Heather's Brain Tumor Medical Fund

$2,725 of $18k goal

Raised by 38 people in 41 months
HZ
I am a single, unemployed, woman with 2 rare brain tumors (called gangliocytoma or Lhermitte-duclos Disease ) and genetic condition (Cowden's Syndrome) who is trying to blaze a trail with my life now that direction of it has completely changed.

(I provided hot links so you can read about each Rare Disease). 

The larger brain tumor was 5 cm. at time of diagnosis and I had a two brain surgeries 1 week apart. The first one was 13 hours long and the second surgery was to repair a CSF leak.   I had to have surgery on the larger tumor because due to its size it was pressing on my ventricles and causing hydrocephaly.  There was talk of possibly needing a shunt after the craniotomy if the ventricles didn't go back to their place, but thankfully, they did.

The 2nd brain tumor is located in the center of my cerebellum and is approximately 2 cm.  That one is inoperable because if I had surgery on that one, the surgeon would have to go through healthy tissue.  No one wants that, especially me!
 
Cowden's Syndrome (PTEN Hamartoma Syndrome) , which affects 1/200,000 people, causes me to be high-risk for many cancers, including breast (85% lifetime risk), colon, uterine, kidney, melanoma, thyroid, and others not yet documented.  

I had thyroid cancer in 2003, before we knew Cowden Syndrome anything.  And, in 2013 I had a prophylactic hysterectomy to manage my uterine cancer risk.  I was NOT going to get uterine cancer.  I made a decision and decided to take control over Cowden Syndrome in this area.  There are monthly doctor appointments, screenings of my breasts, kidneys, colon, liver, spleen, etc. and include my brain in this, I don't get much down time.

In 2011, before I was diagnosed, I had a full-time job and was active in my life and in all areas of it. Now? I cannot do the things I once did. I cannot find a job that is flexible around my many, many, doctor appointments that affords me enough income to cover all my medical expenses.  I struggle to get my basic necessities, even clothes, much-needed vitamins to manage Cowden Syndrome (there is no FDA treatment for Cowden Syndrome or Lhermitte-duclos Disease), and gas for my car. 

I work in education but it's an on-call basis. There is not enough coming in to cover my needs and I am very grateful for any help you can provide.   I know there are a lot of scams on the Internet, but I assure you I am in dire need and am doing all within my ability to pay it forward.  Any monies donated to me will go towards life expenses, and to paying off my credit cards.  I have been forced to live on my credit cards lately, which I KNOW is terrible, but I have no choice.  I am desperate.    I can even post copies of any receipts if you'd like me to.

Life is not like it once was, that is for sure, but I am trying my best to navigate things now and moving forward.  I volunteer at a local school and an animal shelter.  When I am feeling down, I know I can go to either of those places to turn my mood around.

There's a lot to be said for hope and miracles. I'm working on the hope...the miracle is that I'm here today with no life-altering changes after a 13-hour brain surgery.

I can be reached on Twitter at: @zheatherchamp and my blog is: hopeforheather.wordpress.com.  Thank you for reading!  And thank you sincerely for any help you can share with me.  I promise that I will pay it forward in every way that I can.  Thank you for reading.

Love, Heather

EDIT 2/15/14:  I just filed my taxes and found out I owe $521.  I cannot afford my daily necessities, I don't know how this will even work.
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Update 117
Posted by Heather Z
13 days ago
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Anyone have any leads on how I can donate my brain to science now? Is there a reverse-mortgage type thing but for my brain? I could sure use some assistance.
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Update 116
Posted by Heather Z
13 days ago
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I have to pay $607 in Federal and $174 in state taxes. To anyone who thinks this is a scam, my life is not a scam. This is my worst nightmare.
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Update 115
Posted by Heather Z
18 days ago
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Update 114
Posted by Heather Z
27 days ago
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It's incredible looking at this picture. That it was 5 1/2 years ago yet it seems like it was last night. WOW.
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Read a Previous Update
Tamara Paxton Copley
13 days ago

That's insane! It's not like you've been making much money. Is there somewhere you can appeal this based on your condition?

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Barry L Baynes
2 months ago

Hi! Just wanted you to know we pkaced a link on our page. Have a Bless Day! Jill Baynes

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Laurie Manoli
33 months ago

Dr Issam Nemeh could help you! God bless:) http://drnemeh.com/

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$2,725 of $18k goal

Raised by 38 people in 41 months
Created October 28, 2013
$1,000
Anonymous
13 days ago
$25
Anonymous
1 month ago
TJ
$35
Tami John
1 month ago

Love you, sweet lady. You are in my thoughts and I am sending up prayer.

NA
$50
Nerwin Aguilar
1 month ago

May god bless you... n.aguilar77 from I.g.

$25
Anonymous
2 months ago
JG
$40
Jinni Gillen
2 months ago

I hope the best for you, Heather!

JM
$100
Jennifer McFadden
2 months ago

Love you Heather!! ❤

TC
$15
Tamara Copley
2 months ago

Wish I could do more.

AC
$25
Adie Chilcott
2 months ago
$10
Georga Grivois
3 months ago

Bless you and stay positive that's half the Battle!

Tamara Paxton Copley
13 days ago

That's insane! It's not like you've been making much money. Is there somewhere you can appeal this based on your condition?

+ Read More
Barry L Baynes
2 months ago

Hi! Just wanted you to know we pkaced a link on our page. Have a Bless Day! Jill Baynes

+ Read More
Laurie Manoli
33 months ago

Dr Issam Nemeh could help you! God bless:) http://drnemeh.com/

+ Read More
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