Help Gidget recover from Cancer

$14,710 of $27,000 goal

Raised by 192 people in 51 months
My beautiful, loving wife of 21 years, Abigail, aka “Gidget” was diagnosed with Stage 3 Bladder Cancer just over a month ago.  A mother of 4 amazing children, self employed, hard working owner of strawberry stands, flower stands and several vintage clothing stores for 30 years, and a selfless contributor to her communities since the beginning of her time. I could write 10 books on how amazing she is, what she's done, what she's accomplished, what she has created etc, but she's not done yet. She has so many amazing years to live and so many things she still has planned and I want to make sure this happens, but she is now in need of financial help from the people who love her, know her, know of her, and anyone who is in a position to help, even the littlest bit. 

Gidget has had an extremely long history of surgeries, beginning with experimental/exploratory surgeries of her urinary tract and just about all parts surrounding her bladder beginning at the delicate age of 18 months. She has had Uretal bypass, experimental urethra surgeries, a long history of UTI's, and done self-catheterizations on many occasions due to the complications in her bladder. Most have healed quickly, and all of that aside, has been in great health, as long as we've been together. It’s just that her bladder that has never worked as it should.

In March Gidget was admitted into UCLA Santa Monica for what we thought was another UTI w/hematuria (blood in urine). This wasn't the first time she had experienced this, and it really didn't seem to be too much of a concern. With proper medication (antibiotics), all should be expected to return to normal within a week or two, with a catheter in place to remove her blood/clots out of her bladder.  She was sent home from the hospital with a semi positive outlook.  3 days later, she complained of severe pain in her bladder, and was sent to the ER UCLA again.  Not even 2 hours after arriving at UCLA, she was abruptly informed she had what looked like Cancer.  In shock and disbelief (both her and I), the standard battery of tests ensued and she was admitted for overnight stays at UCLA.

After 7 days of what felt like years, the specialists informed us it was indeed cancer, and bladder replacement surgery is now needed ASAP, as well as her female reproductive system needing to be removed. 

Now, if you’ve ever gotten hospital bill, you can get an idea of how expensive these things can be.  We are trying our best to sign up with a new Insurance company that will be accepted at Cedars-Siani, due to our recent cancellation of Medi-Cal insurance.
At this point, we have to pay a premium of approximately $7,000.00 to begin surgery, with an additional $900/month premium, as well as the previous bills from UCLA that Medi-Cal didn't cover. (We haven't received them all yet - just the doctor's fees - about $4000. We're still waiting for all of the previous hospital bills…)

We do not have this kind of money, and the emergency room bills are far beyond what we could have ever even imagined, but all we are asking for is to please help us get the deductible paid so she can get this surgery done before the cancer spreads to her lymph nodes. This is a dire situation that needs to happen as soon as possible. We do not want to lose her to this disease when we can stop this in its tracks -  if we just get the money to give the insurance company. Gidget is a 55 year old beautiful, imaginative, loving, incredible woman and mother and she needs your help. 

Please join us in supporting Gidget. Your generosity will help defray the cost of medical expenses, secure the proper medical insurance and help her to recover and come back to life - Cancer free!
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"What a long strange trip it's been..."
I am so overwhelmed with the outpouring of Love, support, prayers and gifts that I have received. Thank you so much to the following folks - there is absolutely no way we could have made it this far without your help! -

