Maria's Faith Walk-Lymphoma

$12,933 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 160 people in 13 months
​Hello, I am Maria, a 58 year old mother of three adult children and ​I have ​two​ grandchildren​. ​I ​have been sick for almost two years and d​idn't​ know it.​ I never thought that Cancer would touch my life. It did and in a big way.​ Since March 2015, I've experienced intermittent stomach issues, vomiting and abdominal pain. The episodes were ​often ​so far apart that I excused them as "I took my medicine on a​n empty stomach"or "I ate the wrong food (junk food)"or​ "I ate too fast"or​ ​"It is a stomach bug" ​or "I'm too stressed." ​Once, I even blamed it on food poisoning, with no concrete evidence. I was just too busy to pay attention to what my body was trying to tell me. ​ I've been blessed with a loving family and a fulfilling career.​ I work in marketing for ​North Carolina's largest​ ​performing​ arts organization and I work long hours including some nights and weekends. I really enjoy my work, but most of all, I love being with​ and supporting​ my mother, children, grandchildren and extended family.​ In July 2015, I lost my dear father who suffered from COPD and Emphysema for over ten years. Now looking back, I know my mindset was, "I don't have time to be sick. I have to work. I have to take care of my family. "​ ​That all changed on Oct. 14​th​, ​when ​I was working at a performance and I became violently ill. I vomited in the lobby restroom before being escorted back stage where I continued vomiting until I was totally dehydrated. ​I couldn't work and a friend took me home.​The following week, one of my colleagues helped get ​me ​to ​one of the​ best G.I. practice​s​ in Raleigh​, affiliated with UNC ​Rex Healthcare. The process moved quickly. On Nov. 10th, I had an Endoscopy and the next day I had a CT scan. These tests revealed that I have several enlarged lymph nodes in my mesentery area, one is as large as a small orange . When the G.I. doctor called me, he never said the word "Cancer" but I knew it in ​my heart when he asked me if I wanted a referral to Duke. I said no, I will stick with UNC Rex Healthcare. The next st​ep was an appointment with an oncology surgeon who sent me to have a test on my liver and gall bladder (no cancer there) and then the biopsy surgery took place on Dec. 9th. On Dec. 15th, I met with the oncologist and learned that I have Stage 2 Follicular Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. ​Then the process accelerated. I had Pet-scan on Dec. 19th​ to see if the cancer has spread to my organs. Praise God it hasn't. The very next day, Dec. 20th I had the surgery to insert my chemo port. On Dec. 22th, we had our family meeting with the oncologist. On Dec. 27th I had Chemo counseling and back to the hospital for a Bone Marrow biopsy, to see if the cancer has spread to my bone marrow. If cancer is in my bone marrow, then my diagnosis will be Stage 4. I get those results next week. I had my first chemo treatment Dec 28th, and Dec 29th for two hours each day and my long day, 7 hours on Dec. 30th. Then I will be off of chemo for 28 days and back on for 3 days...this process will be for 6 months to get the cancer into remission. There is no radiation therapy for this cancer because it is a blood cancer. In other words, the doctors tell me that there is no cure. They can only get it in remission and treat it as a chronic illness for the rest of my days. I'm not afraid because I know who the Great Physician is and He can work miracles.  As I take this faith walk, I am appealing to Go Fund Me Angels for assistance. Every time I go in the clinic, I sign a form that states my bills can be as much as $3,000 for lab work each time they take blood,  $25,000 for each infusion (chemo treatment) and $6,000 for each Neulasta auto-injector. I'm facing well over $500,000 in medical bills. The bills have already started coming in from all the office visits, tests, anesthesia and surgical procedures that I had to determine my diagnosis. I am a State of North Carolina employee on the 70/30 health insurance plan, which means a higher percentage of my medical bills will be my responsibility, unlike if I had the 80/20 plan. Even with the out-of-pocket cap, thousands of dollars in medical bills will possibly bankrupt me. I can't pay the bills and keep up my household. The social worker at the clinic told me she will apply for grants for me from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundations but there's no guarantee. My prayer is that the Go Fund Me Community of Angels will help me raise $50,000 to assist me in paying the bills that are rapidly arriving in my mailbox. No gift is too small. I will appreciate whatever I receive. There is strength in numbers and miracles are happening for me every day.  I am a believer and I have so many people praying on my behalf, loving me and supporting me. Along with family, friends, colleagues and, brothers and sisters in Christ, God has even sent angels in the form of strangers to pray with me.  I am surrounded by brilliant doctors and nurses, prayer warriors near and far, and angels showing up when I least expect it. My God is on time, every time. Thank you in advance for your sincere prayers and kind gifts.
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Thank you, Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President of Facebook for sharing your journey of diagnosis and living with Follicular Non-hodgkin's Lymphoma. Thank you for sharing information about the "Living with Follicular Lymphoma" group on Facebook. I've joined the group. While living with an incurable disease, support and information is needed every day. 2018, I'm still here and grateful! - Maria
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I welcome 2018 as my "Year of Grateful." This time last year, I didn't know what to expect. I walked with faith and God brought me through.

Today, I am standing strong...still in treatment, but standing strong, with the cancer in remission. God is able. I am grateful.
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The doctor said, "Normal, normal, normal. All scans read normal! Thank you, God!
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CT Scan today. Results tomorrow. I'm nervous. One year ago this month, I started chemotherapy. I'm still here...still walking with faith. I'm grateful.
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Read a Previous Update
Evelyn Thompson
11 months ago
3
3

Maria, you are beautiful inside and out. I am so glad that you sought out family because "Family is Everything" We all love you deeply. Aunt Evelyn. Aunt Maggie, Uncle Bobby and family everywhere.

