Jade's Medical Fund
We are trying to raise funds for Jade to improve the quality of her life while she faces another huge medical hurdle and to help her achieve her 3 life goals: Be healthy, become a Mother and eventually see Rome again.
Our Jade is a beautiful, strong, inspirational woman who throughout all her hurdles in life continues to put her Family and Friends first. She is the most loving and supportive Daughter, Sister, Aunty, Wife and Friend. Jade’s Husband Trent has been right by her side throughout all of her Adult life and has done an incredible job of keeping a smile on her face; even in the darkest of times. Jade never complains and maintains such a positive outlook, her family; especially her sisters admire her greatly. It has been horribly tough to watch such a beautiful spirit suffer as much as Jade has. As you’ll read below Jade’s medical history is long and complicated. We will keep this as brief as we possibly can (but please, bear with us as there are some details that we can’t edit out).
Throughout her childhood, Jade was always very skinny and always sick. She suffered with constant spells of gastro and bloody stools. At age 11 she was sent to specialists who after much investigation suggested she might be suffering from Coeliac Disease so she should be put onto a Gluten free diet and hopefully things would improve.
Jades Mum didn’t accept this and demanded more tests or at least medical evidence of Coeliac Disease before changing her diet. Well, lucky for Jade her mum fought for her.
A few months later Jade was booked in for a Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy procedures, the results were far from what was expected by anybody (even her Doctors were shocked). At age 11, Jade was diagnosed with FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis). We will provide a link at the bottom of the page for you to read up about this, but here we will just summarise what it meant for Jade.
Jade had far too many polyps to be removed. Unfortunately Jades entire colon was riddled with them. The option presented (and in no uncertain terms) was Jade’s colon needed to be removed should she wish to live past the age of 18 as the polyps had already started changing. For the next 3 years Jade and her family got on with life (albeit with 6 monthly hospital visits for colonoscopies & gastroscopies to check the pathology of the polyps).
On Monday, February 11th 2002 Jade was booked in for her surgery, her colon and 10cm of her small intestines were removed. Luckily she was short enough (good things come in short packages right?!) to not require a stoma bag and to her delight, they didn’t even need to cut through her beloved belly button piercing (Jade mentioned to the lovely Dr. Tobin at every possible chance (for 2 years!) how much she loved her belly button ring and would hate if her incision had to go up that high). Believe it or not, in the ICU it was one of the first things she asked her nurse!
The next few months was a very long road back to health and independence, a full term of Year 9 was missed but Jade returned and did the best she could, eventually meeting the love of her life & future husband, Trent on her 17th Birthday. Jade left school at age 17; to work two full time jobs to save up for her first home with Trent. In 2007 she left Daylesford and moved to Melbourne to live with Trent before their wedding in the March.
Medically, Jade continued to get tested every 6-12 months to monitor the remaining area to see if new polyps had grown and all was fine until 2008 when she needed an area of muscles shaved to rid new polyps that had grown back. She lost a lot of blood after being discharged and had to spend a few nights in St Vincents Hospital to receive blood transfusions.
Jade returned to work and for the next 6 years worked extremely hard to achieve a senior management role at a Melbourne City Hotel. At the end of 2013 Jade was feeling pretty unwell (always tired), but she put this down to the long commute into the city from home- she was leaving home at 5.30am on a daily basis, and thus she decided perhaps the best option was to find a job closer to home.
She started a new job in December, but one evening in March not long after she arrived home after visiting family in Daylesford she could barely move her arms and felt like she was getting a bad flu at a very fast rate!!! By the next morning she was worse with a really bad fever and shakes. Her Doctor diagnosed her with glandular fever and Jade was immediately put on bed rest. As the months trickled by, Jade got worse, not better. She had poor liver and kidney function, was undernourished and experiencing digestive issues including severe pain in her stomach and an increasing number of trips to the bathroom. After seeking medical advice, it was discovered that Jade had Gallstones.
After having her Gallbladder removed Jade experienced further medical complications. Her energy was at an all-time low, she was struggling to stay hydrated with her frequent bathroom visits (35 times per day/night), daily migraines were just part of her daily routine and she struggled for answers. After an MRI it was found she had a lesion in her pituitary gland that needed to be looked into in better detail, her Doctor sent off the referral; however the wait list to do this publicly is currently 12-24 months.
In December 2014 Jade’s bathroom visits increased again and she was experiencing blood loss. Her Doctor recommended an ambulance to the Hospital. Jade, feeling awful but not wanting to make a fuss, asked if she could make her own way there with her sister instead. Jade was admitted to the hospital for 8 nights, however she got worse not better so dishearteningly asked to be discharged so she could take more control.
In late January this year Jade tried her luck with a new Doctor. After more invasive procedures it was discovered that she now had grown polyps in her stomach and while not cancerous were well on their way. The pathologist advised these needed to be removed AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. However with the public system her wait was 8 weeks even when classed as urgent by the surgeon.
This brings us to last Tuesday. Jade braved up for her surgery, expecting it to be relatively routine and ‘no big deal’. Upon waking she was told she could get dressed to wait to see her Doctor before she left.
Jade’s grim faced Doctor explained how she had reacted to the sedation medicine and they were only able to remove six polyps. He continued to say many more had grown in the past eight weeks and some had advanced into her stomach lining which are incredibly difficult to remove. He explained that Stomach Cancer is almost inevitable at this stage and the best option he could think of was to remove her Stomach (Gastrectomy).
Understandably Jade was in shock and left the hospital with a head full of if, buts & maybes. Jade made a rule for herself and her family when she was 12 that they were only ever allowed to cry the first day they get bad news from Doctor’s, after that they just need to get on with it and deal with it. Well, this operation is much bigger than what she even went through at 14 so she is understandably having a little more trouble with this than usual. She cried to her mum that even if she does not get the chance to live to an old age, she at least wants the chance to become a Mother and return to Rome.
Jade has a long road ahead of her, having already been unable to work for the last 14 months due to illness, (her complex medical history meant it took the Doctor’s a long time to properly diagnose her) and as they say, the bills are piling up.
While we don’t know exactly what procedures Jade will face, we all know she definitely has a lot of medical appointments (and it goes without saying, operations) ahead of her and her road back to health is going to be neither quick, nor easy.
Your donations will help contribute to ease the financial pressures facing Jade & Trent, provide security for them going forward along with the ability to pay for medical procedures privately thus not having to worry about the waiting lists in the public system, the last 14 months has shown them even procedures stamped with big red, URGENT letters by a specialist, there is still up to a 90 day waiting list.
This money will also enable Jade to be able to freeze her eggs to keep her dream of becoming a mum alive when she is well enough to do so. This is necessary as if Jade needs to get the more radical procedure of having her stomach removed, she will sadly be unable to sustain a pregnancy (it will be a big enough battle just to keep her own body nourished), this would enable them to have options such as surrogacy in the future, due to the rules in Australia, Jades medical history disqualifies her from being able to adopt. Most of you would agree if you have seen her interacting with little kids, be that your kids, her little cousins or even seen how she how she mothers her beautiful, puppy, Ollie, Jade was born to be a Mum and will be an excellent one at that. We just need to provide her with the money to keep this an option.
Jade, Trent and their families have many things to worry about in the near future; we don’t want money to be one of them (but as you all know, just because you’re sick, doesn’t mean the bills stop). Thank you for the time to read Jade’s Story.
As promised, here is the link to explain in medical speak more about Jades condition, FAP http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/familial-adenomatous-polyposis
Here is the link to the procedure the Doctors are trying to find an alternate to: http://www.cancercenter.com/stomach-cancer/total-gastrectomy/