Emily Berner, Lotta Löthgren, Sean and Leslie Colgin, Tiffany Brown, Tanya & Craig Farkas, Catherine Russo, Noel Rhodes, Lisa Menen, Toni Colvin, Hyla Douglas, Conan Hayes, Conan, Sofia, Felix, Theodore, Julian & Sawyer, Brian Chapman, Erin Pasco, Ana Castillo, Audrey Floyd, Susan Nissman, James Stein, Jan Musgrove, Melissa Walchli, Luke Benson, David Gorman, Piscor Frater, Allison Kitchen, Erin MacLeod, Julia Jensen, Scott Jordan, Billy Aylesworth, Francesca Brown, Pamela London, Jacquelyn Lowe, Brian Caughey, Polly, Ally Fabale, Maya Armony, Jill Williams, Dina Fraboni, Roz Harris, Tom Karnes, Tom and Emily Karnes, Flavia Potenza, Maia Watkins, Nancy Woodruff, E B, Sarah Latchford, Ruthe Spear, Annahmarie, Bruno and Spencer Stegmann, Gordon Mahlon, Angela Newsham, Scott Hoffman, Ylva Dahlström, Matt Amsden, Kevin Murphy, Megan Murphy Wolf, Isabelle Bryer, Yoli Luna, Cody White, Ingrid Gillette, Melanie Benszuweit, Bernadette Duffy, Gabe & Chris Lechuga, Anita French, Karla and Kayla Morrison, Gilbert Duran, Michael Wilson, Lisa Ryan, Fred and Patricia Tackett, Rosie Decker, Barbara Wyler, Jan Elfman, Nikki Hexum, Diana Browne, Linda Bolhuis and Rod Paavola, Joyce Gutesha, Sarah Baisley, Leslie Morava, Patti Phelan, Fred Sam, Lori Precious, Janie Freedman, Veronica Winston, Rebecca Catterall, Elena Petrova, Austin Martin, Amy Walker, Denise Thompson, Evy Wild, Julie Levine, Erin Scabuzzo, Heather Bryant, John and Angela Grieco, Coco and Edison Blignaut-Park, Al & Maria Johnson, Linda Luna, Skye Benson, Eric Goetschel, Evalyn Newsham, Elise Mallove, Monica McCarthy, Brooke Baron, Julianne Gorman, Jeanine Minge, Jeana Braden, Zane Kesey, Jason Casanova, Leslie M., Tina SanFilippo, Patrick Davis, Dey Martin, Stephanie Wilson, Leslie Colgin, Jelani Felix, Barb Barnard, Sasha Tarnopolsky, Dana Wood, Will Wicks, Flori Schutzer, Katie Cornett, Ana Rose, Debbie DeFord, Bull Shizz, Rachel Pinkis, Dana Huffman, Rolanda Mendelle, Marina Olshansky, Karen and John, Kim Thompson, Barb Gerrits, Angie Williams, Nina Woodson, Gina Martin, Heather Cornes, Tahmus and Sandy Rounds, Angela Bruyere, Emily Lightcap, Siena R, Tanya Farkas, Danielle Grace, Sondra Lannutti, Anna Whitehead, Chaponica Trimmell, Malcolm Wong, Cobb Family, Mike Oster, Thomas (Jose) Dunne, Barbara Sueko McGuire, Victoria King, Jaxon Hoang, R Godwin, Alysa Hoffman, Jessica Mass, Vicky Peraticos, Giovanna Rebagliati, Haley Martin, Peter Alsop, Joan Bellefontaine, Bonnie Graves, JC Crowley, Elizabeth G, Toni Colvin, Elizabeth Varon, Patricia Hill, Catherine McClenahan, Lesley Doyle, Language Magazine, Delilah Butler, George Ball, Barbara Avnet, Bill Wicks, and Ruth Lundi.

It's been almost seven months since I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Bladder Cancer, and almost four months since the surgery to remove my bladder, other organs and Lymph nodes. The Doctor said my recovery time will be three months to a year. I heard "three months," but now see it is going to be much longer. I am slowly getting used to the new way of eliminating urine out of my body, however stressful and anguishing, they say it will get easier, and at some point won't hurt anymore! Oh how I look forward to that. We still have a lot of expenses, and have fallen behind on many! So to try to each our original goal of $27,000, a community of local musicians have gathered in my name for a fundraising benefit scheduled on October 18th at Hillbillhip - with Uncle Abert, Tahmus Rounds, Fred Tackett, Paul Barrere, and Kenny Gradney from Little Feat! and Matt Moss on Drums, Miles Tackett, Dominic Genova, Preston Smith, and The Fergus Show. If you donate $20 or more on GoFundMe, we'll put you on the guest list w/a special gift when you arrive at the show!
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Extra Thanks to:

Barb Gerrits - Thank you so much barb for turning me on to the galaic gcmf product, and for telling me this is not a death sentence.

