Life saving treatment needed for Santosh Chopra

$41,022 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 132 people in 2 months
Created April 30, 2019
Team Santosh
on behalf of Neetu Chopra

A New Diagnosis
Our friend’s Mom has been diagnosed with cancer... again. Only a few weeks ago their small and courageous family was getting ready to celebrate a new milestone in her post cancer treatment and they were planning a trip back to their motherland. This would have been a wonderful present for Mother’s Day, but all their dreams crashed over new blood work and a CT scan. Now their only thoughts are of how to keep her stable and alive, and how to gift her another chance at beating the cancer by being able to afford countless rounds of chemo and radiation... again.

The Goal
We are starting this fundraiser to help ease some of the stress and burden of the insurmountable medical bills that our friend and her family are carrying. Our friend, Neetu, has spent her life’s savings on medical bills to help her mother beat cancer and has been supporting her family while they are here in the US.
With no savings left, Neetu and her family need help and lots of it. We are hoping to raise $100,000 to cover past and current medical bills and will be forwarding all funds straight to Neetu to spend on upcoming procedures and to put toward past medical bills.

How You Can Help
We are asking you to help Neetu and her family by giving whatever you can, even if it’s only a few dollars – no donation is too small. Donations will add up and can pay for Santosh to get another blood transfusion or a chemo round to give her another chance on life with her family!
• Each round of chemo costs approximately $35,000
• A course of radiation treatment costs approximately $10,000
• Current outstanding medical bills: $32,000
• Each doctor visit costs $500

The First Diagnosis
Two years ago, our friend, Neetu, welcomed her family (mother, father and sister) to the US for a short visit. Her mom, Santosh, a retired biology teacher who loves nature and enjoys watching birds and growing plants, was looking forward to visiting and exploring California with her family. Unfortunately, not too long after arriving, Santosh fell ill and was taken to urgent care for treatment of her diabetes and hypertension.
While in urgent care, the doctors also discovered a mass which turned to be stage 3 breast cancer and advised Santosh to start treatment immediately. Due to the complications, Santosh could not travel back home and started her treatment in the US.

It was a long way to recovery as she faced rounds of hormone therapy, a mastectomy surgery, several rounds of chemo-therapy, and six weeks of radiation treatment. Getting treatments away from home in a new environment was very taxing and the family braved through adjustments as their short trip turned into two years of emotional, physical, and financial survival while Santosh struggled through the treatments.

A Huge Financial Burden
Before their trip to the US, Neetu had purchased insurance for all her family members, but, unfortunately, visitors’ plans are quite limited, and they denied covering any treatment. Neetu spent all her savings of 10+ years, over $100,000, to ensure her mom started receiving the care she needed. Also, thankfully, Stanford Medical Center gave them some financial aid, but it was not nearly enough to pay for all the treatments, medications and hospital visits her mom still needed.

Beating Cancer
After almost a year and a half and with the bills mounting up, the end was in sight - Neetu’s mom finished her treatments and was declared cancer free! The family
made plans to return to their home.

Another Setback
The family then had to cancel their international trip when Santosh developed problems with her eyes. She required injections to reduce the swelling in her eyes that could possibly cause her to completely lose her eyesight. The doctors were worried that flying over the ocean with this condition could add stress and trigger further damage and cause blindness.
Neetu had to file for another extension with US immigration and the family went through another round of adjustments. Neetu continued to work full time so that she could support her family financially.
Neetu Mom’s eyes slowly started to improve, the swelling subsided, and the family began planning their trip back to India, to be made on April 28, 2019.

The respite from health problems came to an end on April 19, when Santosh was taken to the ER for extreme dizziness and weakness. Her bloodwork showed very low hemoglobin/red blood cell levels and she required an immediate blood transfusion.
She was admitted to the hospital for further testing, and two days later the doctors discovered she was bleeding internally through a large area in her small intestine. This type of lesion, they said, was inoperable. CT scans further revealed a mass on her pancreas, in her lungs, and lymph nodes. And then came the biopsy results – stage 4 GI cancer.

Current Circumstances
Santosh is still in the hospital as the doctors are trying to stabilize the bleeding with radiation and medication. This poor woman has already been through so much and this diagnosis has been devastating for Neetu and her family. They are barely holding together at this point.
On top of the diagnosis, they need to get another extension to stay in the US legally and avoid deportation while Santosh is undergoing the treatments. Neetu has been filling out hundreds of pages of immigration documents herself because they cannot afford legal help at this point. She works on the paperwork between working her full-time job and trips to the hospital, where she spends all her time now – close to her Mom. She sleeps in the hospital, in a chair next to her Mom every night. She does not complain; she keeps going and keeps HOPE.

Give Neetu, Santosh, and Their Family Hope
We keep that HOPE with our dear amazing friend and her family. By starting this fund raiser, we hope to help ease some of the stress and burden of the insurmountable medical bills that are yet to come, for the previous and current hospital stay, and for the aggressive treatment regimen she must undergo. With no savings left, Neetu needs help and needs lots of it. So, we are asking everyone to help Neetu and her family and to please give whatever you can even if it’s only a few dollars – no donation is too small as it will all add up and can get Santosh another blood transfusion or a chemo round or give her another chance on life with her family! We believe it all can help and ask you to please, please share this with everyone you know. If everyone who reads this has it in their heart to donate, we can make this next round of cancer treatment for Santosh possible. She is a sweet, adorable woman and has the will to live!! Thank you for reading her story. And thank you for giving from your heart.

