Help Cathie Fight Her Cancer

$20,220 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 306 people in 40 months
I'm writing this from my perspective as Cathie's son, Jonathan. 

Cathie put her whole life into raising me and my sister. She homeschooled us through for most of our academic years and worked endlessly to make sure we were safe, educated, and loved. She has cared for our friends as if they were her own children. She radiates true compassion to everyone she encounters. She has given nothing but positivity to this world

While this campaign is to help her through her battle with cancer specifically, I feel her story leading up to the present is important to know as well.

I have been alongside her throughout all of the ups and downs. Life throws its curveballs, but the most unexpected was thrown about 15 years ago when she and my sister were involved in a seemingly minor car accident. There were no noticeable injuries at the time. However, over the next year, developments revealed that the cartilage between a few of my mom's vertebrae had dissolved, causing her incomprehensible pain. Over the following 15 years, my mom battled chronic pain, terrible prescription drug side effects, and NINE reconstructive surgery efforts on her spine. To this day she still suffers from the pain.

In early 2013, my mom went to the ER with complaints of chest pain. Test results showed that nothing was wrong with her heart, but instead, shockingly, that she had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, which had spread to several lymph nodes and her pelvis. Over the past two years, she has been undergone chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal treatments, and back to chemotherapy. Throughout her treatment, the cancer has grown in all said areas, as well as spread to her ribs, spine, additional lymph nodes, and liver. She has now reached the point where the negative effects of chemotherapy outweigh the combative effects of the drugs. 


My sister Jessie had her first baby boy this August and our mom is now a first time grandmother. She has my sister and I to help her as much as we are able, but as this terrible cancer continues its path, the necessary care is beyond our reach.

The intention of this campaign is to help our mom transition into comfortable living as she leaves traditional doctor care behind. While the cancer may grow more rapidly, what's more important to her is that she share quality time with her family while she is still able. We will be seeking natural medicine and holistic care as well as moving her closer to my sister and I, which is a very costly endeavor.

Unfortunately, being sick and fighting to stay alive comes at a cost, and the stresses of money weigh heavy. All of the money raised for our mom through this campaign will go towards living expenses, holistic treatment, in-home care, transportation, and ultimately a peace of mind. Prayers and good vibes are warmly welcomed as well.

Cathie has given so much. Even throughout her trials and tribulations, she can still find a smile for you. She is a truly caring person and I hope this helps her to feel cared for now when she needs it the most.

I know I speak for my mom when I say that any and all help provided is appreciated more than words can say. Thank you for reading her story.

- Jonathan
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Update 10
Posted by Jon D
36 months ago
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Just a reminder. We will be having a memorial service for Cathie tomorrow in Atlanta. If you're reading this, you are absolutely invited to be there to celebrate a beautiful life that you helped in the most trying of times. Cathie knew no strangers and I know she would love for everyone to be there.

Saturday, January 16th at 1PM
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Trinity Anglican Church
2270 Defoor Hills Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
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Update 9
Posted by Jon D
36 months ago
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It is with a heavy mix of emotions that I write this…

Cathie’s battle with this world and ultimately cancer ended this past Saturday. She left us early in the morning, surrounded by family and love from all over. We feel blessed to have been by her side, reminding her of that love one last time as she departed.

It has been a very long road for Cathie and she fought so incredibly hard. An inspiration for strength. While the sadness and waves of grief weigh heavy, we find a steady sense of underlying relief in knowing she is no longer suffering the pains of this world. She was an amazing human being and touched so many lives. Her spirit will be felt every day.

I can’t truly put into words how much I will miss her. It’s not something I can even begin to understand myself. But I know her body held a spirit that was much larger than this earth and I feel so blessed to have had her as my mom. Another world just gained a beautiful soul.

Cathie’s wishes were to be cremated and laid to rest on the beaches of Long Island where she grew up. We will be hosting a memorial service for her this Saturday, January 16th at Trinity Church in Atlanta (address below). If she had any impact on your life, big or small, I know she would love for you to be there.

Bye Mom. We’ll love you forever.



Memorial Service for Cathie:

Saturday, January 16th at 1PM

Trinity Anglican Church
2270 Defoor Hills Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
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Update 8
Posted by Jon D
37 months ago
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It's been a difficult couple weeks since Thanksgiving day. Cathie was able to sit with her family and enjoy the holiday, but since has gradually declined.

