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Our Local Hero Needs your help!

$15,411 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 106 people in 14 months
Created July 6, 2017
Saturday, June 24th we were having a 47th birthday gathering for our Jenni.
During the course of the evening our dear friend Jeannine pointed out that her eyes looked "yellow", after much insistance we convinced her to go to the urgent care on Sunday where they confrimed that she had billirubin spilling in her urine and they referred us to the lab for blood tests. Monday, June 26th we visited the local clinic and the PA ordered a battery of tests and we waited, on Wednesday, June 28th the results came back that her liver enzymes were elevated and that they wanted to perform a liver ultrasound. That was not going to happen until the following week and that was just not soon enough for us so we convinced her to visit the Urgent Care at Goleta Cottage Hospital. The physician ordered an ultra sound and soon after he advised us that he was admitting her and that her gallbladder needed to be removed. So off to Cottage Hospital Downtown she went. On Thursday morning the resident doctor at Cottage said he was not convinced the problem was her gallbladder and called for more tests and a CT scan. The scan was performed on that day and we waited the afternoon for the results in expectation of a blocked duct and an easy gallbladder removal and home again jiggity jig....That was not the case.
With further examination of the CT scan a Mediastinal Tumor was discovered in her chest.
A CT guided needle biopsy was ordered and off she went again. The team of doctors and surgeons were stumpped as to the cause of the liver problems and elected to have the gallbladder removed as precauction on Friday mid-day. They performed a liver biopsy while they were in there to see if that would bring more answers. 
Jenni was release to go home on Sunday and await the test results and biopsy results this week. So we went home and we waited. 
Today, July 6th we recieved some good news, the chest mass is benign, but it has to come out. Jenni is special, we all know this and this mass is making her all the more so. She is,  according to Doctor Bentley and other information one of 7, that's right 7 documented cases ever, where this Thymoma Tumor which is 14 cm in size is causing an auto-immune situation in her body and thus her body is attacking the liver, making her sick and if not removed even more so. 
This is where we need help. Jenni has no medical insurance, she does not qualify for state funded programs and she cannot obtain insurance through Covered CA and all that business because she does not meet the guidelines for enrollment during a closed enrollement period.
We are working on a solution now and are hopeful that by August she will be covered but there are expenses between now and then and we need help! 
We need to pay for follow up appointments, more labs and other expenses that are a little out of reach at the moment.  Todd and the family will be holding down the fort as best we are able but things are going to be hard and expensive. We could use your help, a little, a lot and anything in between. 
If you know Jenni, you know who and what she is, a warrior for those with no voice, the hardest working mo' fo' this side of the Mississippi, a friend and confidant, the one  that never says no, the girl that always stays behind to help or is the first one to volunteer to do what she can.  She is soft, kind, understanding and the most magnificient person that I know. She is a pillar of strength when things get tough and is amazing under pressure, but she is scared and needs us now more than ever! She needs us to take care of her, Todd and the babes and make sure that while she is concentrating on the road ahead that things don't fall apart. 
The world is a better place because she is here, we are better people because of her,  and she never ever asks for help. So I am asking for her!
Please consider helping Jenni, Todd and the babes in their time of need. 
The surgery will happen soon, we visit with the cardiothoracic surgeon again on Wednesday, July 12th  and will have a better idea of how soon, and what the process with be and what we can all expect.
The road to recovery will be long and hard, but we can and will get through it like we do everything else, together as a family built on blood and the choosen ones. 
Thank you for reading this and thank you for your kindness, generosity and love. It means more than you will ever know.

