My name is Elizabeth Holz. My friend Tracy is so dear to me I simply can't express it in words. This is her story.
Tracy is a vibrant 42 year old independant, strong woman with a zest for life. She is a small buisness owner (1 employee; herself) and has worked very hard to organize her life and future.
In January Tracy was set to come to my husband's birthday party, but called complaining of a nagging back ache. I knew she had to be in a good deal of pain if she wasn't coming to Fred's party. After a week of primary care visits and asssorted pain killers her pain had not diminsihed and was, in fact, getting decidedly worse.
Tracy works in the medical field and understood she needed to be her own advocate so she forced an MRI to be done. Thankfully the Radiologist was very skilled and made a general note that the bone marrow in her pelvis was "inactive". This apparently is a very, very difficult diagnosis based upon an MRI. Tracy was very fortunate.
This one note caused a cascade of further tests with nothing definitive. In fact, as Tracy found out much later, UC Davis, had sent her results to several experts around the United States trying to diagnose her blood affliction.
Since that fateful day last January Tracy's been in and out of the hospital repeatedly, had 7 bone marrow biopsies, gone through 4 rounds of Chemotherapy, had over 100 units of whole blood and platelets and was diagnosed as having had Chronic Leukemia (undiagnosed) most likely for several years.
Only in January 2017 did it transition to Acute Leukemia. That was 8 months ago. It is still not completely diagnosed as Tracy's not presenting in the common, textbook form. She's been told this strain is very aggressive and there is an 80-90% chance it will recur over the next year without a transplant.
Tracy is blessed to be mostly of western European decent, which apparently offers a larger pool of donors. Her brother was tested and only matched 4 out of the 10 criteria. Then they found she has some Native American heritage in her history, which shrank the donor pool further. Fortunately, a transplant donor has been found with a 10 out of 10 match. Tracy is scheduled to be admitted for the transplant on September 22, 2017.
Tracy has been a sole proprietor, and the only employee, of a small company since 2004. This is her only source of income. She has not worked since January and is currently being forced to close her company. As coincidental as it may be, her company worked on pharmaceutical drug studies.
From January to now Tracy has been in the hospital for literally half of 2017. When she's not in the hospital she is exhausted or feeling awful and unable to function at any level.
Tracy managed her money well and she's been fortunate to cover all her expenses over the last 8 months, but at this point her savings are virtually exhausted. The bone marrow transplant will incapacitate her for the next 10-12 months and her doctors have told Tracy she will not be able to work.
Tracy's been trying to do the right thing and has been paying both her business and household expenses but with no income for all of 2017 she simply doesn't have the resources to cover the cost anymore. I think about her situation and relate it to my own. How many of us could go 8 months without a pay check and then lean into an additional 12 months of the same? Tracy set aside what she needed for a 6-month emergency fund, but this disease simply asks too much of a single person.
Tracy's parents have been her emotional rock but this year has been devestating for them as well for Tracy's father is fighting his own battle with renal cancer. Sometimes it truly does pour when it rains!
Tracy now finds herself in a place she never anticipated - in need of help from friends, family and generous souls within the community. Tracy managed her finances where she has few debts and she's learned to live very lean but at this point Tracy simply has no way to keep her house, maintain her medical insurance, buy food, etc. over the next 12 months without help from people like you.
Fred and I are doing all we can, as are many of our freinds, but Tracy's medical costs just keep piling up. Anything you can do to help is truly appreciated. It truly is.
Tracy's Friend, Elizabeth Holz
- Sabina Nicolae
- Ruth Nicolae
- Joan Byrnes
- Jan Zebley-Hurley
- Willow Cadd
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