She has been battling with Hereditary Paraganglioma tumors in her head and neck for many years. Her first tumor appeared in 1988 on the left side of her neck and, after being surgically removed, she went for 23 years tumor free until 2011 when she was diagnosed with a tumor in her throat. It was also surgically removed, putting her on a feeding tube for several weeks during which time she had to relearn how to swallow. In 2013 another tumor was discovered in the right side of her neck at her carotid artery. Again it was carefully removed. At the time of her carotid artery surgery, it was also discovered that my Mother had a skull-based tumor which would later be determined inoperable due to its location. Because the tumor was small, she received one massive dose of radiation and the tumor was watched to see if it continued to grow. It has remained stable according to yearly scans by her oncologist.
That brings us to this September when my Mother’s yearly scans revealed the tumor at her skull base had metastasized to her liver. A biopsy and CT Scan confirmed that my Mother now has 15 malignant Paraganglioma tumors in her liver. By the time of her diagnosis, she was already feeling the effects of the cancer and before the end of November, her doctor put her on continuous medical leave due to not being able to physically perform at full capacity as a Social Worker for families and children.
The biggest obstacle for my Mother is that this specific type of cancer is EXTREMELY RARE and treatment options are still in research. This cancer is resistant to and cannot be treated with traditional chemotherapy. It is not currently possible for my Mother to received the treatment and care she requires without going out of state. Last week she received word she had been accepted as a new patient at M.D. Anderson in Houston, TX, which has been ranked as one of the number one Cancer centers in the nation. She will meet her new doctor on December 12, 2017.
This appointment is coming up quickly and we are asking for your help to offset the many expenses that she and her family will be incuring over the next 6 months or so that she will not be working while recieving treatment. My Father is on disability due to his health, therefore my mother has been the primary provider of income for their household. Now that she is on leave, they are beginning to struggle financially. Funds raised will be used to cover travel and lodging expenses while she travels for treatment, medical expenses, and supplement her monthly income to cover bills while she is on Medical leave and seeking treatment. Please, also keep her in your prayers as she travels in search of a doctor that knows how to treat this rare type of cancer.
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