Help Jessica Beat Cancer!

$9,500 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 96 people in 19 months
Created July 19, 2017
DJ Fagan
on behalf of Jessica Spitzer
Jessica has lived her life always putting others first. She is without a doubt  selfless and the most caring, loving, and hardworking person we know. Every time life has pushed her down, she has always found a way to get back up, smile, laugh, and ensure that everyone around her is happy. Jessica cherishes her friends and family, especially her late 106-year-old Great Grandmother who passed away a few short weeks ago. Jessica was her best friend, always visiting, always caring, always there when she needed her, even in her final moments. Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting her knows that this is just a small testament to her character--Jessica is pure, honest, loyal, and incredibly giving. 

Unfortunately, last month Jessica was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with multiple lesions throughout the top half of her body. On July 20th, just 10 days after her 31st birthday, Jessica will begin an intense chemotherapy regimen. She will be facing many struggles throughout this process, including the inability to work during her treatments, infertility, and the potential loss of hair, as well as the mental and physical difficulties that accompany chemotherapy. 

Jessica is so strong that she has a hard time asking for and accepting help, even though she gives HER help unconditionally. So, on her behalf, we're asking for your assistance! Any donation you could make would greatly help with the process she will endure for the next year of her life, as well as the years to follow. All funds raised will go toward the expensive costs involved with treating her aggressive form of cancer, as well as assisting in preserving her fertility (IVF), Insurance/Specialist fees, daily medications, and overall monthly bills, expenses, and necessities. We want to help ease her stress so she can put all of her energy into fighing and recovery! 

Jessica has stated that after the treatment she wants to help other people in her same situation stay positive, focused, motived and spread awareness. Her greatest quality is the light that burns bright inside her and she wants to be able to share it with others fighting her same battle. We know Jessica looks forward to helping others and paying it forward after she kicks this cancer's butt! 

We ask that you all please keep Jessica in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. 

Thank you so much!

-Jessica's Boyfriend, Family, & Friends
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Hello everyone! New update on Jess!

After taking a break from treatment due to low counts, returning was pretty hard. Jessica had started to feel "normal" again and once you experience how chemo makes you feel, you don't want to go back! But of course she says she will do whatever she has to in order to get better. The doctors have adjusted the medication in hopes that it will increase her white blood counts. As of 9/7/17, they were still low but she returned for her fourth infusion on 9/8, and...IT WAS ROUGH, probably the toughest one so far on Jessica. She had severe nausea, debilitating hot flashes, and couldn't keep food down for three days. The side effects lasted longer than they had before, and she really struggled physically and emotionally. There were days when she couldn't even walk.

But, fortunately, it has not all been for nothing--Jessica had PET scan on Monday, 9/18, and got good news: The chemo is working, and her mediastinal masses are shrinking! Her oncologist gave her two options: 1, she could have two more cycles (which is 4 infusions) and then have radiation on any remnants of the masses, or 2, she could have 4 more cycles (which is 8 infusions) and not need to have radiation. At the suggestion of her oncologist, Jessica opted for the second option as there are too many potential long-term side effects of the radiation, given the area they would need to "shoot." This means that in theory, if all goes well, Jessica will have 4 more cycles of chemotherapy, and hopefully be cancer free! Again, 4 cycles is equal to 8 infusions, and roughly 4 months. This means, if all holds true, she is 1/3 of the way done as of now. They will also be removing one of the chemo drugs, so she will now be getting 3 each time rather than 4.

While this is all excellent news, the downside is that this is FOUR more months she will be out of work, out of income, and laid up feeling crummy. BUT, she is extremely relieved, happy, and excited to keep plugging along.

From Jess: "I am so thankful for all of the love and support from family and friends.. it's not always easy being strong, but each and everyone of you makes it possible. Off to chemo #5 tomorrow!
Team Jess
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Hi Everyone!

Wanted to keep you all up to speed, so here's a little update. First of all, the Yoga Fundraiser went great, thanks to all that came and showed their support! And big thank you to Kristin, for an amazing class and event, and to all those who brought and purchased bake sale goodies, skincare products, and jewelry!

Unfortunately, this update isn't great news. Jessica was supposed to have her third chemo today, but her white blood cell count dropped to .4 this week after her last treatment. She is highly susceptible to infections with that low of a WBC, so unfortunately they had to postpone her chemo. They've started her on a strong antibiotic as a preventative measure, and she had to wear a mask at work yesterday. She will have to avoid groups of people, children (especially with school just starting back up) and crowded/public places, as well as even some fresh/uncooked fruits and vegetables. Chemo will resume next Thursday, presuming her WBC becomes high enough, which now throws off her "chemo schedule" she's been planning her life around. Since Jessica's chemo's are on Thursdays, she typically spends Thursday through the following Wednesday incredibly sick with nausea, vomiting, bone and joint pain, mouth and throat sores, etc. She then has Thursday through the following Wednesday of feeling decent/semi-normal. This gives her one bad week, one good week, between chemo treatments. Since they pushed this one back a week, she will now be missing things that were planned around her "good weeks". As if she hasn't made this the center of her life enough already, she'll now have to miss out on the few fun/good things she was planning to take part in. Such a bummer! This means she'll miss the Hooters Fundraiser (hope to see you all there!) as well as potentially her sister's baby shower, her friend's birthday, etc. While it may not seem that big of a deal to some, Jessica is very disappointed to miss the few fun things happening that don't revolve around her cancer. I imagine it's nice to be able to distract yourself with fun events when you're actually feeling well enough, so we really feel for her. Jessica is also eager to keep hammering and continue treatments, so this news is overall disappointing.

