Trisha Needs Stem Cell Transplant

$76,132 of $85,000 goal

Raised by 126 people in 5 months
Update February 10, 2019:

Trisha had a series of complications that led to delays in her transplant. But she is finally moving forward on February 18.

We still need a little bit more to complete her transplant fund... WE NEED YOUR HELP.

Trisha's 22nd birthday is on February 12. (Wow, it's been 2 years since she first felt the tumor.) She is almost done with the battle.

Please help us make this the year that Trisha finally beat cancer. <3 THANK YOU!

Please continue to pray for us, donate, and share our fundraising page.


Hello everyone!

First of all, my family and I would like to thank everyone who donated to our previous fundraising (hosted on YouCaring) that successfully funded my sister Trisha's fight against Stage IVA Classic Hodgkin's Lymphoma Mixed Cellularity--12 sessions of ABVD chemotherapy, PET CT scans, laboratory tests, medications, etc. 

Her last ABVD chemotherapy session (aka graduation) was on July 2, 2018. We were so thankful and hopeful that the treatment was a complete success (based on her March scan done just after 4 sessions of chemotherapy that said she is almost free of cancer).

Unfortunately, the battle is not over yet.

She went for a PET CT Scan on September 24, just 12 weeks after her last chemo, and it showed that she has active recurrent lymphoma. Apparently, she had tumour/s resistant to chemotherapy and that there are new growths in the lymph nodes of the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis areas. It has also now spread beyond the lymph nodes and they found tumours in the marrow of her pelvis and spleen.

We are all taken aback and devastated with these recent results. We thought everything was okay now. That the cancer is gone, done, defeated.

In those 3 months after her last chemo session, Trisha started her road to recovery. She still couldn't go back to school but at least she was gaining her strength back. Her hair started growing again. All the side effects of chemotherapy were slowly disappearing. She even started crocheting Amigurumi keychains and tops. She was starting to rebuild her life and feel great again.

But now, we have to go for more aggressive chemotherapy and transplant. We are lost and scared. 

During the doctor's appointment on Thursday, Sep 27, while discussing the results, my mom saw huge drops of tears falling from my sister's eyes. She was bravely asking the doctor, "ano ano pa po ang mga pwedeng gawin para mapahaba ang buhay ko?" (What are the next steps that we should do to extend my life?) She was trying to put on a brave face and a smile while crying. My mom saw how really scared my sister was. :((

Being given news that you have cancer is already scary... but after having gone through treatment and being told that you have refractory lymphoma is most definitely heartbreaking and devastating, like you feel the world is crashing down on you.

**Refractory cancer means it did not respond to a previous attempted cancer treatment. The cancer was initially responsive to treatment but between March and September scan, somehow it developed resistance. 

So here I am, knocking on your hearts once more. We need your help now more than ever. #TrishaIsFighting and we will continue to support her in every possible way.

As outlined by her team of doctors, she needs to go for insertion of port-a-cath, bone marrow biopsy, at least 3 cycles of ESHAP chemotherapy which involves staying in the hospital for 5 days, PET CT scan, stem cell harvesting, autologous stem cell transplant, and numerous laboratory tests. She also needs medications during and in-between treatments. The doctors estimated that we need at least PhP 3,000,000 (around C$ 75,000) for everything, including transplant. And if we proceed as soon as possible, she'll be done with the treatments early 2019.

We had some leftover funds from the previous campaign, which we have started to use for her laboratory tests this Sunday, Sep 30, in preparation for a port-a-cath insertion surgery and bone marrow biopsy tomorrow (Monday, Oct 1).

(This portacath is a device implanted under Trisha's skin which allows easy venous access so that it will be easier and less painful for her to go through frequent and continuous administration of chemotherapy.)

But we have no money at all to start at least the first session of chemotherapy, which costs PhP 150,000 (around C$ 3,600). We are hoping to have her go for the first session this coming Tuesday to Saturday so at least the fight against these new tumours have already started.

My sister Mariah and I are the only ones helping our father with all the family expenses. We barely have enough as it is. And now just as we were starting to recover, we have to go through more treatments. We have no assets to sell, so we really have nothing. :( Unfortunately, this is how healthcare in the Philippines is. You need money because hospital services are not covered, not like here in Canada where medically necessary hospital services are covered so that patients don't have to stress and worry about money and can just focus on getting better.

(As we were thinking on ways to raise funds again, Trisha asked me 2 days ago if maybe we should start selling her dentistry tools and equipment. :(( I told her NO. She will survive this and she will continue on to becoming a wonderful and successful dentist. Her dreams will become a reality. It will just take a little more time, but she will make it through.)

This is another race against time. Please help us save Trisha's life and fund her second round of cancer treatments. We have come this far... and we will continue to keep moving forward. Trisha has a bright future ahead of her and she deserves every chance she can get to beat the big C.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. We appreciate every dollar or peso, every share of this page, every prayer, and every message of support and comfort.

