asked, "Is there anything we could get you", she joked, "Yes, my kidney back, please."

My mom always got jokes.

She is the most selfless person I know.
The most caring person you'll ever meet.
Someone who would give her life to save another.
Without question.

Her kids? Well, we are her life.
She reminds us of that daily, even though, we don't need any reminders.

We already know. 

And we are blessed by that fact.

She loves her dog Savanna so much that she gets up to walk her at all hours of the night, even though it hurts to walk, and stand, and sometimes breathe.

But she does it, because she does what needs to be done for her family. 

This picture below sums up her love for Savanna, in particular, perfectly.

It was taken during Hurricane Irma. 

A few days before mom was going to have her kidney surgery. (Right. Did I mention my mom had to be evacuated at the last moment when the hurricance turned left- just a few days before her surgery? Talk about trauma!)

During Irma, she was more concerned about Savanna.

A selfless lady, she is.

And she just celebrated her 70th birthday (a few days after she survived surgery!), but she still has to work. She handles the finances at a Home Depot store in Florida.

She gets up at 4am, 5 days a week to do this job and has been doing it for over 20 years. 

She once broke her foot at work tripping over a paint can and still came right back to work. They are lost without her, 'cause, well, she's that good at her job. :)

She's worked 2 careers in her life, almost 50 plus years of working for the man.

And she has never taken a real vacation.

She wants to go to Paris one day, but she never has.

One day, I'll send her to Paris. I promise.

She tries so hard to make sure her kids are happy that she sometimes forgets about herself. Whenever we need her, she is there- no questions asked. She sacrificed so much to raise us- the 3 of us and now, Savanna, too. There is no amount of money I could think of to ever pay her back. None.

Well, maybe a billion dollars. :)

Mom had her left kidney and adrenal gland removed on September 28th. Her surgeon warned us that he wouldn't know exactly what to expect until he "got in there".  So, he did get in there and it turned out that the mass was bigger than expected and the renal vein tumor was bigger than expected. He told us after the surgery that he almost gave up several times, because he thought she might need to be medevaced to Tampa General for advanced surgery. He saved her life. And the pathology reports showed that the mass had been growing on her kidney for almost 10 years! So, we already knew my mom was a walking miracle... and now, she is a FOR REAL walking miracle! 

So here we are. Mom is alive and we are so thankful! But because the surgery was more difficult than expected, she will be in recovery for at least 3-4 months. Yes. NO income for that amount of time as well. 

So, now it's our time to step up and help her. And we have been. My sisters and I have been pooling our funds to keep her afloat, but it's just not enough. We want to help her not have to worry about her mounting bills and the stress that comes from it- it's not good for her blood pressure and high blood pressure is not good for her ONE kidney. 

We need help.

I wish I knew Orpah.
My mom loves Oprah.
I would gladly turn to Oprah and ask...

"Hey Oprah, can you help my mom?"

I had no idea what to write here- this is all coming from my heart.

My mom is my life and I need for her to be OK. We all need for her to be OK. Trust me, the world is a better place with her IN it. 

(Even if you can't help us financially, please let her know you love her, too. It would mean the world to her!)

Any amount will help. It's all going toward the bills we all need to pay to live. Her right kidney would be forever grateful!

Thank you so much for even reading this.

Okay, thanks... bye. 

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Organizer and beneficiary

Mark Taaffe 
Saddle Brook, NJ
Claudine Candy Taaffe 
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