Help the Hunsuckers

$34,069 of $95,000 goal

Raised by 337 people in 23 days
Created June 1, 2019
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Wilburn Hunsucker
In 2008 Phyllis and Will and their young family, Jaan, Raia, Asya (Bogdan was born in 2011) moved to Ukraine to minister in the local churches after being deported from Russia. They currently work with Agape Ministries, a local orphan ministry.

In April 2019 Phyllis was admitted to hospital with terrible abdominal pain and in recent weeks has been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. Providentially there is a world class cancer treatment centre in nearby Kyiv and Phyllis has been accepted into their care. The doctors have recommended that Phyllis commence immunotherapy for her cancer immediately, and in late May she and Will travelled to Kyiv to begin treatment.

The doctors have recommended infusions every three weeks at a cost of $4,800 per treatment. This amounts to almost $85,000 for a year. Phyllis's cancer is very serious and without this treatment her prognosis is poor. Even with treatment Will and Phyllis know that they are fighting the battle of their lives, but with our great God everything is possible and they put their faith in him.

Without your help, Phyllis's future is rather bleak. Please consider how you can help her continue her work to further God's kingdom by contributing to her care.

*** GoFundMe adds a 15% tip to each donation, to support their business.  You do not have to include that amount.  You can change that to 0 or any amount you choose.  ***
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Phyllis and Will travelled last night to Kyiv for Phyllis’s second immunotherapy treatment at Clinic Spizhenko. The doctors won’t know whether her cancer is responding to the Keytruda infusions until the fourth treatment and at the moment she is suffering an increase in pain, which is a common initial side effect. Here is how you can pray specifically for the Hunsuckers this week:

• Pray for travelling mercies for Phyllis and Will and that they can obtain first class sleeper tickets for the overnight return home.
• Pray for blessings for Jaan and Raia as they help out with art camp, as well as for Asya and Bogdan who are attending. Give thanks that they have this fun activity to occupy them while their parents are away.
• The highlight of last week’s fundraising was the day hosted by Karen Glass to raise money for Phyllis’s care. Karen challenged the AmblesideOnline community to donate on behalf of their children educated with AO and they managed to raise well over $3000 in 24 hours. Give thanks for all who donated.
• Pray for safety for Phyllis during her Keytruda treatment on Monday and that she has no concerning reaction.
• Pray for the optimising of Phyllis’s pain management and for a reduction in the tiredness and flu-like symptoms she is experiencing as her immune system ‘fires up’. Give thanks that she is currently managing with oral pain killers.
• Ask for healing.


"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." Psalm 28:7
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Dear Friends,

Phyllis and Will have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity they have received since we began this fund a little over two weeks ago. We have already reached our first goal of $20,000, which will cover Phyllis’s first four treatments, and are well on our next goal of $55,000 thanks to the help of so many of you. This should cover Phyllis's immunotherapy until Christmas.

Phyllis serves a mighty God and she has a lot of people praying for her. She and her family continue to be overwhelmed by God's faithfulness, particularly as it is displayed in your loving support and prayers.
While it has been exciting watching the donated amount growing each day, we mustn’t allow ourselves to become complacent. Metastatic melanoma is one of the most aggressive cancers and her treatment is necessary to control the melanoma and improve her symptoms. While our goal is large, it is also realistic – the Hunsuckers really need our help.
So what can we do to help?

1. Pray

James in Chapter 5 tells us to pray – it is the prayer of faith that heals the sick. We can pray for comfort for Phyllis, for wisdom for her doctors and for strength for her husband and children, but we can also pray for healing, because he is a great God and with him all things are possible. If it is God’s sovereign will for Phyllis, then she will be healed – let us pray boldly and confidently.

Of all the ways you can help Phyllis, this is the most important, please pray. We will help you with this by posting regular Prayer Points here so that you know what you should pray for more specifically. You can see this week’s below. Do leave Phyllis a note here to let her know you’re praying for her.

2. Share our GoFundMe page on social media

With crowdfunding, it is sharing that leads to success. Statistically, each share on Facebook raises an average of $34.00. Phyllis’s page has been shared 1365 times so far and we are so grateful, but please don’t think once is enough. Most of us feel uncomfortable asking our friends for money, but do consider making an exception this time. If possible, don’t just bump your first initial post – a new post attracts far more attention. Perhaps you could share each update, or alternatively share on a particular day each week. Post our link on Twitter and Snapchat and in your Instagram profile as well as in your Facebook Groups.