Aside from donating through the GoFundMe page, we also accept offline donations by transferring money directly to a bank account:

For donations in Canadian Dollars:

I accept Interac e-transfers and cheques. Please contact me so I can send my details.

For donations in Philippine Peso:

Name: Jean Monique Sanchez
Bank: Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Savings Account
Branch: Ninoy Aquino Ave.
Account Number: 0443095713

We will update this page as she goes through treatments. Feel free to contact me via email at jeanmoniquesanchez@gmail.com 

Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts,

Monique, Nelia, Sonny, Mikey, Mariah, Patrick, and Trisha

We love you Trisha! Keep fighting! <3

** latest family picture taken June 2016 before I moved to Canada **
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SUMMARY: Trisha had a series of complications that led to delays in her transplant. But she is finally moving forward on February 18. We still need a little bit more to complete her transplant fund... WE NEED YOUR HELP. Trisha's 22nd birthday is on February 12. (Wow, it's been 2 years since she first felt the tumor.) She is almost done with the battle. Please help us make this the year that Trisha finally beat cancer. <3 THANK YOU!

- - - - -

Hi everyone!

I hadn't updated since mid-October 2018 because Trisha had experienced a series of complications that delayed her transplant.

First, she developed heart complications from her 1st ESHAP therapy.

October 28 - She was supposed to go for 2nd ESHAP session but at a low dose to minimize complications. However, Trisha was still scared from what happened during the first session. The doctor postponed the chemotherapy while still looking for an alternative.

The doctor found an alternative: BRENTUXIMAB (Adcetris). But it's very costly. 1 vial alone costs around $5,600. And she needs 3 per session. It is done every 3 weeks and maximum of 16 sessions. All the money we had reserved for the transplant went into paying for a portion of her first session of brentuximab.

(Thankfully, we were able to get into Takeda's Patient Assistance Program. They've covered most of the medication costs of the 4 sessions she's had so far.)

She had 2 sessions of brentuximab (Nov 14 and Dec 5) and then a PET CT Scan 2 weeks later on Dec 19. The results were good so she was scheduled to start the transplant around 1st week of January.

But during first week of January, my sister got sick. During a scan, the tumor at the original site (by the neck) was back. :(

Transplant is delayed again and she had to go for 2 more sessions of brentuximab (Jan 8 and 29).

Tomorrow, Trisha is scheduled for her CT scan. THE NEXT DAY IS HER 22ND BIRTHDAY! <3 We are hoping for clear scans so she can move on to the first phase of transplant which is scheduled for February 18.

We still need a little more money to complete her transplant fund. We are almost at the end of the battle... this is her greatest chance to be cancer-free. Please help us make it through.

Thanks for all those who have donated, helped in fundraisings, prayed with and for us, and supported us throughout this fight against Stage 4A Hodgkin's Lymphoma. <3

In a couple of months, Trisha will finally be cancer-free. WE CAN DO THIS!
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Thanks to all your donations, shares on social media, and prayers.

Trisha is out of the hospital from her 1st ESHAP chemo session.

What was supposed to be a 5-day stay turned out to be a little longer as she developed bradycardia (slow heart rate) that is a rare but significant toxic side effect of cisplatin, one of her chemo medications.

As such, her chemo meds were on hold for more than 24 hours. She had to do several heart diagnostic tests and she was hooked to a cardiac monitor from Days 4 onwards. She also had a Holter monitor attached to her for 24 hours to check her heart activity.

The first chemo session was very hard and heartbreaking... especially to Trisha and my parents who were with her in the hospital. It was a time full of fear, uncertainties, and tears.

They had to stop giving cisplatin to avoid further heart damage and just continued with the rest of her medications.

She will be going for another scan by end of October. If she responded to the first ESHAP session, we will be moving forward with stem cell harvesting followed by an autologous stem cell transplant.

It is her BEST OPTION now as we can’t risk further heart damage. And we don’t know what further chemo will do to her.

The good thing here is that she will not be suffering from the side effects of chemo anymore.

It’s just that now, we need a huge amount of money very soon.

If you can spare any amount, pls help us. No amount is too small as every peso and dollar counts toward reaching our goal of giving Trisha an amazing chance to cure her cancer and to continue living. ❤️

And please continue to keep us in your prayers and to share our fundraising page.

Thank you very much!
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October 1, 2018 (PHT) by Trisha:

It has been ten months since I was diagnosed. What happened next was a whirlwind of events.

