There is no sugar coating this. Laura Callahan-Hazard has stage 4 cervical cancer that has spread to not only her entire pelvic region but to her abdomen, bones, lungs and lymph nodes. Laura is only 38.
It is with deep sadness I cannot begin to describe that Laura has had to stop all treatments and go into hospice. Her body was so over-ridden with this deplorable disease that there is no strength left to heal itself. I will leave the story as I originally wrote it to describe how much Andrew will need help. He will have funeral expenses to pay for, get a new employer as well as find a place to live. Please read below for all the details.
When she went in for discussion about the treatment that was to start the next day, a final blood test revealed her kidneys were barely functioning and her calcium was sky high, so she was immediately hospitalized. It turned out the cancer was putting so much pressure on her bladder that she couldn't empty it properly which created havoc with her kidneys. A stent for each kidney was implanted and, with time, will help the kidneys get their strength back. She began treatments but was sadly informed that her cancer is very aggressive and likely terminal in the short term.
Laura and her husband Andrew work an agency for adults with intellectual disabilities. Her employer piloted a program, instead of someone living in a typical group home with 24/7 staff, up to 2 people would live in a community, the house where Laura and her husband live with them. I believe it’s called an SLA(supported living arrangement). Should Laura get the Christmas miracle she hopes for with her diagnosis, if treatments debilitates her so much that she can't take care of her ladies then she also can't live in the house during her treatments. Her employer owns the house and quite naturally, will want someone who can work to take over their clients care. Both her ladies have more than one disability, they require regular medications as well as attention. Laura's employer believes in community integration and Laura is required to take the ladies out and about for all things they enjoy doing. Grocery shopping, Farmers Markets, movies, interesting local events, whatever there is to do. Part of this is Laura teaches them how to behave, how to socialize, explain and educate on matters of health, safety, money - all those every day routines we all do. She is currently getting treatments with radiation, then they intend to switch to chemo and may be going back and forth between these 2 procedures, it depends on how well her cancer will respond. As stated earlier, if Laura can't perform some variation of these daily duties with the ladies she will have to re-locate.
Laura has always been very active in the small business/independent makers community works. She regularly purchases from many makers in her community as well as on line, is vocal and active in many groups, and is a moderator for my body care products fan group as well. She is always pleasant, personable and encouraging when she posts in any groups. If she disagrees she is always kind, thoughtful and respectful in doing that.
Laura needs our help. Regrettably, prayers and good thoughts don't pay bills, buy food and pay the rent, we all know cold, hard cash does that.
Please consider donating money, any value at all will help tremendously, especially if they have to move. The go fund me will remain open indefinitely so as people have a spare dollar or 2 they can continue to donate. Anything at all, please help Laura and her family whenever and with whatever you can.
Thank you all so very much, those of us who know Laura well will be eternally grateful.
- Melissa Rhodes
- Melissa Rhodes
- Lindsay Johns
Organizer and beneficiary
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