Kristi (AKA Sissy)
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Hi kids,
It’s been a while. As you all know we have been in the path of healing with some road blocks and hiccups along the way. Jenni is doing better but still battling some side effects of the surgery and the Thymoma. Her surgery went well and the mass is gone but the fluid problem still persists. She has been admitted to both our local hospital and USC since surgery to drain her lungs and the fluid build up at her heart. She has undergone 7 lung procedures now and they are happening almost weekly. We have recently had a consult with a kidney doctor to see if he can shed any light on the causes of the fluid retention and perhaps a treatment plan but currently she is still chasing her tail.
I have reached out to a new doctor, Doctor Reilly at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, he is a research doctor specializing in rare cancers and Thymoma’s and asked that he perhaps give us his two sense. Sloan is the leading cancer research center in the nation and dealing with an already rare situation it would be nice to know if in their experience they have see anyone else with these side effects and if so how did they treat them.
I am prepared to pop her butt in an airplane and fly her to NYC to be seen if necessary. This is where you all can help. If you have miles accumulated and could see fit in donating them, that would be amazing. We will have to raise enough money for travel and a hotel room, I have begun the process of requesting financial assistance through the centers financial aid program in hopes that she qualifies to be seen for free or for little share of cost.
If you are in a position to help a little or a lot that would be great. Please know that I appreciate it and that I am not going to leave any stone unturned until she is back to her fighting self. I really need her just to be better and she is sick of feeling like crap. It’s time to up our game and seek out the people that are making waves with this disease and see if they have some solutions.
I love you all for reading this, let me know if anyone has any questions.
If you need me you know where to find me.
With gratitude,
Sissy
Xxoo
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Friends, Family, loved ones, strangers and hidden angels... Where do I start?
She did it! She made it through it! She is home!, She is happy and smiling again! She is going to be okay!

None of this would have been possible with out the love, grace, faith, prayers and humbling circle of friends and family that you all are.

I am a little clearer headed today than I have been since my little interruption of day to almost day reporting but I have heard the stories, witnessed first hand her hand on mine and kissing her beautiful bald head for the first time yesterday since she returned home from the hospital. I can't even put into words how much I missed her.

The surgery went well as previously reported and there were a few hiccups along the way. Starting with too much anesthesia and a need to inject her not once but twice with Narcan to bring her back to this wonderland. Jenni's fantastic team of doctors were on the ball and made the necessary adjustments to make sure she was okay and it all turned out fine.

She spent two days in the ICU as the monitored her and then they moved her to her room where she was cared for in perfectly perfect harmony with what I have only heard is the most fantastic group of humans walking the planet. Day after day of care made them part of jenni's ever growing army of family, supporters and friends. She will miss them. But my guess is we will go and visit :)

It is funny as we talked yesterday, I realized in the most perfect moment that the Universe and God decided that I was not supposed to be at the hospital with her that day, truly, someone would have had to sedate me, so they kept me quarantined to my own hospital room and then home so that I couldn't kick up a fuss and cause a scene. God knows that if you know me I would have been very difficult to deal with with the news of any little bump in the road. So, She, The Mother of the Spinning planet had a perfect plan as always and I stayed and she went and handled shit like a boss, just like always.

Todd Parks, there are no words, she cries every time she tells anyone about the love, tenderness, bravery and care that that husband of hers shed upon her in the days she was at USC. He is not only a remarkable human but he showed a side of himself that she said after 30 years she had never seen. He was her rock, and her caretaker, her protector, and her focal point when things got rough. If you are friends with my Brother-In-Law, then you already know, if you are not, I am here to tell you he is one of the ones that will surprise you at every single turn. This is the best part, " I love you Todd" hahaha, he gets a little red when I tell him, but I tell him everyday almost. Because I do. So there...

So, now she is home, sleeping in her own bed again after almost 3-months of being on the couch, She says her sheets are the softest ones ever. She is up walking, sitting in her chair in the sunshine on her beloved little back porch and taking a Tylenol when she needs a little relief. Really, absolutely crazy when you think they gave me every pain medicine you could think of for my little ol' back procedure and they gave her some Tylenol after cutting her stem to stern. Fucking nuts.

She is now looking forward to the mending, a chest xray today at Cottage just to make sure everything was good and a re-visit with the team at USC on Thursday. Beyond that it is just time, lots of taking it easy and letting herself heal and get strong again. So bumping and no swerving, no lifting, no driving, no pushing or pulling. So basically she gets to heal in peace and re-count her thankfulness and her faith in knowing that it was always going to be okay. She's good at that you know? It's always going to be okay, the sun has to come up tomorrow right?

So my loves I will not update you or fill your feeds with long love letters or torrid tales of this journey anymore but wanted to take one final moment to thank you. I have thanked you all before but you really will never know unless you stand in my shoes how blown away I am by all of you. I am in awe and humbled by the humans that you all are. You are remarkable, and kind and that is all that it is really about at the end of this journey. Were you kind and did you make a difference? And the simple answer is yes, a million times yes.

