My mother, Sherril Syverson Allen, is one of the strongest people I know. Mom was a Registered Nurse with a long history of working with cancer patients. She worked in hospice care for nine years. She was one of the "Angels of Mercy" we hear of when the subject of hospice care arises. She quickly rose to the role of team leader and was instrumental in the implementation of the Children's Hospice Program.
She would move on to a management position at the Kearney Breast Center. The Center was in its infancy and what one sees when one crosses its threshold is my mom's vision. The Breast Center exudes caring, beauty and safety.
Mom would retire in June, 2015. The dream was Copper Rooster Farm. It would become home for horses, sheep, and chickens. My mom looked forward to a life of spinning wool and selling farm-fresh eggs. She planted blueberries, tomatoes and cucumbers, dreaming of a booth at the various farmers markets in the region. Under mom's direction, a much needed remodeling of the homestead was begun.
Sadly, in December of 2015, her dreams of farming came to an abrupt halt with a diagnosis of Stage 4 Cholangiocarcinoma, cancer of the bile duct of the liver. Her background in working with cancer patients told her this was not "a good one". Early on she was advised there would be no surgical option. With a smile and a positive attitude, she began the unpleasantness of chemotherapy. Radiation treatment soon followed. Mom was unable to complete the regimen. Every treatment led to hospitalization.
Mom is now in her 21st month of treatment. I see my family often stressed to its limits. In 2015 and 16, every effort was made to meet some pretty stupendous bills. This spring that effort would falter. What was to be comfortable and enjoyable retirement disappeared. My mom and my bonus dad, Brad, are looking at financial collapse. Mom had hoped to end her days in the house she loves, but that is not to be.
My youngest sister Sade has left college at OSU, where she was an excellent student. She is working full time until she can finance the rest of her education on her own.
Mom left a lasting legacy with Hospice and the Breast Center. She knew first hand of the indignity of cancer and now she is living it.
As we face the end of mom's fight, I fear that Brad will be left in financial ruin.
The money raised by this fund, will go toward hospital bills, a hefty monthly medical insurance premium, and help towards house payments so mom may finish her life in the place she calls home.