Help Make Rose Strong(er)

$23,980 of $50k goal

Raised by 158 people in 16 months
Kristina Rodriguez   MIAMI, FL
2015 marks Rose’s 21st wedding anniversary, her 44th birthday and one year with cancer. As mom, wife, and working woman, like so many of us, she spent much of her adult life taking care of her family while fighting the battle of the bulge.  In December of 2013 she finally made the decision to change her life and get healthy by having weight loss surgery. It changed her life, but not as she had hoped.  Instead, the doctor found a tumor. Fifteen months later after chemo sessions, 10 hospitalizations, new tumors, and permanent fatigue, Rose’s strength has not faltered-- Neither has support or hope from family and friends. Medical bills are piling up and she now has to turn toward clinical trials to find the cure to her rare cancer.  Treatment is expensive and she needs our help to get her there.  Please spread the word and donate!

For private donations, please send check made out to:
Rosemarie Pomes-Rodriguez
C/O Kimet Pomes
9431 SW 66 St.
Miami, FL  33173

Rose's story:   When Rose was diagnosed with liver cancer our family immediately made wristbands with the words Rose Strong printed on them. Most of us wear them every day, but we all think about it every day. You learn a lot about a disease once you have it or love someone who does. For fifteen months our family has been marking our calendars with Rose’s doctor’s appointments, attending a weekly support group, and looking for television shows with cancer specials.

Life for Rose changed. She was always a beautiful, vivacious, and curvy woman with a zest for life. She is that person you are most disappointed to hear can’t make it to a dinner because she had to work late. She is that awesome. She was overweight for the majority of her adult life. Giving birth to three children was a blessing, but didn’t help any with the weight. Some diets worked, but the weight always came back. 2013 was the year to get healthy and make a permanent change. Instead, during weight loss surgery the doctor discovered a softball-sized tumor. It was cancer.

Located in its fortress, the middle of the liver, the tumor was inoperable. If removed, there would not be enough of the liver left to function. The tumor and liver both stayed.  Chemotherapy began. The type of chemotherapy that kills the good, bad, and ugly. It wiped Rose out and made her sick, but better at the same time. Doctors tried different types of chemotherapy; aggressive, invasive, targeted. Until the chemotherapy stopped working. Which is where we are today. Fifteen months later.

There are two routes Rose can take. Continue with the no-longer-as-effective chemotherapy or begin experimental treatments. This brings us to Go Fund Me. While Rose is on a trial wait list in her hometown of Miami there are other hospitals around the nation conducting experimental treatments.

Rose never thought she would go through a college-like application process before her 16-year-old son, Ryan, did. Rose sent her application packets, consisting of medical records and test results, to the hospitals conducting trials. The next step would be an in-person interview and hopefully acceptance into the trail as a patient.

She is scheduled to interview with New York and Boston hospitals on April 27 and 28. While we hope she stays in Miami we want her to take her talents to the doctor who can make Rose’s cancer his next victim.

We are on Go Fund Me so that Rose can make it to her trial interviews and cover her treatment costs. Planes, trains and taxis are in her near future. The perks of a big family is that Rose has a place to stay, but needs to get there. Since she does not have much energy in the mornings or for extended periods of time, her husband will be by her side, as he has been since day one.  The medical bills and treatment costs are already piling up and the treatments will be expensive. 

In Rose’s words she is the luckiest person in the world. “I have spent the last 15 months fighting to stay alive for my family.  They still need me.  I'm too young and have too much to give to go.  Before the cancer, I was a vibrant, healthy, but overweight, beautiful woman (I don't look the same now) with a zest for life.  My entire family has gathered around me and is supporting me in every way. They started the Rose Strong support group in my name, complete with wristbands!  Even now, I realize I am the luckiest person in the world for having lived the years I have, the way I have, with my friends, family, and faith."

To follow her progress, view pictures, and post your encouragement, please visit and like our Team Rose Strong facebook page here
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Update 8
3 months ago
Hi Team RoseStrong,

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of Mami.

This page went live one year ago yesterday. I just wanted to give all of you a big thank you. Thank you for all your love and support. The past 10 months have been very difficult but with the love from our friends and family we continue to heal a bit more everyday.

