"I just like to make people feel better when I can."
How can I describe Amber with words?
I can tell you that she is:
...but those words could never contain her.
My abilities are limited, but please let me try to introduce you to her.
Amber is a 30-year-old wife and mother. Her family is her life, and she gives unconditionally to her friends. She has suffered through many difficulties in her life, but she's always put other people first. She doesn't ask for help or favors. She just gives, and gives, and gives.
Amber recently found out she has a tumor in her brain.
Despite this, she's only expressed concern for her loved ones. She worries about her husband stressing over the money, about how this is and will affect her children, and how she can make it easier for them if she's gone. She wants to help them but she doesn't ask for help for herself.
So I'm asking for her.
If you already know Amber, I know you don't need convincing. But if you don't know her, please keep reading. Please?
H I S T O R Y
Amber was in an abusive relationship for years.
Despite the physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, she was brave enough to leave with her young daughter,
Things got better.
Amber got together with the love of her life,
Andrew unconditionally accepted and loved Amber and Vera.
"Andrew has always been the man for me. And when we do argue, he never calls me names or degrades me. He has always showed me more love and affection than anyone else. Even at my worst, he loved me. And told me he did."
They married in 2014.
Amber and Andrew then had a beautiful son together,
Eventually they added a new family member, who would quickly become Amber's best friend:
D E P R E S S I O N
About three years ago, Amber started experiencing severe depression. She felt sad for no reason. Sad when she knew she should feel happy.
The most she could do was to take care of her kids and force herself out of the house a few times a month.
Recently Amber experienced a great loss that made her struggle much more difficult:
Amber's depression became overwhelming.
"I've distanced myself from everything this past year, because I just can't handle it. I can't handle myself even some days."
She made the decision that she didn't know how to handle it anymore and didn't want her family to suffer for it.
Amber checked herself into a hospital and sought professional help.
She stayed in the hospital for eight days. While there, she tried different kinds of therapy, medication, and relaxation techniques. Everything seemed only temporary.
She felt like she was crazy because nothing helped.
Despite this, she went home and was feeling better.
Less than a week later, she had a seizure.
Amber went back to the hospital and was given a catscan. The doctor discovered an abnormality and gave her a full MRI.
This revealed the brain tumor.
T U M O R
Finding the tumor was a bit of relief: Amber hasn't felt like herself in years and her depression was suffocating. Nothing seemed to help and she didn't understand why.
Amber met with her neurosurgeon on 5.17.17.
The tumor has been slow-growing and has been developing in her brain for about three years.
Her brain surgery is scheduled for 6.23.17.
We will not know if the the tumor is cancerous until after the surgery.
If it isn't cancerous, full recovery will take at least a year.
If it is cancerous, Amber will face many more challenges and a lifespan cut much too short.
A F T E R M A T H
Andrew is currently working 70 hours a week at two jobs. Since having her seizure, Amber cannot drive and cannot be left alone.
Fortunately, Andrew's parents have been a huge support and are paying for a life insurance plan and a cancer policy for Amber.
Putting aside all current stress and fear and uncertainty, Amber is focused on helping her family as much as possible.
She has made a will and wants to give everything she has away. She's even made a funeral playlist, because she refuses to leave that task up to someone else (and also refuses to have bad music playing at her going away party).
She's also concerned for all of us because she knows how much we all lean on her for support.
"I've been trying to talk to everyone. Let them know I am not their pillar, they are, so don't crumble without me."
H O W Y O U C A N H E L P
Amber and Andrew are barely making ends meet. The brain surgery requires $5,000 dollars up-front before they'll even operate. After surgery, there will be a long recovery period and a lot of rehab. There will also be many more bills to follow.
Vera is 11 and Ronin turns 2 in July. Amber's ability to care for them after surgery will be very limited, and Andrew's constant working will keep him from them also.
The mental, emotional, and financial stress of this situation is drowning them. Amber is trying to stay positive, but I know she needs all the help she can get and give to her family.
This is a beautiful human and a beautiful family and they're uncertain, afraid, and hurting. Amber is trying to be as strong as possible for her family and friends, but there's only so much she can do.