Thank you from Louis and I , from the Bean and Parks Families, from the siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones from all over, from Jenni and Todd and the babies. Thank you. Your kindness and generosity is really the thing this world needs more of right now. If everyone could experience the love and care that Jenni and her family received at this time, we would be a peaceful, rested, healthy planet of humans living the way I think the Universe intended. Until we reach that place, we keep striving to do one kind thing or a thousand, but just one means more to someone that you may ever know.

I wish you all blessings and love. I am here, right here if you ever need me for anything at all. I am your go to girl, your cheerleader, what ever you may need. I am standing in one place and you will always be able to find me.

Eternally grateful, Sissy
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Hi Kids!
Update post surgery for our beautiful girl. As you all probably know she had surgery last Friday and is still housed up at the beautiful USC Keck Medical Center and is in the very, very best of hands. Every time I talk to her she gets all kinds of teary about how wonderful the people that work there are and how blown away by the kindness, knowledge and excellence in medical care that she has received since she arrived.
So... we are still at the hospital for a few medically necessary reasons but before I dive into that part I have to share that the pathology from the mass came back today and our girl is 100% CANCER FREE!
There will be no post resection radiation therapy, and aside from some major healing that will take place over the next few months, she is headed back into our loving arms and ready to really just kick the shit out of this life!
The surgery and surgical staff as I shared in the previous post was/are amazing humans, Doctor Kim joked and said his arm was tired from patting himself on the back it went so damn well. The mass was completely encapsulated, meaning that the mass that developed within and around the Thymus gland stayed in its own little sac or pouch and did not travel anywhere else in her body. This is the most amazing news to hear....EVER!!! The mass was sent to pathology to confirm that the cells it contained were in fact all benign and they all were, each and every one of them!
Jenni has had a couple of set backs with regards to discharge just due to the fluid build up and other nutritional deficiencies that she has going on. She has had to have a blood trnafusion and a ton of other things to get her back on track but those things all have worked beautifully and now they have chest tubes in (3-of em) continuing to drain the fluids that had amassed during the chemo and other drug therapies prior to surgery, the body as I understand it holds on to that fluid when it thinks it is being deprived if nutrition and so until the cells in her system realize that she is not starving and that the protein levels in her blood are stabliizing, it wanted to stay on board, its is an amazing thing this human body, it knows exactly when to go to war when it thinks it is supposed too. They have taken her off oxygen for two days now and her oxygen levels are so good! Having more than 2 + liters of fluid floating around in there made it a tad challenging to breath but she is now kickin' ass! She is walking and sitting up in a chair daily, she walked three full laps around the floor toady and did really well. She is as you can imagine anxiously awaiting the rest of the tubes and equipment to be taken off her body but she remains patient and loving and kind as always and understands she has some more work to do!
Todd has been and continues to be her absolute knight in shining armor, not leaving her side for one second through out all of this nightmare. We LOVE YOU TODD! If there ever was a bar you wanted to reach when it comes to the Husband/Father mark, he is the horse in the race to watch. I am so humbled to have the honor of watching him love her so much. It is the reason that it's been almost 30 years!
The goal at this point is to make sure all the fluid she has retained is gone before discharging her home. They will only take a tube or two a day out and so far as of this writing she still has all three. It is in her very best interest to not toy with the fluid and potentially get pneumonia upon arriving back home. So for now she stays, she isn't loving it, but she is comfortable and trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Her incision site on her chest looks amazing and my guess is when it is all healed will be hardly noticeable.
So m y loves all and all she is doing amazing and is ready to come home but being the good little soldier that she is, she will follow their instructions and do what they say is best.
She has had some visitors and some sparks of sunshine over the last few days, if any of you are in the Greater LA area, she is at Keck Medical Center and I am sure would love the visits and smiles, my guess is she won't be leaving before Friday and that still is a guess, she also really likes Udon noodles? They are her new favorite!
Daddy and Mamu are holding down the fort at the house with the kiddos and Momma is home enduring the rest of her radiation treatments, and I am trying not to bend, lift, or twist, but all of those things are necessary in your daily life, damn it!
I want to take a moment and again acknowledge and thank each and every one of you. The ones I know and love, the ones that I know through Sissy and love, and the ones I have never laid eyes on and love. You are ALL remarkable humans. What you have done for Jenni and her family over these last few months has been nothing short of mind blowing. If you ever think that you have not made a difference in this life, please let me remind you that you have, you all have, each and every one of you. Thank you will never be an adequate word for the gratitude I hold in my heart.
The next days, weeks and months as I have said will be slow going and time will help her heal her wounds, gather her strength again, find a physical therapy routine that will allow her to resume her daily activities and find her pace as she heads back into the life that she has lived and loved so much.
Your visits, meals, messages, donations, love and kindness are really more powerful that the actual medicine on some days. Love really does make everything better.
Some one messaged me today about her address at the hospital it is as follows:
Jennifer Parks
C/O USC Keck Medical Center
Room 9317
1500 San Pablo St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

