We Need Your Help

There are times in all of our lives when we get to the end of our ropes and need to reach out to others. Personally, it usually takes me reaching the last thread of said rope before I ask for help. I have a tendency of being self-conscious of burdening others around me. Cancer burdens everyone, and I cringe at the thought of it weighing on those who love and support me. Today, that last thread slipped through my grasp and here I am with no other choice but to ask for help.

Let me get you up to date. As you know, this last tumor that we prayed would be benign was in fact malignant. This is my fourth recurrence, and I will be jumping back into treatment soon. My diagnosis is rare. So rare in fact, there is not much knowledge or even funding for research to learn more about it. Large Cell Neuroendocrine Cervical cancer is aggressive and stealthy and won’t take no for an answer. There is, however, one man who has taken on the job of finding out more about my diagnosis and is researching ways to defeat this type of cancer. He is a doctor located at MD Anderson in Houston, and we have spoken regularly about my case. He is always kind and optimistic, and would love to help me navigate the next steps in my fourth journey through treatment. I, too, am itching at the opportunity to meet him.

Fast forward to this week. I have recovered well from surgery, and wear my new scars proudly. I have settled into the swing of daily life and realize I still hate laundry. Why do I think that will ever change? … I digress. We have recently learned that insurance will cover an appointment with the doctor in Houston. Hallelujah. God has intricately worked together nearly every puzzle piece, both big and small. The timing is perfect — absolutely perfect. I have an appointment set at MD Anderson for Tuesday, July 29th. That’s two weeks from yesterday. I am beyond thrilled to have the chance to meet with the only doctor actively teaming alongside me, trying his best to learn more about this disease. My appointments in Houston will consist of several tests, scans, and further research of my case. Everything will be put on the table, and based on his findings, he will recommend what step we should take next. Until I see this doctor, we are shooting in the dark. This appointment is vital to this fourth journey in my fight against cancer.

Without further ado, I’ll get to the point… I need help. Matt and I need your assistance in a larger way than we have before. We are in need of financial provision in order for us to get to my appointment in Houston.

Cancer is expensive. You know that. We know that. Though we recently received a financial gift from Ellen DeGeneres and CoverGirl, it has all been put towards our never-ending bills. The well has run dry again. It’s amazing how quickly that can happen after a few hundred trips to the hospital and thousands of dollars in life-saving treatments. Our insurance recently changed at the first of this month, and we are now required to pay everything out of pocket until we reach our new deductible.

Our deductible is $4,000, which is due up front at the time of the appointment. The great news is that once we reach that deductible, my treatment and testing (including scans) for the rest of the year will be 100% covered by insurance. The bad news is that we don’t have $4,000 nor the rest of the money required for flights, hotels, a rental car, and food for my week-long stay in Texas.

Here’s where you come in. Many of you ask regularly what you can do to help us. Typically meal gift cards are a great way to help during my recovery from surgeries and treatments. However, this time we are needing extra assistance. If you are not in a position to help financially, we completely understand and ask you to pray. Pray for wisdom, direction, protection, and ultimately, provision. If you are able to help financially, below is what we currently need.

  1. $4,000 to cover our deductible and the appointment and tests at MD Anderson
  2. Frequent flyer miles or airline buddy passes to help us book our flights to and from Houston
  3. Hotel points to help us book a room for our stay
  4. Cash to help with any aforementioned area that is not met and unknown expenses that may arise through our travels.

Thank you for allowing me to be open with you. Thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable about our needs. Though asking for help is hard, especially for me, I know that there are so many of our supporters who are just waiting for us to ask.

We have faith that God will provide. He doesn’t lead us to the finish line and expect us to cross it ourselves. He provides from beginning to end. The amount of puzzle pieces that He has already put together has me humbled and in awe at His faithfulness. I know He will figure the rest out.

If you are feeling called or compelled to help us, please let me know. You can reach me directly through email at derailingmydiagnosis@gmail.com. Also, if you have ideas up your sleeve, please share them. We need a team to conquer this hurdle, and are thankful for all of you who surround and support us.

