In 2014 Tara was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma approximately the size of a pea. Determined to beat it, she underwent several intense months of chemotherapy and radiation, which thankfully put her in remission. However, she also suffered "radiation cystitis," a complication that severely burned her internal organs, particularly her bladder. Unfortunately this May, after three years in remission, Tara was informed that her cancer was back - Stage 4 Recurrent Squamous Cell Carcinoma. The cancer is much larger now, and has spread to her liver and lymph nodes. The tumor is blocking her bowels, making it impossible to have a bowel movement and requiring a colostomy.
Tara is working with an oncologist from UCSD Cancer institute, as well as a naturopathic doctor. She's currently undergoing chemotherapy but is not able to do radiation again because of the previous complications. This, in addition to the position and size of the tumor, makes her treatment options limited; surgery would be life-threatening and require removal of her bladder and many other organs, making her doctors hesitant to attempt it. Naturally, the natural treatments her doctors are advising aren't covered by insurance, such as IV high dose vitamin C (twice a week), office visits, supplements, Rick Simpson Oil (Cannabis), nutritional therapy/organic food etc.
Although it only seems to add the cruelest insult to the worst possible injury, this cancer diagnosis has caused huge financial strain. Due to her medical condition Tara is unable to work and has zero income. Her daughter Candice was recently laid off from a job she loved due to downsizing, which was upsetting but which they now see as a blessing, because it has allowed Candice to care for her Mom around the clock and take her to all the medical appointments. Candice is enrolled in school full-time with the goal of becoming a dental hygenist, but her unemployment just ran out. Candice has to take her mom to appointments daily, and her car isn't running well. She has two small children to care for round the clock, as well as her Mom. She is beyond overwhelmed trying to deal with Tara's devastating prognosis and medical needs, meanwhile caring for her toddler, her precocious 5-year old, being a wife, and a full time student.
Despite her grim prognosis and financial strain, Tara's outlook is seriously amazing, she's so positive! Her strength in the face of adversity is incredibly admirable. She doesn't have much energy and suffers from pain constantly. However, every day she fights through it because she still just wants to spend time with her cherished grandkids. Her and Chloe are seriously inseparable and that relationship is her biggest motivation for getting and staying well. She's an amazing Grandma and I know it's the joy in her life!
Regardless of what the doctors are telling her and her family, they are all hopeful that she can beat this and are praying for a miracle!
It's insanely hard for us to ask for help, but the truth is they seriously need it at this time. They are very grateful for all of the emotional support from family and friends. ANY contributions to this Go Fund Me account would be a HUGE blessing. We would also really appreciate prayer, because we believe prayer is powerful and that God is a healer.
- Rosie Finnegan
- Dan Brown
- Kristin Bailey
Organizer and beneficiary
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