Jessica gets four different drugs administered during her chemo, known as A, B, V, & D. Since the A seems to be affecting her blood counts too severely, they will be giving her smaller doses of it moving forward--which will likely prolong her treatment.

Jessica is also now having to go on "official leave" at her work. While this is best for her body and health, it is going to create an even greater financial hardship. She is also unable to change her leave, even though her chemo schedule was just pushed back, so she is disappointed to miss a week that she wouldn't have had to. If you know Jessica you know that this is a girl who rarely even calls in sick and has worked non-stop (and gone to school full-time!) since she was a teenager--so this is going to be very difficult for her on many levels.

I ask that you all keep Jessica in your thoughts and prayers as she continues this journey. We had to take a little side-step with all this news, but will continue to move forward next week. Thank you! Hope to see you all at the Rohnert Park Hooters on Thursday 8/24!
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Hi everybody! Thank you for the enormous support thus far. As we gear up for Jessica's second chemo treatment, we wanted to give you a couple updates.

Here's a few words from Jessica:
Chemo #2, I am ready for you! After the first chemo, I struggled for about a week with horrible nausea, bone and joint pain, mouth and throat sores, and fatigue. Oh, and my tips of my fingers are numb, which hasn't gone away! BUT, my blood counts came back great which means even though I struggled with side effects, my body was responding well to the treatment and we can move forward with chemo #2.

I will have three more treatments and then they will have me do a PET scan to make sure the cancer is shrinking. I had my egg retrieval yesterday and the procedure was successful. Because of all of the support, I was able to secure my future of being a mom which is so important to me! ❤️

I also wanted everyone to know that I am hoping to raise awareness and money to help not only myself but our community. I want to raise enough money to purchase cold cap systems for the infusion center where I receive treatments for people who cannot afford it. Currently the systems cost $500 a month to rent! I used it my first treatment and haven't experienced any hair loss yet.

I love you all and am so thankful for each and every one of you! ❌⭕️❌⭕️

Also, as a side note, I'd like to mention something on Jessica's behalf. Jessica mentioned to me (DJ) recently that while she is so overwhelmed (in a good way) with support and love, she often feels bad that she can't individually respond and thank each of you personally for your donations, kind words, and encouragement. There are days after her treatment she can barely hold her phone, let alone try to take the time to respond to each person. I'm sure you all understand, and aren't looking for anything in return, but just wanted to throw that out there on her behalf. She is SO eternally grateful, as are we all, for the enormous support and all of the encouraging words. Seriously, on behalf of Jessica, and ALL her family and friends, it means the world to ALL of us.

I wanted to make you aware of a few fundraisers coming up:

--Sunday, August 13th: Free Yoga Class
Please come enjoy a yoga class taught by Kristin of KO Yoga and Fitness and bring a monetary donation of any amount you can contribute to support Jessica through this challenging time. We will also be having a bake sale so you can refuel after class!

--Thursday, August 24th: Dine & Donate at Hooters
We hope you can make it down to Hooters in Rohnert Park for a meal, any time on this date! 15% of your pretax bill will go directly to support Jessica. Flyer MUST BE SHOWN (via paper or on your phone!) for donation to be given. I hear their wings are fabulous! ;) The flyer is attached to this update. Hope to run into you there!
Hooters Dine & Donate Flyer
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From Jessica:

I am so overwhelmed by the generous support people have given. I am thankful for your donations, prayers, and all of your words of encouragement.

Yesterday I went through my first round of chemotherapy and it was definitely a day filled with a range of emotions and challenges. BUT with the love and support (and many laughs) from family, friends, and ALL OF YOU, I made it through. I am unsure of what is to come, but with this continued support the future looks bright. ☀️

Seeing how many people are thinking of me and praying for me gives me the strength and determination I need. I am so very grateful to each and every one of you! ❤️❤️
Friends at first chemo
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$9,500 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 96 people in 19 months
Created July 19, 2017
DJ Fagan
on behalf of Jessica Spitzer
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Liz & Lauren Mezann
16 months ago
Tracy Chapdelaine
16 months ago
Kelly Gray
16 months ago
Katie Davis
17 months ago
Lisa Spitzer-Lawson
17 months ago
Anissa Duse
17 months ago
Kevin Mcp
17 months ago
Margaret Ferguson
17 months ago
Sabrina Mikolon
17 months ago
Brian Cooper
17 months ago
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