About Neetu
Neetu Chopra came to the US from India in 2005 to pursue her dream to become a scientist. She received her PhD in Material Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. She was awarded an Exceptional Ability green card for her contributions within her field of study and has just passed her US citizenship test. Elena, Neetu, and I met at our former workplace and became immediate friends. Neetu has an infectiously bubbly personality and an endlessly positive attitude toward life. She loves kayaking, water tubing, sight seeing, and road trips. She is kind and generous and extremely devoted to her family and friends.
Neetu, Patrice, & Elena

More about Santosh and the family
The Chopra family comes from Delhi, India. Santosh is a retired biology teacher who raised her two daughters and took care of her elderly mother through sickness until her passing. She was a wonderful, caring mum and taught her daughters how to cook delicious, traditional Indian food. (Which all of Neetu’s friends are happy about!). She shared her love of nature with her children and was a great influence in their success. Her daughter Nidhi has a PhD in Education and enjoys arts and crafts, and her husband Prem Chand has a Masters in Public Administration and enjoys volunteering at a local senior center in California.

Santosh and Neetu
The Chopra family 
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This morning, our beloved Santosh, with her loving family by her side, left her physical body and began her journey to the next life. She was loved deeply and will be missed more than words can say. Her husband Prem Chand, her daughters Nidhi & Neetu, and friends who loved her dearly all grieve her loss and pray her spirit will find eternal peace.

The family is eternally grateful to those who made loving donations, read and shared Santosh’s story, and prayed for her.
We will continue to ask for donations to help the family with the huge financial debt that has accrued.
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This update is difficult to write. Santosh had another stroke this week. Since our last update, Santosh has not been improving enough to receive chemo or radiation and there are new tumors forming in her lungs and liver. She has had to go to the ER a few times in the past 3 weeks to manage severe symptoms and was admitted to the hospital each time. We will spare you the details of all her afflictions, just know that she’s going through frightening changes and is in a lot of pain and discomfort. She doesn’t believe in taking a lot of pain medicine though, so she’s dealing with the pain in her own way. She’s incredibly strong willed and embraces life with all her might.

Earlier his week, Santosh was enrolled in home hospice care. But with so many severe symptoms, and hospice not able to be present when needed, when Santosh had the second stroke, Neetu felt she had to get her mom to the hospital. In fact, hospice told her to call 911. As you can imagine, all of these severe side effects of her cancer are very frightening for Santosh and the family, and are taking there toll on dear Santosh. She has acquired significant deficiencies from the second stroke. We’re hoping the hospice agency will recognize her need for continuous care and provide more comprehensive help to Santosh so she can remain comfortably in her home.

Santosh has fought hard against this horrible cancer. It’s so unfair that she got this new, aggressive GI cancer after finally getting her diabetes under control and winning a 2 year battle with breast cancer. Just 2 months ago we thought she could finally go back to her home in India and enjoy her retirement. Now, sadly, it looks like Santosh may not have much time left with her family. They are all devastated and trying provide Santosh with the best care they, themselves, can provide while, at the same time, processing what’s yet to come.
To say this is tearing Neetu and her family apart mentally and physically is an understatement.

Thank you for taking the time to read Santosh’s story and for your thoughts, prayers,and shares. So many wonderful people have donated, we are amazed! As I mentioned in the last update, Neetu has been paying for the hospital visits, the transfusion center, ambulance service, and for medications out of pocket at enormous cost. Donations are still very much appreciated and greatly needed. Wishing you all, love and peace. Namaste

(Video and photo of Santosh are from a week ago, prior to the second stroke...we love you Santosh ! )
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Since our last update we’ve had quite a few major setbacks. First Santosh developed a C-diff infection, which made her quite weak. She also has a fluid build up in her abdomen (Ascites) that they can’t aspirate because it’s too close to her vital organs. This is very uncomfortable. Then, as a side effect from all of the blood transfusions, she started developing blood clots and subsequently suffered several mini strokes and a mild heart attack. Needless to say, this has made her already fragile condition a great deal more precarious. She needs someone by her side at all times due to the physical deficits and confusion she has from the stroke. Since she is still bleeding internally from the original lesion, the doctors weren’t sure giving her blood thinners to reduce the clotting would be possible. But they tried it and so far things haven’t worsened. One small blessing...
However, Santosh needs rehabilitation to manage her stroke symptoms. The insurance the family has will not cover a rehab or skilled nursing facility. It barely covers anything at all at this point. As you can imagine, at around $500/day, this is an enormous amount of money. And to make matters worse, now the hospital is requiring all payments for services up front, because the bills are already very high. That means $5000 per blood transfusion, payment up front for any doctors visit, chemo treatment, or hospital & emergency room stay. All of which are going to be needed going forward.
Through all of this, Santosh keeps fighting to live and Neetu, well, she is a warrior for the cause. Those closest to her cannot believe her strength and fortitude. We worry that years of unbelievable stress, worry, and little sleep will take its toll on our amazing friend.
We are deeply touched and grateful for the outpouring of love and donations so many of you have shared with the Chopra family. But we are asking again to please spread the word of the tragic situation and insurmountable need this family has been faced with. Social media is an amazing platform, and it’s ability to reach world wide can create miracles. And we are hoping for one. If 1000 people could give just $5 each it would pay for another transfusion for Santosh. If we could get the word out to 100,000 people who could spare $5, imagine how life changing it would be for the Chopra family.
As it stands now, Santosh may never be well enough to travel back to her home land. So the goal is to manage her illness and try to keep her comfortable and as pain free as possible, and hopefully make strides to give her more time with her family.
Thank you for taking the time to read their story. Please pray for them and keep them in your thoughts.
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Santosh enjoys listening to guitar music.
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$41,022 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 132 people in 2 months
Created April 30, 2019
Team Santosh
on behalf of Neetu Chopra
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