This is Joanna Hemsworth, or Jo to the people who are lucky enough to call her a friend. Jo is my very best friend. We met in college almost 30 years ago and over the years she has become like a sister to me. Although our lives have taken us in different directions we still manage to talk almost daily.
Jo is 46 and a single mother to this beautiful 7-year-old girl. She is loyal, strong, thoughtful, generous, kind and a truly caring person. She has always been the type of person to put friends and family before herself. Over the years she has helped to raise money for various charities like, St. Jude’s, the American Cancer Society, the Humane Society, and Wounded Warriors.
Jo has had a couple of really, tough years. She has been struggling to make ends meet since her husband left 4 years ago. She has moved from one job to the next if it meant better pay and better hours to provide for her and her daughter. She is humble. She drives a twelve-year old car, clips coupons and lives in a small house barely managing to make her monthly mortgage payments on time. Last year Jo and her parents decided to have her parents move into her house in order to consolidate financial resources. This situation allowed more flexibility with finances, and helping to raise Jo's daughter.
Then, just as Jo was starting to get back up on her feet again, life threw her another curve ball. Last year Jo was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. She endured a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, a brutal rash that resulted from the cancer treatment cutting her 12 weeks of chemotherapy down to nine weeks. She then endured 12 weeks of Proton radiation on her left side where the cancer originated. During this time, she was unable to work since the surgeries and cancer treatments were so grueling. This made it impossible for her to actively contribute to the household finances.
Jo’s last radiation treatment was 4 weeks ago, and she was so happy that this past year was just that, in the past. 2018 was going to be a great year! She was alive, energy was returning, and she could start living again. Happier times were ahead for her, her daughter and her
mom and dad.
But, Jo started having recurring headaches since completing her rounds of radiation and they became steadily worse. A CT scan revealed that she had multiple brain tumors and an MRI scan revealed shadows on her sternum and pelvis. Once again, her world came crashing down. Now she will begin full brain radiation in an attempt to reduce an overwhelming amount of tumors ranging in size and will start new forms of oral medications. She has been unable to work during the past 8 months and future cancer treatments will continue to keep her from working for a good portion of this year. She has depleted her sick and vacation time. Her healthcare costs will exceed her healthcare coverage, and she is unsure how she will maintain a roof over her head and financially provide the basics for her young daughter while enduring new rounds of cancer treatments.
Jo is scared and worried not only for herself but for her daughter as well. Her daughter is so young and does not understand what is happening to her mom. This little girl is the strongest little girl I know. This is the reason that I am reaching out to all of you. Each one of us has known someone battling cancer or been in a financial bind due to no fault of their own. Jo has never been a person to ask for a handout and that is why I am asking you to help her and her family in this desperate time. She needs our help to keep her and her daughter going through this difficult time. Her parents who live on social security have been doing what they can to help with bills and taking care of her daughter, but their financial resources are dwindling. Please help to ease the financial burden so she can focus on healing and living to see her daughter grow into a young woman.
All money raised will be used to pay for medical bills, and basic living expenses while she is undergoing treatment. Any amount helps and together we can make a difference in not just Jo’s life but that of her daughter’s. With many prayers, luck, and your help it is my hope that she will have more pictures like this to share in the future.
Any amount helps and is greatly appreciated. If you would like to help but are unable to make a donation, please help by sharing this link with people you know and personally ask them to help with any donation. Together we can all make a difference!