Vital help for Janis Bottai's medical bills

A diagnosis of cancer is devastating, and being told you have breast cancer in the middle of a global pandemic is worse. But cancer doesn’t care about timing, or discriminate between the cruel and the kind. It just comes, and when it shows up, you fight.

That’s what my Auntie Janis has been doing since September - fighting cancer. 

If you know Janis, I don’t need to tell you that she’s one of the warmest, kindest people you’ll ever meet. Or about how addictive her laugh is, how it makes you want to laugh too. I don’t need to tell you about Janis’s deep generosity and her fierce devotion to family, friends and clients. Or how she’s committed her life to helping people’s bodies heal and grow stronger. Janis is a person who enriches the lives of those around her and who puts other people before herself.

But right now, Janis needs a little help from all of us.

In the fall of 2020, Janis was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma: grade 2 - estrogen receptor positive.
Luckily for all of us, her cancer is treatable, and Janis is fighting. She’s gone through a lumpectomy and lymph node dissection, twenty radiation treatments and will start a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor soon. And the great news is Janis is winning! 

But the cost of fighting is high, and we all know medical bills aren’t cheap, even with health insurance. So I’m humbly asking for everyone’s help to get Janis back on her feet. Because cancer isn’t the only thing she’s battled this year.

VitalMoves, the personal training and fitness business Janis started herself and has dedicated her life to, was hit hard by the pandemic. Very hard. With a clientele made almost exclusively of folks who are 55-and-over, Janis didn’t give a second thought to radically transforming how VitalMoves operated so as to best serve and protect them from any possibility of COVID-19 transmission. That meant moving quickly to an online format, where she could still offer her passion and expertise, even as her income took a big hit. By now we all know online formats aren’t the same as in-person, and the hands-on work Janis does has been especially tricky to adapt for a virtual world. 

Of course, cancer forced Janis to slow things down at work even further. An already tough situation got exponentially tougher.

Another added stress came in the form of a severely damaged roof on her home and home studio due to monsoon rains.

Between COVID, cancer and paying for these repairs, Janis’ family is struggling.

Janis has always been my special person, the relative who was always there for me, always an endless source of unconditional love, of humor and of a zest for life that’s inspired me since I was a little girl. Janis loved me when I was her little niece following her around the Pawtucket, R.I. in a matching cheerleading outfit, she loved me and supported me when I was a lost 19-year-old who needed safe harbor with her here in Tucson, and she’s loved and supported me through becoming a mother and through the long, stressful years I was in nursing school. We all have ‘that person’ in our family, the one that has never not been there for us. That’s who Janis is for me.

Tucson, the Vital Moves community and my family need Janis to be healthy, strong and solvent so she can continue her work, bringing health and strength and love and laughter to us. Help me to help her with a donation to this account. All money will go towards outstanding medical bills and paying off the cost of her new roof.

With love and appreciation,
Erin Bottai

Photo: Janis, Ron, Gabrielle and Dylan 


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  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 4 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 7 d
  • Marisa Bottai 
    • $85 
    • 7 d
  • Diane Rhoades 
    • $25 
    • 11 d
  • Ryan Johnson 
    • $50 
    • 11 d
See all

Fundraising team (4)

Erin M. Bottai 
Raised $8,520 from 24 donations
Tucson, AZ
Janis Bottai 
Jan Schmidt 
Team member
Raised $1,100 from 2 donations
Bonnie Wedeking Murray 
Team member
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