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Drew's Breast Cancer Fund

$38,714 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 378 people in 12 months
Created March 3, 2018
I am raising money for a wonderful mother I work with. Her daughter, Drew, who is 29 years old,  has just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and her medical bills have already depleted her savings. As she has just started treatment, she has a way to go and needs help.  So I started the GoFundMe page to help.  Drew is a beautiful girl and is trying to be positive through all this.  She has written something, so we can all get to know her and listen to her story:



"Buzzzzzzz Bizzzzzzzzz Buzzzzzzippp.

The sound of the clippers made a ringing in my ears, with a wicked finality. Locks of my beautiful red hair fell in clumps to the floor as my mother shaved the remaining bits of my head. She tried to keep it together as tears streamed down my face. My crowning glory, the trait that people recognized me by most, was now in a heap on the floor.

Just a few short weeks prior, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer.  A shock to my friends and family, and most especially me.

I am 29 years old.

But to start, you must know that I LOVE my life and I LOVE to laugh. I'm a fiery Texan, and I find humor in dry wit, fun in dressing in my vintage clothing and pin curls, and great joy in a slice of very cheesy pizza. And believe me, I enjoy all those things regularly in my now home base of New York.

On top of all of those things, I love my job, a company where I am able to be my best lady-hustler self. Late last fall, the company hosted several cancer awareness events, including a bake-off where the proceeds went to Susan G. Komen. My little pink ribbon sprinkle cookies won the taste test and my company donated to Susan G. Komen in my honor! Following the bake-off, we had a young breast cancer survivor come and tell her story, a harrowing tale by a woman who's about the same age as me and my many under-30 coworkers. I consider myself fully supportive of women's issues (after all, I’m a woman myself!), but neither the bake-off nor the talk seemed to have much true weight at the time. How could they? I was happy and healthy, after all.

Something from those events must have subconsciously taken hold though because a few weeks later, I did a self-examination, finding a golf ball size lump. The radiologist couldn’t look me in the face while going over the mammogram. She kept asking, “how old are you?”, in disbelief of what she was seeing on her screen. Though she hadn’t yet said the words, I knew from the look on her face that the diagnosis wasn’t in my favor. Considering the circumstances, it seemed ironic. My company had just donated money to a cause which one day I could potentially be a beneficiary. I just hadn’t known it at the time. How could I, a young woman so happy, have gotten hit by life so hard? It was surreal.

Since the diagnosis, the doctors have come up with the plan for chemo first (a whopping 15 treatments!) and surgery later, hoping the chemo will shrink the tumors considerably before I go under the knife. I put on a happy face, but the truth is, the side effects of the treatment are much rougher than I lead on. There is the chronic exhaustion (which has affected my ability to walk around the city I love); I have gotten poked and prodded by more needles than I can count; I had a port implanted into my chest (which upset me to no end to have a scar in a very visible place); I have undergone a series of uncomfortable fertility treatments (who knew chemo could leave you infertile?!); I’ve had a lot of long, tough conversations about things I never thought I would discuss, and of course I’ve lost my beautiful red hair. 

But no matter how ill or tired I feel, I'm at the office most days, with a big smile on my face, attacking my daily goals like a ninja. Very few acquaitances or people at the office know I have cancer, and I'm proud of that, knowing I can maintain some sense of normalcy and still be perceived as the lady-hustler I always want to be! Plus, a very good auburn wig helps! And my personal life is also full of smiles, with friends and family checking in all the time, bringing over meals, and sending as many Beyonce gifs as possible (because what day isn't made better with a Beyonce gif?!).

Despite my many blessings, the fact is I still have cancer, and I very simply need help. Because I have an income, I am not qualified for most financial aid. And while I do have insurance through my job, it only covers a portion of the medical bills, and those medical bills far exceed my income. I’m living a catch-22 where if I were qualified for the aid, I wouldn’t have a job. But because I do have a job, I am able to receive the insurance, which still doesn’t cover many of the bills. I am currently living in between a rock and a hard place.

At the moment, I’ve depleted my savings after only the first 3 months of my treatment. With a very long road ahead, the stress of where the funds are coming from to pay the upcoming medical bills is almost as bad as the cancer itself.

Thank you to all my friends and family for your love and support, and providing me the courage to speak very publicly about something so private. And thank you to those who take the time to read my story and want to help.

With love and hope for a healthy future,

Drew"
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As many of you have seen, Kens5News, the local San Antonio news station, did a piece last night on my cancer story and this GoFundMe:

https://www.kens5.com/article/life/heartwarming/woman-helping-sa-native-with-cancer-bills-even-though-theyve-never-met/273-573884271

The donations have been absolutely incredible so THANK YOU ALL!

What the Kens5 story didn't cover, is that I was sitting on my couch doing the interview only 4 days after my mastectomy. Below the camera angle I was wearing comfy pants and had to take a nap immediately after because all the excitement wore me out! But it was very exciting to know our story could get so much traction and that it all started with my Mom's friend Angela wanting to help!

To give you more of an update: I finished my 15 rounds of chemo in late May, and I took it easy in June so I could gear up for surgery July 9th. Many people have asked if I had anxiety about the surgical process and losing my right breast. The truth is, in the early days, yes. But the hospital sponsored a healing meditation program which helped me focus on happy thoughts, and by the time the morning of the surgery came, I had a clear sense of calm about me. The doctors said I was "all smiles", and I really was! I couldn't wait to get rid of this beast.

The doctors removed my right breast, several lymph nodes under my right arm, and input a tissue expander so I can eventually (Spring 2019) receive an implant. Though I am very asymmetrical at the moment, the healing is going as well as can be expected. I get my drain out next week, at which point I can begin physical therapy and slowly begin to get more motion on my right side.

And as you may have seen in the Kens5 video, my hair has begun to grow back. It's now in what my family endearingly calls the "peach fuzz" stage.

The likelihood is, that despite chemo and surgery, I will not yet be cancer free until I undergo radiation. That will be another power round of 30 sessions (5 days a week for 6 weeks) over the course of August and September.

Still more ahead, but the hardest parts are over. I look forward to my body being mine again, to be able to dance again, travel again, and live life healthily again.

Thanks again to ALL OF YOU for helping me heal with your time, resources, kind notes, and more. I am still standing, and still standing STRONG because I could lean on all of you!

Lots of love. xoxo
+ Read More

$38,714 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 378 people in 12 months
Created March 3, 2018
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