Gail's PRRT Cancer Treatment Fund

$16,655 of $38,000 goal

Raised by 169 people in 35 months
Gail Christopher  SAINT PETERSBURG, FL
Thank you for taking time to read my page. This page has been set up for me by my best friend, Cheryl, but let me introduce myself.
I'm Gail Christopher and I have a rare form of Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer, which has now spread to my liver and heart. I try to inspire and encourage others often with any life debilitating disease by sharing my story.
My cancer journey began September 30, 2008 after being diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, that had already spread to my spleen and liver. Fast forward 7 very tough years which have included a distal pancreatectomy, splenectomy, liver wedge resection with ablation, removal of gallbladder, another liver surgery to remove 2 large tumors, 2 liver embolizations and unfortunately breast cancer surgery with a partial mastectomy. During this time I was on 7 different chemotherapy treatments and chemo is no longer working for me as the tumors have gotten very large on my liver and are pressing against my lungs and have metastasized to my
heart.                                  
Having this rare disease, means that a lot of already scarcely available drugs will not work for me, so my treatment options are extremely limited. This cancer has been resistant to standard chemotherapy, however, I continue treatment because I am determined to fight this terrible disease to ensure I am able to look at the beautiful sunrise  from my bedroom window, snuggle with my precious dog Jack and be around to see my nephews and nieces get married.
Recently, I applied for a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering to participate in an exciting new therapy called PRRT, Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy.  Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed during the screening checks when they shared that my tumors are too large and what is termed "poorly differentiated."
PRRT will be a huge financial burden, and that is why I am reaching out for private funding. Any donation you could generously offer will be used to pay for my treatment which alone is approximately $38K, this does not include the additional expenses of traveling out of state and accomodations for multiple extended periods.
PRRT has been available as a life-saving treatment in Europe for 15 years but sadly is not FDA approved in the US. I will be undergoing 4 PRRT treatments at Excel Diagnostics in Houston, TX every 6-8 weeks.  Excel is able to offer this treatment due to a "A Right to Try" act, which states terminal patients have a right to try any medicine to prolong their life whether FDA approved or not.
I will never be cured, and I continue to live my life with whatever time I have left, with my family and friends and son Jack. I have never let this cancer stop me from enjoying life, my focus has been on living, not my diagnosis. I don't have a bucket list filled with extravagant things, mine is pretty simple. With this treatment, I hope to celebrate my mom's 90th birthday and spend quality time with my family and friends. The treatment is expected to cost a minimum of $38K, which is inclusive of the drug itself.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I am humbled every time I share my story. Every dollar is greatly appreciated and will help me reach my goal. Several years ago, Irene Maher, a local journalist in the Tampa Bay area, wrote a story on pancreatic cancer. Please take the time to read the article and understand the impact of this horrible disease.
http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/greater-awareness-of-pancreatic-cancer-may-increase-research-dollars/1016841

To find out more information about PRRT, please go to PRRTinfo.org
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Update 5
Posted by Gail Christopher
33 months ago
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Well, I leave again for Houston in 2 weeks for PRRT treatment number 2. This treatment is WORKING!! When I last updated everyone my cancer specialist sent me to a bone surgeon to look at resecting cancer in my frontal bone on my skull. While waiting for that appointment with the bone specialist, the tumor disappeared!! I have to believe that it's working on other tumors in my body also. Thank God!!
I've applied for a small grant to assist me with these medical expenses and will hopefully hear good news on that in June. I'm still hoping to raise almost $25K to pay for treatments 2, 3 and 4...and I want to thank everyone who has donated so far. Some have gone over and beyond and have sent in a second donation for my second upcoming treatment.
I thank God for all my blessings and especially each of you reading this. May He continue to bless your lives.
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Update 4
Posted by Gail Christopher
34 months ago
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2
2
I made it home from my 1st treatment, and wanted to thank my sister in law, Cathy, for joining me in Houston for 12 days of this treatment journey. She is an amazing woman and took such great care of me....I will never be able to repay or thank her enough, our family became more blessed when she entered our lives and hearts over 25 years ago.
Much was revealed about status of this cancer during all the pre-testing.....I will be headed back to Houston in May for my 2nd treatment. I may have some surgery in April depending on what bone specialist says next week. Staying positive and praying that these treatments will offer quality of life and healing.
Thank you again for your donations, I'm almost 1/3 attainment of my goal....feeling very thankful.
Saw this quote the other day and I knew I read it for a reason
"As the tumor grew, do did my list of reasons to beat it"
1st PRRT treatment
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Update 3
Posted by Gail Christopher
35 months ago
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Thank you everyone for donating to my PRRT treatments. Through your generosity and prayers, enough funds have been donated for my first treatment and I will be heading to Houston on March 8th with my sister in law, Cathy, for the first treatment. I will be returning to Houston in approximately 8 weeks after this treatment for the 2nd treatment, and God willing I will receive enough donations for the second treatment.
Thank you all again, my love to each and everyone of you.
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Update 2
Posted by Gail Christopher
35 months ago
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Well it's official, I met 25% of my goal today, thanks to all of you!!! THANK YOU!!!
I still have a long way to go to reach my goal but I am believing God to improve this situation and provide the finances necessary so I can have all 4 treatments.
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Read a Previous Update
Lucy Conti Mitchell
35 months ago

Gail, I don't know if you remember me (Lucy Conti) from the class of 1975. I remember you as an upbeat, pleasant, smiling girl, the components to dealing with what you are everyday. The photo to the left is our 40th! class reunion this past May. Praying for you and wishing you the best. Lucy Conti Mitchell

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$16,655 of $38,000 goal

Raised by 169 people in 35 months
Created February 7, 2016
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RS
$25
Ronnie and Mary Jane Sayger
31 months ago (Offline Donation)

Ronnie and Mary Jane, thank you so much. I've dropped a note in the mail to thank you properly Love Gail

MG
$25
Margaret Getz
31 months ago

My prayers are with you. Best wishes. MG

SC
$25
Stephanie Callari
31 months ago

My prayers are with you.

JC
$50
Jamie Calandra
32 months ago
JB
$75
Julia Baker
32 months ago
MC
$50
Marie Crato
32 months ago (Offline Donation)

My cousin, thank you so much for donating to these treatments. I'm never in Buffalo long enough for visiting but maybe one day my sister will take me around and we'll go visiting. Your generous donation will help me with these treatments and a better quality of life. I love you Marie...love my family, I hate cancer and what it's done to our family. Your daughter is beautiful, just like you, what a gorgeous woman you've raised. May God be with you, keep you blessed and healthy, Gail

MM
$25
Michele Crato Morris
32 months ago (Offline Donation)

Michele thank you so much for your generous donation

SK
$50
Spencer Kandi
32 months ago
EL
$100
Elizabeth LeClair
32 months ago
RC
$50
Roselle Collins
32 months ago

Always praying for you and for the success of these treatments! Stay strong!

Lucy Conti Mitchell
35 months ago

Gail, I don't know if you remember me (Lucy Conti) from the class of 1975. I remember you as an upbeat, pleasant, smiling girl, the components to dealing with what you are everyday. The photo to the left is our 40th! class reunion this past May. Praying for you and wishing you the best. Lucy Conti Mitchell

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