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Paulette Verdell Becoat
1 month ago

You are still in my prayers, Maria! God bless you.

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Paulette Verdell Becoat
2 months ago

Thank you, Jesus. What a wonderful Christmas present! May God continue to bless you.

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Joyce Watkins King
2 months ago

That is the best news ever, and just in time for Christmas! What a beautiful gift!

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Paul Randall
2 months ago

Great news Maria, congratulations!!

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Bianca Perez Spencer
2 months ago

Keeping you in prayer daily. We are standing with you in Christ. Hugs.

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Kimberly Harrington
4 months ago

So glad you are in remission.

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Susan Gressman Lynch
5 months ago

Our sermon on Sunday was just that.....Surely, God is able!

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Susan Gressman Lynch
7 months ago

Maria, dear, Miracles happen every day! You know that and DO NOT FORGET IT! The Lord is the ULTIMATE healer........

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Paulette Verdell Becoat
7 months ago

Maria, keep the faith! Praying for you.

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Donna Capilla Mitchell
7 months ago

Remission! YES!!!!!! God is great!

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Carol Wills
8 months ago

Maria, I am thinking of you with love and praying for you.

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Mitzi Viola
10 months ago

♥ to you both

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Anita Burroughs-Price
11 months ago

We always knew you were strong and determined. Knowing this makes us even more sure of your heart and character. You are surrounded by prayers and peace and friendship. One more treatment done!! GO TEAM MARIA!!! loveyou.

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Mitzi Viola
11 months ago

Patiently he awaited the end of winter and the coming of the little spiders. Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen, or to hatch. -E.B. White

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Susan Gressman Lynch
11 months ago

Looking great dear friend! ONLY 3 MORE! ♥

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Carol Wills
12 months ago

Thinking of you with love, Maria.

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Fay Mitchell
12 months ago

This is tough, but you are tougher. Know that you are sharing our strength.

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Mitzi Viola
12 months ago
Carol Wills
12 months ago

Thinking of you with special love and praying for you every day, Maria. I am so on your side! Sending a virtual hug!

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$12,933 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 160 people in 13 months
Created December 31, 2016
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$50
Jackie Boykin
3 months ago

Maria, I will keep you lifted up in prayer and I know for a fact that God is a Healer.

My thoughts and Prayers are with you and your Family. God Bless, with Love Sister Galloway

$20
Anonymous
5 months ago
$50
Bianca Spencer
5 months ago

Matthew 15:13

LL
$100
lori leachman
5 months ago

I will call you Maria when i am back in Dec and more leavened. in the meantime I'll be sending some good sedona vibes your way.

$100
Kendra Hill
7 months ago

Praying for you always! Love your family at Capitol Broadcasting! xoxo Kendra

$25
Carol Wills
7 months ago

Keeping you in my thoughts and always sending love to you and your family!

Evelyn Thompson
11 months ago
3
3

Maria, you are beautiful inside and out. I am so glad that you sought out family because "Family is Everything" We all love you deeply. Aunt Evelyn. Aunt Maggie, Uncle Bobby and family everywhere.

+ Read More
Paulette Verdell Becoat
1 month ago

You are still in my prayers, Maria! God bless you.

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Paulette Verdell Becoat
2 months ago

Thank you, Jesus. What a wonderful Christmas present! May God continue to bless you.

+ Read More
Joyce Watkins King
2 months ago

That is the best news ever, and just in time for Christmas! What a beautiful gift!

+ Read More
Paul Randall
2 months ago

Great news Maria, congratulations!!

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Bianca Perez Spencer
2 months ago

Keeping you in prayer daily. We are standing with you in Christ. Hugs.

+ Read More
Kimberly Harrington
4 months ago

So glad you are in remission.

+ Read More
Susan Gressman Lynch
5 months ago

Our sermon on Sunday was just that.....Surely, God is able!

+ Read More
Susan Gressman Lynch
7 months ago

Maria, dear, Miracles happen every day! You know that and DO NOT FORGET IT! The Lord is the ULTIMATE healer........

+ Read More
Paulette Verdell Becoat
7 months ago

Maria, keep the faith! Praying for you.

+ Read More
Donna Capilla Mitchell
7 months ago

Remission! YES!!!!!! God is great!

+ Read More
Carol Wills
8 months ago

Maria, I am thinking of you with love and praying for you.

+ Read More
Mitzi Viola
10 months ago

♥ to you both

+ Read More
Anita Burroughs-Price
11 months ago

We always knew you were strong and determined. Knowing this makes us even more sure of your heart and character. You are surrounded by prayers and peace and friendship. One more treatment done!! GO TEAM MARIA!!! loveyou.

+ Read More
Mitzi Viola
11 months ago

Patiently he awaited the end of winter and the coming of the little spiders. Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen, or to hatch. -E.B. White

+ Read More
Susan Gressman Lynch
11 months ago

Looking great dear friend! ONLY 3 MORE! ♥

+ Read More
Carol Wills
12 months ago

Thinking of you with love, Maria.

+ Read More
Fay Mitchell
12 months ago

This is tough, but you are tougher. Know that you are sharing our strength.

+ Read More
Mitzi Viola
12 months ago
Carol Wills
12 months ago

Thinking of you with special love and praying for you every day, Maria. I am so on your side! Sending a virtual hug!

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