Love,
Kristina.
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Update 7
11 months ago
Happy Friday ‪#‎TeamRoseStrong‬! The Miami Dolphins have a great event in February that I thought you all would like to know about.

Launched in 2010 as the signature initiative of the Miami Dolphins Foundation, the Dolphins Cancer Challenge is a way all of us can be cancer fighters! 100% of participant-raised funds goes to innovative cancer research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. DCC participants have raised over $11 million dollars!

Please visit the DCC website to learn more about the fundraising event. I would love your feedback on whether you can make it out to DCC or if you would like to join me in creating a ‪#‎RoseStrong‬ team!!

Please message or email me and let me know. I would like to register as soon as possible.

Thank you,
Kristina

http://dolphinscancerchallenge.com/
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Update 6
13 months ago
This has got to be THE hardest post of my life.... My beautiful, stunning amazing, strong mother passed away yesterday morning. Thank you to every single person that has sent their love and support to our family during this difficult time. ❤ Her soul is now resting and at peace. I know she is looking at us all, smiling and wanting nothing else but that. She kept saying until the end, 'No crying'. So I won't Mami, I promise. I will be a rock. I will be strong, just like you. #RoseStrong I love you forever and always. You are my guardian angel. We are in the process of arranging her memorial service and her Celebration of Life. I will post the information as soon as it is all confirmed. Thank you once again for your love, regards and support. #TeamRoseStrong #MyGuardianAngel #ILoveYouMami
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Update 5
13 months ago
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The cure tour has begun! For most clinical trails, the only way to be considered as a candidate is to attend an in-person interview. Thanks to all who have donated, Rose went to Boston, New York, Baltimore, and Tampa in May. At each cancer center Rose underwent medical tests, interviews, and a one-on-one meeting with the doctor conducting the trial. Each visit involved countless hours in a waiting room and exhausting travel. After her initial visits, Rose’s front-runners include Baltimore’s John Hopkins Hospital and Miami’s own Sylvester Cancer Center. She must wait to find out which program will accept her.

After her final clinical trial visit, she felt too weak to get on a plane, so she and Alvaro, her husband, decided to drive instead. The benefit of driving was the proximity they would always have to a hospital, which made Rose feel secure. Rose started experiencing a constant headache and muscle soreness half way through the drive. On the road Rose and Alvaro finally had some time to not talk about cancer and enjoy each other’s company. When they arrived at their overnight stop in Savannah, Rose was unable to walk around the city as she envisioned, but she was happy to enjoy the fresh air on the bus tour instead.

“It was a city I always wished we had visited sooner, and obviously under different circumstances, but it really took me out of my situation for a few hours,” Rose said.

The next day they drove to Miami. With severe head pain, Rose decided to go straight to the hospital. Hospitalization was her best bet at regaining her strength to be able to begin a clinical trial. Doctors found that the source of her headache was a tumor. Luckily the brain tumor was removed in its entirety and tests confirmed that it was non-cancerous. There were no complications from the surgery. Afterwards Rose rested in the hospital for a few days while her headache subsided.

Rose was given the green light to go home. Today she is resting and building her strength. She is with her children every day (thanks to summer vacation) and is constantly visited by family and friends. She’s on medicine and is still going to her doctor’s appointments. Hopes remain high!
Rose with her favorite quote at Sloan.
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$23,980 of $50k goal

Raised by 158 people in 16 months
Created April 3, 2015
Kristina Rodriguez  
  Medical   MIAMI, FL
IT
$100
Ines Triay
12 months ago (Monthly Donation)
MC
$20
marfa castillo
12 months ago (Monthly Donation)
BT
$2,800
Belen Water Polo Team
13 months ago (Offline Donation)
IT
$100
Ines Triay
13 months ago (Monthly Donation)
MC
$20
marfa castillo
13 months ago (Monthly Donation)
NR
$100
Noelvis Rosales
13 months ago
LF
$100
LAMAZARES-ROMERO FAMILY
13 months ago

Our prayers and thoughts are with you on this journey...abrazos!!! Rosa & Eric and Family

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MB
$100
mayte Becerra
13 months ago
MM
$100
Margie Meagher
13 months ago
JA
$100
Jeannette Alepuz
13 months ago
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