They are struggling.
"My family around me is falling apart and constantly fighting because they are also stressed out. My kids are sad. Sometimes I catch Andrew looking at me, and I know what he's thinking. 'Is she going to die? How can I afford the best care for her so she doesn't?' He worries so much about money he's killing himself working.
I'm not used to being so helpless. So it hurts.
"I'm used to helping. I'm used to being a good helper. Not being able to help and being more of a burden has really been getting to me."
We can help.
Even if you've only given your time to read this, I sincerely appreciate it. If you can spare some money for Amber and her family during this difficult time, I can promise you it will make a difference. And if you can't, please share this page with others.
I have faith that Amber will get back everything she's always given and more.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ THIS
I feel like nothing I say is adequate enough, but I appreciate your consideration with all of my heart.
I want to conclude this with some things others have said to me about Amber, and more pictures.
"Amber is one of my oldest friends. She is my best friend, my sister from another mister. This girl would do anything for me. She even offered to be a surrogate for me when it seemed like I couldn't get pregnant. We had so many fun times I can't count. From being idiot teenagers to the 30-something mamas we are now. More than an experience I've had with my best friend, this woman gives me strength and love. She has been an example of a person who loves people, isn't afraid to be herself, and always keeps it real. She is so kind. And being around her all these years has made me a better person. We have both had to endure some crazy messed up stuff and it would have sucked not having her there. I love her."
"We were friends in highschool. I really did not feel like I fit in very much. I also got to hang out some when I was in the girls home. She is and always will be someone I am happy to call my friend, no matter what happens. Even when times were dark and sad she always found a way to see the light in the dark, just by being herself."
"Amber, you little turd. I love your face and how easily you bring happiness to everyone around you. You've always been that way. From staying the night at your house as kids, to your dark jokes as a teenager, you've always, ALWAYS made me laugh. Can't breathe, crying, not making any sound, grabbing my stomach laughing. Now, as adults, our friendship is limited to social media. I still enjoy your sense of humor, your absolutely gorgeous family pictures, and your unflappable love of all things. Not to forget your absolutely honest opinions. You're a wonderful human to encounter and I'm truly grateful to have ever stumbled upon you."
"Amber is a most generous friend. I was having a rough time recently, financially. And I was complaining about people tipping badly at work because I really needed some money for a bill that was due a few days later. And Amber, totally unprovoked, offered to let me borrow money for said bill. I told her she didn't have to, but she insisted I take the money and not stress about it. That meant quite a bit to me, as I've never had anyone offer me financial help like that. And I didn't even need to ask her, she just offered.
When I went to return the money, about a week later, she had forgotten all about it. And she forgot about it again as we were hanging out at her house. Granted, you could say her memory isn't great right now, but still. She had every right to expect and demand her money back, but she didn't. She trusted me enough to know I wouldn't take advantage of her kindness and generosity, and didn't worry about getting the money back, because she knew she would. And it wasn't like it was just ten bucks. This was $100, which is a lot to most people."
"Amber always takes care of her friends, whether it's taking care of someone she just met at a concert, or fighting someone because they deserved it, or telling you how it is even if it's not what you want to hear.
She also loves Game of Thrones as much as I do."
"Amber is a strong, loving, independent family person. I'm so blessed to have her and her children in our lives."
"Amber is, without doubt, one of the most selfless people I've ever met."
"Amber is unique, loving, strong, funny, beautiful, and selfless. We love her."
"Amber is a beautiful fairy queen who always helps everyone that needs it."
"Amber stays positive no matter what. Nothing but love."
"Amber is a nerdy rockstar whose amazing disposition is so infectious it makes acquantances have fantasies of being her best friend."
"Amber is the mother of my grandchildren and that makes her an incredible woman. Fearless, goofy, beautiful, and stronger than most people realize."
"It's difficult for me to cram an adequate description of my friend Amber into one sentence, so I'm just going to say that Amber is one friend who has never let me down."
W e l o v e y o u, A m b e r.