Please Help Cure Our Friend Elisabeth

Our dear friend is fighting for her life.  Elisabeth Rasmussen is an exceptional person – she is caring, curious, big-hearted and incredibly talented.  She is a brilliant documentary filmmaker. We wish that we were starting this Go Fund Me campaign to help her fund one of her film projects, but alas that is not what this campaign is about.  Elisabeth has Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Stage 4 and the public health system in Norway, no longer offers her the best chance to beat this terrible disease..   
 
While Elisabeth does not yet have a family of her own (though that is her dream one day), she has the biggest circle of friends around the globe, which speaks volumes about who she is.  However, the battle ahead of Elisabeth is not one that she can wage with only her friends by her side.  Elisabeth needs a broader community to stand with her at this moment.  And as her friends, we are asking you to please join that community.  Elisabeth is just too young and too good of a person for us to lose her now. 


This is Elisabeth’s story (in her own words):

On April 2017, during a film conference in Stavanger, I became aware of a strange texture in my right breast. I went to my GP in Norway and got a referral for a mammogram. In June 2017, after finally going in for my mammogram, I was told I had Stage 1 Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) by the hospital in Tromsø, Norway. I refused to believe it, and went to London. In shock, I stumbled around in denial for a couple of weeks. When I finally decided to act, I went to an English hospital for a second opinion. Sure enough, I was served up the same diagnosis as before. 
 
In September 2017, I had a mastectomy and was declared cancer free..  As you can imagine, I felt a sense of relief and excitement for the future. 


About 7 months later, while travelling to a film festival in Malaga, Spain, I again felt a lump in my right breast (and a pit in my stomach about what it could mean).  After taking a series of tests, I learned that the cancer had returned and was now categorized as Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer.  The next 9 months were pretty rough – 6 months of chemotherapy, another severe surgery and radiotherapy to boot. 


Finally, after spending half of the last three years in treatment, I was thrilled to hear that my test came back as "clear" in June 2019 and again in August 2019.   I jumped right back into my life with renewed purpose.  I eagerly took on new work projects, started working out and embracing a social life. 


Unfortunately, that is not where this story ends.  On the morning of December 4th, just a couple of weeks ago, a doctor called from Radiumhospitalet in Oslo. The tests I had done a few days earlier had come back showing cancer cells in my chest wall.  A couple of weeks with an insane amount of blood tests, CT-scans, MRIs, ultrasounds and biopsies has led to where I am right now. Two days ago, on the 17th of December 2019, I was told I have incurable cancer.  Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Stage 4.
 

While the good news is that it is still local to the chest area and has not spread to any other organs, the fact that my cancer has returned less than a year after I completed treatment, means that I am not eligible for many services at the public hospitals in Norway (such as trials for new drugs, etc.).  The doctor I spoke to basically said he doesn't believe I will ever be well again. The doctor said that "I should relax and enjoy Christmas, because for me time is important now… and that hopefully in the new year I can be put on immunotherapy and two new chemos that could potentially prolong my life, but only IF the biopsy that is still waiting in a lab in Oslo shows that I might be receptive to such treatment." "And if not?" I asked. "What if I’m not eligible for immunotherapy?"  The doctor didn't have an answer, but did say that nothing can be done before Christmas regardless.  I told the doctor about how quickly the cancer had spread last time and asked if time was surely of the essence that couldn't we move faster? I was not given a clear answer. It seems to me that these doctors have given up...but I have not.    


For the record I do not feel ill. I’m loving life at the moment. Since I’ve started to feel better after the last round of treatment, I’ve just been so grateful for each day – all the good things in life – the ability to work on creative projects – for every person in my life – and all the love. The support and tenderness my closest ones are showing me is so touching. The bonds between us have become so clear, it’s really beautiful.  Dickens’ words, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” could not ring truer for me right now.  Also very raw and true, is the instinct that I really want to be here and be alive and well! There are still so many things I want to do, so many films I want to work on, so many causes I want to fight for. I really, REALLY want to live!

 

Our Ask of You:

As you can see, it seems that Norwegian public health system is not giving Elisabeth the opportunity that she would have elsewhere.  Fortunately, thanks to many friends and their suggestions and research skills, we know that there are multiple cancer treatment centers around the world which have high rates of success in treating Triple Negative Breast Cancer, even once it has reached Stage 4, and there are some ground breaking trials going on as we speak.  Unfortunately, as we all know, medical treatment is not cheap.  THIS IS WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP. 


Elisabeth has already been fighting her battle with cancer for over 2 years without asking for any assistance.  Her resources are drained and her ability to replenish them with new work projects is severely diminished, since chemotherapy and radiation do not leave room for much else. 


We are in contact with Sloan Kettering in NY, as well as UCLA and the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, and are currently finding a way for Elisabeth to attend the best clinic for her as soon as possible.
 

While we wish that Elisabeth’s friend network alone could provide the needed resources for this next battle, with the high costs of treatment (especially in the best centres in the US), that is sadly not realistic.  Accordingly, we are aiming to raise $[100,000] to give Elisabeth the resources she needs to beat this cancer once and for all.  We know that this is no small amount, but we also know that if enough people can find it in their hearts to pitch in even a small amount ($20, $50, etc.) we will be able to reach this goal and help our friend live.  PLEASE JOIN US.


NOTE: Elisabeth's dear friend Elena Branzburg will withdraw the money raised in this fundraiser, on behalf of Elisabeth.  Elena will then wire the money directly to Elisabeth, so Elisabeth can pay for her treatment.

Donations ()

  • Lena Susanne Gaup 
    • $120 
    • 40 mins
  • Anon Anon 
    • $42 
    • 49 mins
  • lisa marie kvernmo 
    • $40 
    • 3 hrs
  • Kjetil Rye 
    • $10 
    • 3 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $65 
    • 4 hrs
See all

Fundraising team (8)

Kari Opsal Mæland 
Organizer
Raised $5,389 from 64 donations
Oslo, 3, Norway
Elena Branzburg 
Beneficiary
Elisabeth Rasmussen 
Team member
Raised $26,436 from 207 donations
Barbro Paulsen 
Team member
Raised $730 from 11 donations
Ingrid Røeggen 
Team member
Raised $700 from 12 donations
Christel Joslash;rgensen 
Team member
Raised $430 from 6 donations
See all
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