In ten months, I have experienced the best and worst moments of my life. Every chemo session left me feeling weaker and nauseous. Sometimes I couldn’t even get up from the bed. The first few days after every session were always the worst. And the pain. Oh, the pain. I would wake up in the middle of the night crying because of the excruciating pain in my arm. At times I couldn’t even lift my arm. I felt so helpless. The hair loss especially took a toll on me. My heart would break every time clumps would fall out. Of course, I was still luckier than most. Compared to my fellow patients, the side effects I was experiencing were nothing. But sometimes, the worst moments weren’t the times I couldn’t sleep because of the pain. The worst moments were when I realized my life was put on hold. Everyone was happy and moving on with their lives while I was stuck in this situation. The worst moments were when I felt helpless with my situation. When I saw how the sight of me vomiting pained my family. How they would secretly cry when they thought I wasn’t looking or I was asleep. How I knew I hurt them whenever I would have emotional outbursts.

Nevertheless, these ten months also gave me the best moments in my life. The ones I knew I would always remember and cherish forever. I experienced a lot of firsts and they were the most fun I’ve had. I realized who my true friends were, those who stayed and stood by me when I was at my lowest, those who kept praying for me when I couldn’t even pray for myself. I’ve had more time to reflect on my life. I realized that, while I wouldn’t wish this disease on anyone, I was still grateful that it happened because it definitely changed my perspective in life. It made me treasure every day of my life as if it were my last. (There were still some unproductive and lazy days, though lol) I also realized how truly kind and generous people are. When I shared my story last January, friends and even strangers from all around the world reached out, sending heartwarming messages and offering their prayers. Reading their messages gave me the encouragement I needed to fight this battle. I truly felt loved and appreciated, like somehow I was worth all this trouble.

So I’m writing this message. To all the people who messaged us, helped us, prayed for us, shared our fundraising page, and donated, thank you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, I wouldn’t have had a chance of even starting the fight. Because of you, my family had one less thing to worry about and I was able to proceed with all my chemo sessions without any delays and we were able to focus on my recovery, so thank you.

I recently went for a follow up with my oncologist hoping to hear good news. I’d been getting better, exercising, pushing myself to get fitter, glad I was done with all the chemo and can now focus on helping myself feel great again.

However, it is with great sadness that I am sharing this unfortunate news. My cancer has gotten progressively worse in the short time since I finished all my treatments. I don't understand how or why but despite the twelve sessions of chemotherapy, there are now traces in my spleen and bone marrow. If you've watched/read The Fault in our Stars, I'm sure you'd be familiar with this next line – I lit up like a Christmas tree.

This came as a great shock for me and my family (my doctor as well) since we all thought that everything was going well. After all, my scan last March showed that the cancer was almost gone, right? None of us were prepared for this. I admit, when I saw the results, my heart dropped. I couldn’t find the courage to tell my mother that it wasn’t going to be okay, that I am not cancer-free or in remission as we had hoped. I couldn’t give them more bad news. They’ve already been through enough. Try as I might, the tears started falling down and my mom finally asked, “What’s wrong?” I finally broke down after that.

My doctor says that my best chance is to undergo a stem cell transplant. It's the best treatment plan for cases like mine wherein I'd have to be hospitalized and endure five straight days of aggressive chemotherapy every month. I can only pray that my cancer responds to the intense treatment so that I still have a fighting chance. Should my cancer respond, I will be eligible for the transplant.

Honestly, I am still finding it difficult to process this. Everything is happening so fast. I was so ready to start a new chapter in my life; I didn’t realize that I was nowhere near the end of this one. The plot thickens, as they say. Still, I will fight.

For now, all I can do is fight, pray, and hope to get through this next phase so I can spend as much time with my friends and family as possible. I’m writing this to keep everyone in the loop of what is going on. I will fight, I will struggle and throughout all of this, I will do my best to keep smiling, remembering how blessed I am to have gotten this far despite the obstacles placed before me.

So if you’re reading this, I ask you to please pray for me and my family. If you see them or get the chance to talk to them, please give them a hug for me. Please remind them to stay strong as you have done so in the past. Thank you.

This is just a chapter in my life; it is not the whole story.
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Posted on July 3, 2018 by Monique:

Trisha Mae’s graduation ☺️

*graduation is the term they use for the last session of chemotherapy

12 sessions done! We are so proud of you Baby Mae. ❤️

We got here at 5:25am and she was 1st in line. ☺️ Thank goodness she got No. 1 because during her 11th session, they arrived at the hospital at 5:30am and was already 8th in line. That time, they had to stay til 6:30pm. Today, we’re hoping to be done before 5pm.

Thankfully, she had an appetite for a peanut butter sandwich and a biscuit for lunch. Praying for less nausea and no vomiting tonight and tomorrow.

We would like take this opportunity too to thank the awesome staff of NKTI Medical Oncology Section for the excellent care and attention they gave to my sister during all her sessions. We appreciate all your help. ❤️

She’ll have a few weeks of rest before her PET CT scan. Hopefully, she can finally start the road to recovery.

#TeamTrisha #TrishaIsFighting
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$76,132 of $85,000 goal

Raised by 126 people in 5 months
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