Sophia Brestal Memorial Fund

To watch a loved one suffer from any terminal illness is excruciating. To have your family’s financial situation become unmanageable during the ordeal is like a slap in the face. The financial burden of cancer is REAL. Co-insurance, out-of-pocket expenses, travel expenses, pharmacy bills, medical equipment, dietary needs, time away from work are just SOME of the items that add up alarmingly fast - especially when your family has just paired down to one income vs. two as a result of the diagnosis.

On January 30th, 2018, my sister-in-law, Sophie, passed away after a courageous battle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma Multiforme). Sophie and my brother, Harold, were married for 21 years. He adopted Sophie’s daughter, my niece, Katie, when she was a little girl. Harold and Sophie went on to have a son, my nephew, Justin. Katie is now in her 20s and Justin will graduate from high school this June, 2018. 

I established this fund in Sophie’s name for those who want to make a tribute in her memory; to assist her family with the medical expenses related to her illness; help with the charges associated with her final arrangements, to defray the ongoing costs associated with my nephew’s Type 1 Diabetes and to help pay for his college education.

All donations will go to an account that I am managing on the family’s behalf. From this account I will pay the bills referred to above.

Below is the story of what my family experienced during Sophie’s illness.

My brother, Harold, refused to worry his family with finances while Sophie was ill. He wanted Sophie to be comfortable, worry-free and focused on getting well. He wanted his son, Justin, to enjoy his Senior year despite the fact that he was losing his mom and had, himself, just been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 17. (Now add the expenses from T1D to the list!) And he didn’t want to burden Katie while she was busy with a family of her own and the sting of losing her mom.

For two years I’ve watched Harold silently carry this mountain of burden on his shoulders. I felt helpless as I watched him lose the love of his life. As my big brother, Harold has loved, protected and helped me since the day I was born - he would do anything for me and my family.  It’s my turn to do the same for him.

Thank you so much for your help!


  • Rima Imburgia
    • $250 
    • 6 yrs


Jen Brestal Imburgia
Naperville, IL

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