3. Add our hashtag

Every time you share about Phyllis, could you please add our hashtag #helpthehunsuckers to your post? Hashtags allow social media users to follow Phyllis’s story, and the more her story is read the more likely it is that donations will follow.

4. Five for Phyllis

Phyllis is overwhelmed by the generosity of some of you, and large donations have played a major part in us reaching our initial goal so quickly, but not everyone can afford to donate like that, and we don’t need everyone to give a large amount – we just need a lot of people to give a little. Could you commit to a small amount like $5.00 each week, or even each month? It will take longer to reach our target five dollars at a time, but we will get there. #fiveforphyllis Leave us a comment if you feel you can commit a small amount each week or month so we are better able to plan.

5. Buy a Book

Anthony Coafield from Living Book Press is donating 10% of all his sales in June to Phyllis’s fund. If you’re needing to buy a book, now is the time to do it. Thank you, Anthony for your generosity.

This Week’s Prayer Points:

• Praise God that Phyllis’s doctors were able to control her itchy rash quickly and easily.
• Give thanks for Raia, who celebrated her birthday on Friday.
• Pray that Phyllis’s anaemia would continue to improve.
• Praise God that Phyllis’s pain is manageable and pray that her doctors might be able to optimise her pain management.
• Pray that Will can balance work with his top priority of caring for Phyllis.
• Phyllis has her landlady visiting this week. Pray that she can manage her repairs with minimal stress to Phyllis and Will.
• Pray for healing.

Jeanne Grant Webb ❤️

* Please note: GoFundMe adds a 15% tip to each donation to support their business. You do not have to include that amount. You can change that to 0.00 or any amount you choose. *
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Folks, we want to say how grateful we are for all of you - friends and family and acquaintances and all the unknown angels who have chosen to come alongside our family and support us as we begin this fight with cancer.

From Phyllis, after her first immunotherapy treatment in Kiev:

"It's so good to be home! I am completely overwhelmed by and grateful for all the love and support that so many people are sending us. I don't even know how to say thank you. So far, I seem to be handling the first treatment quite well. I am VERY tired and kind of weak, but that's all. Now we pray that the immunotherapy will work.”

The doctors at the Clinic in Kiev (Clinic Spizhenko) have been simply amazing. After the 2 weeks in a local hospital here in Kherson, the Spizhenko clinic seems like a dream; the doctors & nurses have the time to actually display concern for and give individual attention for their patients. (In Kherson there were usually 2 doctors & 2-4 nurses caring for a operation ward containing 80 patients!) Phyllis was overwhelmed by the kindness of the Spizhenko doctors & staff, and we are so grateful that she can be treated there.

The doctors also take their time to make sure that we completely understand what is being done, what effect is intended, what is involved, etc. We will not know 100% whether the immunotherapy* is having the desired effect of attacking Phyllis’ cancer until the 4th treatment. For now, there should be ‘false progression’ - as the immunotherapy begins to affect the tumours, they actually swell some before beginning to shrink. That means more discomfort for Phyllis, so we are currently trying to find the right balance with a rotation of over-the-counter pain meds. (She is not in excruciating pain, but it is important to keep her discomfort at manageable levels.)

Phyllis is also slightly anaemic at the moment, so we’re keeping her on a diet of red meat, spinach, iron-rich foods. All of which she loves! (She’s also taking iron supplements as prescribed by her doctor.) Her next dose of the immunotherapy medicine (keytruda) will be on June 24th.

Please pray with us:

:: That the immunotherapy treatment will have the desired effect.
:: That we can find the right balance of pain meds.
:: That diet and supplements will bring her iron levels back to normal.

Once again, we are humbled by the generosity of so many, and we will attempt to keep this page updated as treatment progress and we learn more. Phyllis has also shared updates on our family blog from the very start of discovering cancer, and she wants to continue that. Please feel free to check there for updates as well: http://fylliska.blogspot.com Thank you for your love and support!

Will Hunsucker (for Phyllis)

*Immunotherapy is an effective treatment for melanoma, reaching all parts of the body via bloodstream and activating the patient's own immune system to fight cancer
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$34,069 of $95,000 goal

Raised by 337 people in 23 days
Created June 1, 2019
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Wilburn Hunsucker
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