Christi Walling is my only sibling. She was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of malignant skin cancer called Merkel cell toward the end of last year. I have not brought a lot of attention to her publicly in respect for her privacy, but now I am asking for your support.
The cancer first appeared on her nose, and she had it surgically removed and went through several weeks of radiation therapy. In her follow up visits, she found out that it had spread to her cheek and some lymph nodes in her neck. She has since had two major surgeries to remove the affected areas, including most of her lymph nodes on that side of her neck and unfortunately a nerve next to her mouth which has caused a slight droopy lip on that side (see supplemental pics). Her latest surgery was just last month.
Her prognosis is hard to determine, but the doctor has mentioned hospice which was very startling. She will undergo another 6 weeks of radiation therapy, 5 times per week starting in the beginning of April 2018. Chemotherapy is not an option for this form of cancer (thank goodness). I think her sheer determination and quality of life will greatly affect her outcome. So far they got all that they could see.
Christi currently lives in her own very small house on our mother's property out in the country, 1 hr 45 minutes one way from Ft. Worth. Our mother and her boyfriend have to drive her everywhere she goes, as she has been disabled all of her life. The trip to and from doctors and treatments is long. Mom has been her caretaker and incurs her excess financial expenses. Mom is retired and it would be great to take future financial stress off of her as well.
Although Christi enjoys the country, she really misses the city. She feels isolated and alone, and although she has been upbeat about her situation, she has fallen into a few bouts of severe depression that she is being treated for. She is unable to hold a job and is very shy around the public until she gets to know you.
There is one thing that Christi was able to do independently at one time and she feels like that is missing in her life. When Christi lived in Fort Worth, she was able to follow the bus routes and ride wherever she wanted. She had her FREEDOM.
Christi will be having her 50th birthday in June of 2018. The expenses of this disease have taken much of her "fun" money. Christi used to stay at a hotel in Fort Worth for a week at a time. She calls it her "home away from home."When she is feeling better and her radiation is complete, she will hopefully be able to ride around town on the bus again. Her week long stay is usually around $600. It's all she has really ever asked for and is how much she gets each month in disability income.
This go fund me would help Christi with her copays for each and every treatment and for her past and/or future copay for surgeries. It will help with gas for her transportation and for her hotel stay in Fort Worth when she is feeling better. We would love to be able to take her on a trip to Florida in May for a 50th birthday celebration at Disney World.
My main goal with this fundraiser is to help make the rest of my sister's life as beautiful and fun as it can be. Any little bit you can donate helps, and the energetic impact it will have on Christi will be immense knowing that people care about her and support her.
If you would like to support her on Facebook, I'm sure she would love that. Her page is here: https://www.facebook.com/christi.walling.3
Thank you in advance for your love and support!
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- Melissa Loven
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