At this chapter in Cathie's war we've tried all the medical, holistic, and physical approaches to fight her cancer. We've now brought on help from in home hospice care. Her nurse has told us that the trajectory is a decline with good and bad days to be expected. We are hanging on to the bit of hope that love will intervene and fill her with the warmth she needs to be present during the holidays with her family. Now we're praying for strength, mercy and emotional healing.

Cathie has told us multiples times that she can feel the prayers and positive thoughts sent her way from everyone that's following her journey. Now more than ever she could use the energy of you all who have helped carry her so far. If you would like to send her cards, flowers, or any reminders of life, please email me (jtdonaghy@gmail.com) and I will send you her address.

Remind those that you care for just how much you really care. If there's love, let it be known. Life is uncertain and seemingly cruel, but you can't have the good without the weight of the bad.

- Jon
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Update 7
Posted by Jon D
38 months ago
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Last week Cathie was bed ridden for 7+ days. She had received one of the last chemotherapy treatments available to her for her cancer. The chemo sent her into the discomforts of nausea to the point where she couldn't keep down any of her pain medicines. This lead to an opiate withdraw that kept her in bed with excruciating pain and vomiting, only able to make it to the bathroom and back. Barely able to sleep, she went 7 days without food or water leaving her weak and beaten. My sister and I were by her side throughout and I can honestly say I have now seen a person go to hell and back. On day 7, by some miracle, Cathie was able to stomach a small amount of her pain meds. Breaking the cycle of the withdraw.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and Cathie was able to sit around the table with her family and enjoy every piece of Thanksgiving dinner. She fought hard last week and there were times we thought we may lose her. But she's smiling again and believes she has been given a second chance. There is no doubt that she was able to pull through this turmoil because of the help of every person sending positive thoughts and prayers her way. She told me she could feel the prayers.

There is no telling the path of this disease and what may come next, but for now we are grateful for the time we have with Cathie. Especially during the holidays. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who keeps Cathie in their thoughts and prayers. They all help more than you know. Let your loved ones how much they mean to you. Hug 'em if you got 'em.

- Jon
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Read a Previous Update
Cindy Longacre Switzer
36 months ago

Jon and Jessie, my heart grieves with you at the loss of your mom. Such a wonderful, precious woman. I'm so honored to have called her my friend. I love you both and will continue keeping you in my prayers.

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Wanda Sandels
38 months ago

Jon, I am so sorry your mom is having such a struggle with her terrible disease. I just wanted to say that when I was so sick with my leukemia & could not eat or drink & had absolutely NO energy, I took a pill called Marinol, a form of marijuana. In three days I was 90% better, as far as eating, drinking & energy. Cathie may have tried something like this already, but if not, you might want to check it out.

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$20,220 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 306 people in 40 months
Created September 24, 2015
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KK
$100
Kelsie Kinsley
36 months ago
$20
Syretha Allen
37 months ago
$100
Andrea Marroquin
37 months ago
1
1

Reading the campaign and every update melted my heart ♥ You & Carolina are truly amazing souls and everyone is so lucky to have you guys as friends and family. I wish you guys a Happy Holiday and New year. I can't wait to see you guys again, send some kitty hugs & kisses to your mama from my cat ♥ Let me know if you guys ever need anything at all :)

$1,000
Anonymous
37 months ago (Offline Donation)
1
1
$145
Kami-Paige Suyama
37 months ago
2
2

So I realized you were only $145 away from your goal and I love you and Carolina greatly. I miss you guys a ton!

$50
Kami-Paige Suyama
37 months ago
2
2

Jon I love you so much and wish you the absolute best! Merry Christmas!!

$50
Anonymous
37 months ago
$20
Sabrine Allen
37 months ago
2
2

You are such a giving man . And you deserve to have the world give back to you. One penny at a time we will help your mom get better. I love and miss you guys!

AP
$100
Adam Plouff
37 months ago
NG
$11
Next Gen
37 months ago

You're in our thoughts!

Cindy Longacre Switzer
36 months ago

Jon and Jessie, my heart grieves with you at the loss of your mom. Such a wonderful, precious woman. I'm so honored to have called her my friend. I love you both and will continue keeping you in my prayers.

+ Read More
Wanda Sandels
38 months ago

Jon, I am so sorry your mom is having such a struggle with her terrible disease. I just wanted to say that when I was so sick with my leukemia & could not eat or drink & had absolutely NO energy, I took a pill called Marinol, a form of marijuana. In three days I was 90% better, as far as eating, drinking & energy. Cathie may have tried something like this already, but if not, you might want to check it out.

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