I love you all endlessly.

If you need me, you know where to find me!

With love and overwhelming gratitude,
Sissy
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Hellllo everybody! I bet you all jut thought I fell of the edge of the Earth and was to never be heard from again BUT you are wrong, here I am :)

I am sorry for the lag in our story as we travel it with Jenni Girl, I got side tracked with an emergency back surgery in the middle of all of this crazy crazy wild ride. But I am fine, enough about me.

Jenni had her SURGERY! She arrived in LA on Thursday for pre-op stuff an to be there in enough time for the 6:30 AM arrival time for Friday!
Todd drove them down and got her checked in and off to the races they went got a facetime call with her beautiful face all adorn in her hospital frock finery to tell me that she was headed in.
Doctor Kim and his ARMY, and I am not shitting you, I did not have a first hands birds eye view, but I hear they all came in to talk to her and I swear I can only imagine that scene in Armageddon, when when Willis and the other astronauts come walking down the run-way and they are focused and trained and ready to kick some ass. Doctor Kim and the anesthesiologist talked with them and told then how it was going to go down. Doctor Kim did tell Sissy he got a good nights sleep and was ready!
If you hadn't caught on I love Doctor Kim, not just, I love this guy, but in my soul, from the depths of love, I love this human being. There are some people that are put here on this earth for a reason that is so incredibly special. It couldn't have been a more perfect pairing than for my beautiful girl.
The doctors said they anticipated the surgery to about 3-hours. And as I am told it was just almost exactly that.
Here is what I do know:
They got it ALL!
IT was not attached to her heart, Thank you Doctor Craig Baker, but your services were not needed! Thank you again for just being in her corner had she needed you.
She did not have to go on bypass
Oh, did I mention, THEY GOT IT ALL!!!
Someone did say they did not seem to think a radiation treatment post resection was going to be necessary
It is all the most glorious news!!!!!
Thank you to our Momma, our Tina Momma, Jeff and Sarah, Kristin and especially Mamu and Papa for splitting the efforts make sure that the little J''s, Jesse, Jake, and Julia were able to be there when she was in the back.
She recovered in the ICU recovery area for 2- hours to get her in a bed and pain management on board as she woke up and then as I understand it , they were all able to go back and see her for a couple of minutes.

Everyone made their way back home and Todd has been there with her. I facetimed just to tell her I loved her last night and then today saw her again up and sitting in a chair! She really is fucking amazing!

She is still in ICU Recovery and will be at least until tomorrow.

I don't have a clear understanding yet what the next steps are.

Because my beautiful amazing orthopedic and my beautiful family forbid my travel and it has been /is the most frustrating thing ever for me to not be right there so I knew what was going to happen five minutes before it was gonna happen.

Anyway, we DID it Kids! SHE is amazing. The next days, weeks and even months are going to go very slow. A lot of pain management on board and it is going to take a little for her to gain some clarity.

Thank you for all that you all do, I will keep you all updated more timely, I promise.

Please keep sharing, please keep praying, please keep loving her as much as we do!

If you need me, you know where to find me!

Loving you all so much!

Sissy~Kristi
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$15,411 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 106 people in 14 months
Created July 6, 2017
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