Joy Patterson - Thank you for our long talks on the phone and all your encouraging words.

Dina Fraboni - Thank you for your strength in healing, your cuddles, and the most amazing stew!!

Nancy Cole - Thank you so much Nancy for your healing hands and ever so kind home visits!

Dejakai Martin - Oh Dear deja where to begin. You were so much of all of it, your endless love and support your visits to the hospital with all your kind gifts , your weekly home visits I will never forget! You are an amazing woman, friend, and daughter! Thank you so very much!!!!

Scott MacLeod - Thank you Scott, for our long very long phone conversation - you always got me happy and smiling I look forward to seeing you, on this side!!

Annahmarie Knox - Wow, I am beyond words. I am so happy to have reconnected with you, my dear sister! Your constant support I still cherish, not to mention your hand-made goodies you sent me. Thank you!

Cynthia and Bryan Heatley - Cynthia, thank you so much for being there! I've become so recluse, but I know if I pick up the phone you'll be the you I just hung up with the last time we spoke! And, Cynthia and Brian, thank you so much for the bullet! The most used kitchen appliance we own!

Heather - Thank you good vibe lady. And thank you so much with helping me with the fundraiser!!

Lisa Spielman Menen - Aw Lisa, thank you for coming out and staying with me. Your cooking was wonderful, and I'm forever grateful for you helping clean up the crazy kitchen - I'm so happy your my friend!

Carlisle - Thank you Carlisle for all your kind words and oh so sweet vibe!

Al and Marie Johnson - Thank you so much for your loving ways and kind hands and special gifts!

Jen and Noel Rhodes - Jen and Noel, you two are simply amazing! Jen, your dishes that Noel would so kindly deliver, your warm hugs, and thank you Noel for being such an integral part of our life, and playing and being a part of the benefit!

Ruthie, Katy, and Crystal - Hey, I just want to say thank you so much for your understanding and compassion all the gifts! Thank you Ruthie for the special attention, and y'all for being the best neighbors!

Tina and Daniel - From the beginning you to have been so kind! Tina - the hair cut, the loan of the books, the bread, the eggs, and Daniel, thank you for the rides! And most of all, thanks for being such great neighbors!

Netflix - For hours of movies!

Gardening - For my peace of mind, and visits with the faeries!

Fred and Patricia Tackett - For everything! From renting us the garden shack, to understanding our plight, to having patience and compassion, and for believing in us! And special thanks for planting the seed to do a fundraising benefit!!!

Sarah and Chuck - For your hugs!

Joe Senger and Brenna Jones - Dang where do I start? For answering to the call, my husband, your brother is loosing his mind! Showing up, with hundreds of dollars of organic food, and a freezer to keep it all cold, to loaning us Brenna's vehicle for what seemed forever, more groceries, and then
again in another crucial moment - Cecil finally gets the job back that he had to leave to care for me, but no way to get there due to the truck not running. You, Joe, drive all the way from San Clemente to the LA airport, on what was probably your only day off, to rent Cecil a car. Dang, YOU are the rock star here!!! We could not thank you enough!!

Fran Scott - Thank you for all of your help!! Visiting me in the hospital, Brushing my hair, (that felt so good), helping us orchestrate paying for the very pricy Insurance!

Fredrick and Trisha Gunnardo and the Swedish family - Thank you Sweden family for your generous donations, and Lisi for the beautiful card and gas card! It was so lovely to see you Trish and Fredrick, Sophia and Gabriella while you were here visiting, what a beautiful family!!

Dey, Dina, and Roma Martin - Thank you so much for coming to see me in the hospital, it truly means more than you know. Thank you!

Emmareighn Zapata - Oh my little Emmareighn, thank you for coming down to visit me before surgery, and going to Topanga days with me! Thank you for understanding why I couldnt be there for you graduation - the saddest day of my mothering life. I am still so sorry things happend the way they did and I couldn't be there. Thanks for all your sweet messages and our phone conversations. Can't wait to see you again!!

