Sonia Brit Tavener's cancer treatment appeal

$30,984 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 219 people in 5 months
Created February 10, 2019
This is an open letter appealing to our community to help our beautiful friend Sonia Brit Tavener.

Sonia is an artist and designer and the proud owner and founder of bob boutique – a place that has enriched Bendigo with good vibes and tangible support for local creatives for more than 14 years.

As many of you will know Sonia was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012. After surgery and treatment she has spent almost seven years living with cancer. However, it’s little known the challenges she faces as she endures daily seizures, extreme fatigue and other debilitating complications associated with brain cancer.

Despite this Sonia continues to live with fierce positivity and the remarkable support of her loving family, friends and customers. She continues to make, create and support others through her small business.

After a period of intense illness and a routine brain scan, Sonia has been given the news that the tumour is now growing again. As such she faces even bigger challenges ahead. She has huge decisions to make about how to continue to fight this disease. She is currently in discussions with her oncologist and is researching cancer treatment trials in Australia and overseas. But first she faces a second, immediate brain surgery to determine the nature of the tumour.

Sonia and her partner Brian are overwhelmed by what’s facing them, physically, emotionally and financially. Small business, and in particular, retail, is notoriously tough and they are worried sick about keeping up with mortgage repayments and the general costs of living while needing to take time to be with each other, to endure and possibly fund whatever treatment Sonia decides to pursue, either in Australia or overseas. They are motivated to do anything it takes.

As her friends we can’t take away the trauma of treatment. But we can dig deep to show how much we love and support her by contributing to and sharing this Go Fund Me page to help give her the best chance possible.

Anyone who has stepped foot inside bob boutique has felt something of Sonia’s spirit. She is a beautiful, kind and loving soul who needs some serious help right now. Please join us.

And if you’d like to treat yourself or a loved one, please call into bob boutique and purchase something special. Supporting Sonia’s business will also help a great deal. www.bob.net.au
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Hello to everyone. I am home now and the good news is that after the trial, the MRI result showed that the cancer is stable - no change at all since the last scan. My fight is obviously not over as my tumours are still there, but I will persist in using medicinal cannabis oil, available for me to purchase now after approval has been granted via the trial co-ordinators.
I am feeling better than when I left for Sydney before the trial, and as the oil supply was interrupted while up there, I want to give it more of a chance for longer. What happened was that during the clinical trial the medicinal cannabis company supplying the oil was bought out by another big Canadian company, who then kept halting the supply of oil from the Canadian end to the hospital in Sydney. This was so stressful for the co-ordinators and all on the trial - affecting peoples lives and outcomes. As a result, I had to drastically reduce my daily intake for 2 weeks to a very low dose until it ran out, then I had 10 days with no oil at all leading up to the resulting MRI. So considering the amount of oil I had was compromised, the result of the MRI scan showing the cancer is stable is a positive outcome.
The Doctors have now secured oil from an Australian company so we now are paying for a constant supply. I am titrating up to a suitable level and will be very tired on this medicine for the next 4 months or more to hopefully shrink my tumours and make me feel better again. I hope you all understand that I may not be able to respond to calls or e-mails always in a timely manner, as this is going to knock me around a lot.
I want everyone from friends, family, customers and just kind people who have offered support to know that I am so grateful for all we have received through your love, well wishes and of course much needed financial donations to go on the trial and now to buy the medicine to help beat this cancer.
Thank you to everyone who has visited my Mum and Jaimie and supported bob boutique and the gofundme page. Big thanks to Mark and Lucille, Penny and Ben and all who we met in Sydney for your support and friendship. And of course, a big big thank you to Dr. Janet Schloss for accepting me into your trial along with the lovely nurse Helen, Bioceuticals for funding the trial and to Dr. Charlie Teo and his staff at his consulting rooms.
Brian and I are going to fight this together with everyone's love and support. You have all given us more strength than you can imagine. Thank you everyone for your continued support and I will keep you updated after this next 4-5 month phase is completed. Big love, hugs and thanks,
Sonia and Brian xxx
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Hello everyone :)

