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The Next Step

$23,500 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 144 people in 3 months
Created November 3, 2017
Abby Wheeler is one of the most kindhearted people you could ever hope to know. Her generosity of spirit extends to everyone she meets – inspiring a delight in the beauty of the world; as well as to causes she believes in – engaging with things that matter. She encourages everyone to be better simply by being herself.


This has been a rough year. In January, Abby courageously underwent what she thought would be a ‘take care of it once-and-for-all’ ileostomy surgery for the Chron’s disease she has dealt with for most of her life. Evidence of colorectal cancer was discovered, which meant there was much more needed to be done. Step by step, undergoing countless lab tests and scans, radiation therapy and multiple cycles of chemotherapy treatments, Abby has walked trustingly through this trying process with her characteristic grace – measures of acceptance and resistance, great strength and good humor.



Complications brought Abby into the hospital again in October. Her doctors have connected with a surgical team at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX and a potentially ‘curative’ surgery is being discussed involving (hopefully) thoroughly removing all tumor material and significantly reconstructing the affected areas.




Abby and her mom traveled to Houston at the end of October and consulted with the surgeon who is proceeding quickly with the plan. There are still several unknowns which can only be addressed during surgery. This incredibly extensive procedure is scheduled for the end of November with a week of scans and consultations beforehand, up to a two-week hospital stay and possible rehab to follow.





This campaign is an effort to help absorb the burden of staggering medical expenses and offer some peace of mind toward the needed course of action. In addition to what has already been paid out of pocket this year and what can be expected next, the uncertainty of what insurance will cover, missing more work and the cost of travel back and forth from Cincinnati to Houston and extended stay lodging is overwhelming. Abby should be able to continue this journey without the added stress of finances and with the uplifting support of her friends and family.
 

We greatly thank you for your care for Abby and supporting her in whatever way you are able. She wants to make sure that you try not to worry but instead send positive thoughts and confident prayers. We will do our best to post updates here as the story unfolds.

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Addendum:

We also owe a huge thank you to everyone who has helped out in one way or another while we were gone. From cat sitters and plant waterers to people starting my car in the cold weather to friends and neighbors bringing meals and offering company to my dad - we truly couldn’t have done it without you.
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Hi everyone,

We owe you an update: we are truly
home this time. We made it in on Sunday night just in time to see Oprah’s speech. It is wonderful to be back with my cat, plants, and all the other creature comforts of home. Things are moving along - the wound vac is still in, and the area is getting smaller and smaller every day - but recovery still feels like a very slow process, especially as I wait for my appetite to return. In the meantime, I am doing my best to drink all the protein shakes I can and to be patient (failing miserably).

We are scheduled to be back in Houston for a follow-up in a couple of weeks, and will continue to keep you posted of any news.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.
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Hello everyone,

We are home! Well, not home - we are in our apartment in Houston. But we are not in the hospital, which is the important thing. The vac change this morning went well and we got everything in order and left this evening. Things are still a challenge - my strength and mobility have a long way to go, and there is a drain tube coming out of the bottom of both my pant legs - but I am wearing pants for the first time in more than a month, so it’s hard to complain. Mainly, being in a home environment will be a big help in getting back to normal - just the action of getting up and walking to the kitchen for a drink is helpful in getting back into the swing of things. We go back to the clinic for another change on Friday, and then Jon will be here to escort us home in his car on Saturday. For now, I am most excited about sleeping in a real bed with no equipment lights keeping the room illuminated, no one coming in every few hours to check vitals or give medicine, no nurses talking outside the door, and no doctors making rounds at 6:30 in the morning.

Thank you all for your support, and happy new year!
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For all who wish to send Abby a card, here's the best address to use - it is where Martie is staying and has been able to receive mail:

Aishel House
attn: Martie Wheeler - rm 308
1955 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77030
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$23,500 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 144 people in 3 months
Created November 3, 2017
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JW
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