Aven Martin - Wow, thank you for coming to visit me and hanging for so long, thanks for your advice, and pure love!

Prince Zapata - Prince, you are the one! From the beginning, you made me breakfast and lunch everyday that dad was working. Kept me nourished with a proper diet, opened and ran the shop effortlessly, all the knowledge you shared, listened to my fears and then always had the right thing to say I seriously could never thank you enough for what an amazing stand up guy you were, and are!

Cecil - My love, my husband, my best friend, and my nurse! I thank you from the bottom of my heart - you never left my side! You were there all the way through it, from the awful news in the ER, through the surgeries, all of the meals you brought (because there was no way I was eating the crapy poison hospital food, smoking joints on wheel chair excursions, then to coming home - sent home as if you have all the knowledge of a doctor (oh my god) - I am so very sorry for all that you had to endure - I love you so much, and can't wait for fun times ahead!!

Theresa - Thank you for your flower deliveries, house calls with all kinds of gifts, and kidnapping me so could come hang out at your lovely home!

Mike at the General Store - Thank you for hanging in there with our situation, and your understanding.

Jason Mitchell - Thank you for all the flower bouquets!

Ronnie - For your endless concern and donations!

Jayni Shuman - Well, I could go way back with my thanks to you, but really thank you for taking Godzilla, thank you for all your gifts, thank you your endless giving down, to sharing your rattle snake money - which allowed us to eat for a couple days! You are way to kind!

Vicki and Peter Norwood - Thank you for being y'all, and for the lovely flowers!
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Hello all, I've got some news from the Zapata Clan:

Gidget is doing her absolute best to recover from this extensive surgery, but it has been pretty tough. As of right now, she's weighing in at a whopping 96 lbs. - up 10 lbs since her release from the hospital! It's unbelievable to have lost so much weight, as she only weighed 120 lbs at her peak health, to go down to a mere 86 lbs after her surgery was simply shocking. Currently, she IS Cancer FREE, but we still need so much help to get us through. I have been unable to work any sort of regular job, as Gidget is in need of medical attention every 3 hours, and it simply doesn't allow me to work out of the area, or for any duration. I have lost more than $10k in wages these past 2 months, and am quickly getting behind in bills. Our most recent tab, sent to our insurance(we'll see how much they actually pay) was a puny $348,648.00 bill. That doesn't include the $244.722.00 already tabbed. I am stuptified to think that the price of saving a life is more than half a mil., although it's well worth it, but I am confused as to how I am supposed to pay for our portion. Originally, we had come up with the total goal numbers by what we were told would be the expense of the operation, and a little extra to help with her recovery efforts, but this has quickly proven to be WAY off. Right now, we are simply struggling to pay for the medical supplies needed, and a specialized high protein organic diet, let alone all the other bills in life.
Right now, we could use any and all help, sharing and support more than ever, and will greatly appreciate any advice and contributions - monetary or otherwise. Again, thank you all so very much - we'll return the favor and support someday, hopefully soon. - Cecil
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Thank you all so very much for your support and contributions! Gidget could not have come this far without you and your support and Love.

Everything is very slowly getting better, but at this moment, Gidget is doing her best to recover from what I would describe as , a "beyond traumatic experience".
If you can imagine, being shot 5 times by a 45 cal., being " ripped" by Jack the Ripper (13 inches or so), having a ton of vital organs removed, then finalized by just a couple more 22cal shots in your abdomen - sounds like good time eh?