I want to say a big, big thank you again for every ones support of myself, my partner and my family. I can’t believe that I am already over half-way through the clinical trial.
After having a scheduled check up with bloods taken on the 24/4, the co-ordinator Janet has informed us
that we are permitted to tell everyone what it’s all about.
The trial is using medicinal cannabis oil with both CBD and higher levels of THC properties of the plant.
This is a world first clinical trial for brain cancer, and the theory is that the properties of especially high
THC in the oil can penetrate the blood brain barrier to get to the brain tumour and scramble its DNA,
so it can’t replicate and then will possibly shrink and stop growing. There are no guarantees, but I am
staying the course to hopefully have a good outcome that will be known after an MRI is performed at the end of May when the trial ends for me. Now we have been given the go ahead to make this public,
we are so relieved that we can let everyone know what exactly the trial is about here in Sydney.
Dr. Janet Schloss from Brisbane is responsible for this trial and has admitted me, for which I am eternally grateful for come what may. She and our nurse Helen are such caring, beautiful people and are conducting the trial in Sydney with Charlie Teo’s patients too, consulting from his hospital rooms.

We have left Summer Hill where we stayed the first month. Big thank you to Mark and Lucille for your generosity and looking after us for the first few weeks, we really appreciate it. Brian has found us the most gorgeous place to round out our stay in Sydney in the beachside suburb of Tamarama, in a lovely air bnb.
We have the lower part of the house and the lovely owners live upstairs. It is very close to both Tamarama and Bronte beaches and just under 5kms away from the hospital. The house and the views have provided a beautiful place to rest, relax and heal. I am able to get out for a slow walk nearly every day. Mum & Dad visited for a few days and Jason, my brother will be visiting us sometime in May. I am going OK but have had to endure quite a few side affects while finding the correct dose for me. I am getting more tired as the trial goes on, so I will not always be up to answering emails and calls, as you can understand I am here for this trial to hopefully work and save my life or at least give me some more time. I am scared but must remain positive and stay the course and rest as much as I can, to give myself the best chance.
The funds sent are invaluable and the messages of support are helping me to stay strong through it all.
Brian wishes to thank his work too at the C.O.G.B. for allowing him to purchase leave to care for me up here.
Thanks to everyone for your continuing support of bob boutique, the go fund me page and donations,
without all of you, I wouldn’t have this opportunity.

Sonia x
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Hi everyone it’s Sonia,

Firstly I want to say thank you SO VERY MUCH in helping me by donating to my Go Fund Me page, buying from my shop bob boutique and through other donations, along with your kind support and lovely words - Thank you.

My partner Brian, my family and I are overwhelmed with the love and support from friends, family, customers and completely anonymous people unknown to us - it is giving me not only financial support but positive energy to help me through this.

To update everyone, I have been accepted into a clinical trial for Glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour patients and this means I will be away from home for 3 months then recovering. It is promising treatment but of course there are no guarantees.
I will be giving it my all to beat this and to heal.

So that’s what’s happening to date - I will be commencing treatment in the trial starting Feb 28th in Sydney. Brian and I have a room for the first few nights sharing with a friend in a 1 bedroom apartment until we can get accommodation sorted out close enough to the hospital in Randwick. It is very expensive as people will know, so your donations given are much needed for accommodation, food, medical and other expenses while away.

Massive thank you and big hugs for your amazing support of me. I feel like I am leaving wrapped in a big warm blanket of love and I can’t wait to get back and see you all, Love Sonia and Brian.
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Hello everyone,

To learn more about Sonia's life right now and how much the wonderful donations from our community are already helping her, read this article from the Bendigo Advertiser.
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$30,984 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 219 people in 5 months
Created February 10, 2019
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