Cancer SUCKS and it is crazy expensive! I know that first hand as my Breast Cancer diagnosis and treatment set me back $25,000. So you’re not only dealing with the range of emotions from the diagnosis but also worrying how this unexpected financial hardship will affect your life. My sister and my dearest friends started a GoFundMe page to help me with my medical expenses. Through the extraordinary generosity and kindness of my friends and family, a lovely amount was raised which was a tremendous, tremendous help to me. So many people wanted to help but wanted to do more than send flowers or a plant or a gift basket. Making a donation to a GoFundMe is such a wonderful, wonderful way to help someone through a tough financial patch so please don’t ever think it’s impersonal; in fact it’s quite the opposite as your kindness will have such a direct, positive impact.
Well, here we are again in my family: another trip on the “Breast Cancer Carousel”. Who in the world ever thought we would be going down this path again after my diagnosis but it seems our genetics have yet another plan for my sister Rosemary and me. As most of you know, she was diagnosed with her 3rd Cancer in December 2016. She started a 5-month weekly chemo regimen and got through it like the kick ass trouper she is. Her Cancer surgery was June 26th and she will be on medical leave for 6-8 weeks. Since my sister just started a new job last August, she hasn’t accumulated enough short term disability to cover her medical leave so Rosemary will go on UNPAID LEAVE for 80% of her recovery. That is a great deal of lost income she will be experiencing but you can’t say no to life-saving Cancer surgery so you do what you have to do to get healthy again. I’m starting this “helping hand” for my sister just as she and Gina and Bob did for me. You feel completely helpless when someone you love is diagnosed with a serious illness like Cancer but starting this type of supportive help makes you feel part of their recovery. Being a part of this will truly warm your heart as you are a part of my sister’s path to a healthy life in a fabulous way.
I have to be honest, I struggled with having a GoFundMe set up for me as I thought it was impersonal but sooooooo many people thanked my sister for giving them the opportunity to send a truly helpful, useful, beneficial gift that goes WAY beyond flowers. This kind of gift helped me more than words could EVER express and I know my sister will feel the same. It’s not easy to hear the words: “You have Cancer”; let alone to hear them 3 times if you’re Rosemary but we are tough, strong, determined chicks who will fight with all we got!
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your kindness, your love, your support, your encouragement and your generosity. So many of you have donated to our fundraising initiatives supporting Leukemia and Lymphoma research since my sister’s diagnosis in 2006 and more recently to our fundraising supporting Breast Cancer research. Through your donations, we have made remarkable strides in patient successes and quality of life. Yes, we aren’t there yet but my goodness, look how far we have come! I know it seems that there are donation requests from endless sources these days so please know how much your participation in “Team Rosemary ROCKS” means to my family. A Cancer diagnosis throws your whole world for a loop but when you have very little paid medical leave, you are losing thousands and thousands of dollars. This adds a terrible stress to your recovery. The money raised from my GoFundMe campaign helped me to focus on my recuperation and getting well and not worrying about money concerns. I know this will do the same for my sister! Here’s to life as a SURVIVOR!
With love, gratitude and appreciation, Lisa
- Laurie Hojlo
- Irene St. Denny
- Gina Nowack
- Barbara Redmond
Organizer and beneficiary
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