I cannot even describe the amount of "bullet holes" she's had to endure, which are basically enormous tubes jammed into your abdomen, in and out, not to mention the thousands of needle pricks daily, millions of CT scans with Dye, tubes stuffed down your nose- constantly pumping your stomach, as well as learning and dealing with an entirely new way of urinating - stabbing yourself in the gut with a rigid 16mm tube, every 4 hours, into an opening (that actually looks like a bullet hole) that causes distress , pain, and severe anxiety every time you have to perform this action - just to relieve your "bladder"! I could not even imagine how intense this has all been for her. The anguish I have suffered simply watching her go through this has been beyond intense, and I don't personally don't have 5 bullet holes, 2 extra scars- one being approx. 13-14 inches long , and a very "convenient" heavy bag hanging off of my gut.
Not to mention, I also haven't lost 30+ lbs in 30 days, and have no real appetite, nor ability to properly digest after having 9 inches of my intestines removed and resectioned... Which turned into my new "Indiana Pouch" aka bladder.?
And, my leg didn't have it's main nerve severed and reattached, making me ultra weak and nearly unable to walk...
That's just the beginning...

This is what Gidget is dealing with.

The great news is - Gidget IS 100% CANCER FREE!
After all the definitive results came in, Gidget has no trace of cancer in her cells at all!
Our Surgeon described it as nearly miraculous. We had implemented a CBD oil regimen in very high doses, as well as GcMAF from Europe( special order Macrophage activators) and after only 6 weeks, both had apparently done the trick in not allowing the cancer to spread beyond her bladder, and in fact had reduced her "tumor" to a non-existent status. They simply could not find a trace of cancer when they removed her bladder and reproductive organs, as well as in her lymph nodes ( the most likely place it would move to). Simply phenomenal.

The next step for Gidget will be gaining back her weight and strength, learning an entirely new diet, and an entirely new way of life, but she still needs your help( as do I).

I have attached a few examples of our experience, feel free to comment and share some knowledge . Anything you may contribute to- you can feel assured, it's going to the right place. Gidget WILL recover- it will take a long time, but she will be back strong, and loving- as she has always been. I currently have been unable to work due to the need to be of medical assistance Thank you all for all of your help, support, and prayers- we very much appreciate it. - Cecil

Gidget has great news!
Oh goodness, we still need your help!
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Read a Previous Update
Catherine Russo
51 months ago

OMG!!!...i am in tears!!...can i donate cash?...i can drop it off at the shop mon or tues...i love you dearly & want to do everything within my power to help...i dont want to lose one of my dearest friends...and i feel so fucking shitty because i've been so wrapped up in my own bs that seems so petty in light of what you guys are can count on me to donate...i wish i could donate more than $200 ...that just doesnt seem sufficient for all the love, joy, and beautiful energy youve blessed me with over the years...and if there are other things that you guys need ... i will contribute & help out in anyway possible...i love you gidget xoxoxo

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Toni Colvin
51 months ago

I will help.

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$14,710 of $27,000 goal

Raised by 192 people in 51 months
Created April 27, 2015
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37 months ago
Teri Hitt
45 months ago

Get well! I met you with my friend Deb a couple years ago at your shop. Sending good vibes and butterflies.

Dave R.
45 months ago
Scott Hoffman
45 months ago
Lisa Menen
45 months ago

I am so proud of your unyielding drive and spirit and energy. I only wish I could do more. I love you Gidget

Jacalyn Kane
45 months ago


laura sexton
45 months ago

may Gods plan unfold lovingly and divinely for you and everyone concerned ♥.

Mike Brady
45 months ago

Good vibes from Florida

Jacquelyn Lowe
45 months ago

I send positive and healing vibes out to you and your family during this rough time. You are a super cool lady and appreciated your energy the times I have met you. I can't make the show because I am up here in Humboldt but sounds like a blast. Peace & Love to you ✌️

Julianne Gorman
46 months ago

David & I will see you on the 18th!

Catherine Russo
51 months ago

OMG!!!...i am in tears!!...can i donate cash?...i can drop it off at the shop mon or tues...i love you dearly & want to do everything within my power to help...i dont want to lose one of my dearest friends...and i feel so fucking shitty because i've been so wrapped up in my own bs that seems so petty in light of what you guys are can count on me to donate...i wish i could donate more than $200 ...that just doesnt seem sufficient for all the love, joy, and beautiful energy youve blessed me with over the years...and if there are other things that you guys need ... i will contribute & help out in anyway possible...i love you gidget xoxoxo

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Toni Colvin
51 months ago

I will help.

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