Vanessa Kicks Cancer In The Boobs

Our sister Vanessa was recently diagnosed with Stage IIB ductal invasive metastatic breast cancer. She is 37 years old and was planning to start a family with her wife, Rachael, when they received this devastating news. Now their life is being rearranged into new parts as she instead figures out how to get the help she needs in order to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of her body.

Vanessa's oncology team is currently in the process of gathering all the information necessary to schedule her chemotherapy treatments and subsequent bilateral mastectomy. We anticipate that chemo will begin in about two weeks. In the meantime, she has already depleted most of her savings with co-pays. Luckily, her insurance will kick in to hopefully pay 100% when she reaches her deductible, but she has a ways to go until that happens - and treatment may continue into next year, which means she will have to pay her deductible again in January. There is also an unknown about how much she will be able to work during chemotherapy, and she is the main source of income for her household.

Right now the most immediate need is TEETH. Before beginning chemo, any and all teeth problems must be resolved, as bacteria in the mouth can pose a huge danger to a depleted immune system. Vanessa needs two root canals, at an estimated cost of $2,500. She is visiting the dentist this week to get a better estimate of what needs to be done, but that's what she has been told in the past 6 months. She has some dental insurance, and this amount is the out of pocket cost AFTER the insurance pays its portion.

After that, this fund will be used to pay for co-pays until her out-of-pocket-maximum is reached, then for living expenses if needed. If not needed, Vanessa will donate any remaining funds to a local non-profit, the Breast Cancer Resource Center, which has provided her with invaluable support during this time of stress and uncertainty.

Any amount you can give helps. Thank you for your generosity and prayers and well wishes. We are grateful from the bottom of our hearts.

- Melissa + Allison, the sisters ;)


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Organizer and beneficiary

Melissa Joy Filkins 
Austin, TX
Vanessa J 
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