Thank you.

Philippians 4:19 (MSG)

“You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, His generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.”

2 Comments on We Need Your Help

  1. Cheryl Koops
    July 16, 2014 at 9:42 AM (5 months ago)

    Hi Precious Stephanie! ~ THANK YOU for your detailed update. (I LOVE your writing style—YOU are an INCREDIBLE and AWESOME WRITER Young Lady!!!) <3 I will speak to my hubby about what we can help you with (financially) and let you know asap. . .~I was wondering, (don't remember if you used this format before or not—-) Have you thought of setting up a "Go Fund Me" account On-line, with your recent goal amount(s) listed, so folks can donate on that site and kind of watch and pray and get excited being able to see the funds pour in? (I've never used the site myself, but) I have a friend who is fighting ovarian cancer and she has a "Go Fund Me" fundraiser account. Check it out; and POST AGAIN if that's one avenue you want to use. . .My heart just breaks for you, Dear One; You are SO STRONG and BOLD in facing your nemesis!; I'm sure you appreciate (but kinda get tired of hearing) what an AMAAAAZING INSPIRATION you are to everyone!. . . .Even for Me! ~ I lost my (14 yr.) Kaiser (HMO) career job in Feb. of 2013, (due to an EVIL Manager) and have depleted my meager 401K account trying to keep our mortgage; and have been applying on-line to many Company positions (still with no positive outcomes!) and I often feel like I'm at my wits end (financially) ~~ and then I remember (and let it soak in) what a Trooper YOU ARE and I scold myself for being such a whiney bag!. . . .This March, my brother Joe (59) — (I'm 57); found out he has Pancreatic cancer and is in his first round of chemo. . . .I've researched info on Pancreatic cancer, and I am NOT going to go over the BLEAK outlook for Pancreatic patients WITH HIM; he seems very optimistic about how his Oncologist(s) are treating him, so we ~ myself, my awesome hubby, my two sisters, and my (BLESS HER HEART) 87 y/o mom, are PRAYING FERVANTLY for him, his treatment and his Doctors, and for God's healing touch! Thank God he came to know Christ earlier this year (after 59 years of being a "back-slidden Catholic" — now he has truly given his heart over as a Born Again Believer). His wife of 18 yrs., Pratima, is a culture-saturated Hindu! not open to John 14:6; "The Way, The Truth, and The Life" — but a very sweet lady; but we've got to PRAY HER into salvation; despite "if" and "when" the Lord may take my brother home. . . .So EVERY NIGHT as my head hits the pillow, I pray for my brother's cancer to be eradicated; I pray for YOU and your on-going, frustrating and painful battle, and my other friend (an old friend from high school years!) who is fighting too. . . .My heart just breaks, and I CLING to my SAVIOR'S HAND and HIS GREAT LOVE and MERCY!!! ~ Let me know what you think about the "Go Fund Me" fundraiser; Set A Goal To Cover All Of It!!!! . . . .LOVE and BIG HUGS to you Precious *BEAUTIFUL* Warrior!!!! ~ Oh Yeah, btw, I saw you on Ellen and you were BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL!!!! ;-) <3 <3 <3 Love in Christ Jesus, Cheryl Koops (Lifelong friend of Ed & Mel Nava; folks of Mark & Bridget, Jas & Jolene) <3 <3 <3 "You will keep in PERFECT PEACE, whose mind is STAYED ON Thee." ~ Isaiah 26:3 (emphasis, mine) <3 <3 <3

  2. Skye
    July 16, 2014 at 12:54 PM (5 months ago)

    Have you thought of crowdfunding on a site like gofundme.com? I’ve never used one so can’t offer advice about setting one up but there are a bunch that seem really easy to use and I’ve seen people successfully fund cancer treatment that way. Best wishes to you! I have a friend who was told her 3rd instance of cancer was not treatable but then she found a great doctor at MD Anderson and is now almost a year cancer-free! I wish the same for you!