Help Karen beat cancer!

Karen is a 59 year old mother and wife whose world has been turned upside down. Despite never smoking a day in her life, Karen was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in July 2018, following a doctors visit about a cough she had that just would not go away. The tumor in Karen’s lung measured 7cm by 5cm. This news shattered her heart, struck fear into the souls of her husband and daughter…. sadly she would soon find out the disease had spread. When her oncologist conducted additional tests,it was discovered that Karen’s cancer had metastasized to her spine and ribs, and to her lymph nodes
A woman who worked the same job for nearly 30 years, you can bet Karen wasn’t going to let cancer stop her! Karen knows all too well the toll cancer takes, having lost both parents, her mother-in-law, and her nephew to it. But Karen is determined to beat this cancer, taking each new hurdle in stride. She and her family are not going down without a fight.
Despite her diagnosis, Karen didn’t experience any pain at first. No one could tell she was sick. However, after three rounds of chemo-therapy Karen’s cancer continued to progress. Simple tasks, such as getting ready to go to work, soon took three and four times longer to complete - but she did it… with determination and a fantastic attitude. Her doctors, family, and friends were in awe of her.
The odds changed drastically one Friday evening when Karen felt a crushing weight descend upon on her entire body. The family was told the tumor had grown and additional treatments would be needed since the chemotherapy and immunotherapy were failing. That evening, Karen’s daughter noticed that she was feeling more tired and weak than usually. She helped Karen into bed so she could let her body get much-needed rest. At 4am Karen awoke to find she was unable to move to get out of bed. At the hospital, after countless tests and scans, Karen was transported to a trauma hospital with a neurosurgery unit. Her spine had fractured so severely from her disease that it was in crumbles.
In shock, she felt her body and her faith fail her…where would she find the strength to face this additional hurdle? Now paralyzed from the waist down, informed by her neurosurgeon that she wouldn’t walk again and that given her condition it was not recommended she undergo the lengthy spinal surgery needed to restore her mobility, Karen had to make the difficult choice of whether to undergo the risk of surgery or remain paralyzed. She responded with “well, I have to at least try…”
Karen made it through the 5-hour surgery and gave her husband and daughter a “thumbs up”! Three days later she sent a video at 6am to her family…she could wiggle her toes! Sadly, Karen’s victory was short-lived. After two weeks in hospital Karen learned she could no longer care for herself. She could no longer complete everyday tasks - getting dressed, going to the bathroom, getting out of bed - without assistance. Karen was transferred to a rehabilitation center to learn to live with her new lifestyle and become acquainted with life confined to a wheelchair.
Although new hurdles continue to challenge Karen, she is still giving it all she’s got, everyday. She isn’t able to participate in a promising case study testing a new chemo medication she was initially approved for, due to the radiation treatments needed for the mets to her bones.
Karen and her family are facing tremendous hospital bills not covered by their insurance. She cannot afford the medical equipment, nor the work needed to make her home wheelchair accessible.
We hope you will open your hearts and help Karen. Every donation, no matter how small, will aid Karen on her journey.
Thank you.
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Organizer

Danielle DiMarte 
Organizer
New Port Richey, FL
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