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Melanoma Cancer Treatment for Mom

$36,719 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 279 people in 9 months
Created May 19, 2018
My mom has been a successful survivor of Stage 4 melanoma for 13 years. Unfortunately, after winning many battles against the disease, her biggest battle is before her now.
Six weeks ago my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was successfully resected, but she is in desperate need of a Canada Health approved immunotherapy drug called ipilimumab (Yervoy). It has been very successful in treating late stage melanoma. Despite having insurance and being Canadian, my mom was told by BC Cancer that it is only accessible by self pay because it is "too expensive".
The drug is $80,000 and she needs to start treatment immediately.

No one would know that she has had a lung removed and countless surgeries to her head and body in these past 13 years. My mother doesn't like to share her health issues with others because she would rather have people focus on all the positive things in life.

I have seen her give selflessly to others without hesitation. I know that asking for help does not come easily for her so I am reaching out to friends, family, and caring people to help us through this.

Please help my mom get access to this life saving drug. Any donation will help.

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. " -Vincent Van Gogh
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Happy New Year to all my amazing friends, both new and old.

My last message I sent was a bit cryptic. I have a story to share that hopefully will make things more clear....

A while back I was trying my hand at canning. Yes, the traditional age-old art of canning. Most of the time I was very successful, but as in life, one time was not as positive an experience. I carefully put five beautiful jars of cherries into the boiling water. I could hear the glass pop and saw the cherries float to the top. One of the five jars had definitely broken. The visual had an impact.
I thought it was a very good analogy to life.
Sometimes things do not go right. It is up to me whether I focus on the four that worked out very well or the one that was ruined. I choose to focus on the ones that worked out both in canning and in life.
So, last month I was told that I have a tumour growth in my brain. Not great news for sure, but I think of the cherries. There is so much that is great in my life. I have an amazing family - my children that I cherish are flourishing, my husband loves me dearly, and I have my very supportive siblings and extended family and friends as well. Life is good.
I have now undergone radiation to hopefully control the brain tumour growth. Focus on the good.
I truly believe that the chemotherapy that I get monthly and the double drug therapy that so many helped me access has really helped. The chest tumours have stopped and the growth in my brain tumour is from a missed section from my brain surgery - not a new tumour. So there is much to celebrate.
So may we all focus on the things that are going right in our lives; let's not allow the glitches to take ahold of us.
Life is good if we choose to focus on the good.
Happy New Year to you all, my special friends.
May we all be blessed with a healthy and happy New Year
With much love,
Joni
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To all my wonderful friends new and old....
It has been some time since I have sent an update, with hopes that I could share all of the good news.
I have now had my oncologist appointment. The news was not what I expected nor wanted to hear. As I exited the office, passing the line up of others waiting to see our oncologist, I was clearly not happy. Then, from the line up of individuals, a hand reached out to me. Clutched in that hand was a treasure; he carefully reached for my hand and placed it in it. "This is my lucky coin," he said, "I want you to have it."
How heart warming that, in a time when we all have needs, this one individual cared enough to share his lucky coin with me, even though his time was coming to hear his own news.
Some may ask if I have lost hope. The answer is no. I may waiver with each blow but I will never lose hope. This act of kindness reassures me once again that the world is not lost when we care for each other. I am so thankful for his gift and the generosity of so many people that have reached out to help me and my family in this time of need.
My journey continues and, most certainly, all the love that surrounds me brings me strength and courage.
Thank you!
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A Message from my Mom:

I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you again for all your kindness and support.
Hard to believe but this week will mark my 60th chemo/ immunotherapy treatment. I wanted to share this with you because I know that we all have mountains to climb; each one of us has unique challenges that we have to rise to conquer. I believe that nothing is insurmountable with love and grace on our side.
Thank you for surrounding me with love. I am truly blessed by each and every day
Joni and family
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Thankful thoughts....
To all my amazing friends new and old.... I wanted to extend my deepest gratitude for all your love and support. Each day I am thankful for things big and small, moments momentus or minimal. Your contributions have made life possible for me - how can I thank you enough for that?
Recently I was joined by some very special friends to build a lavender shed. It meant the world to me to see something built on our little dream property. For me, it is a glimpse into dreams of the future. Unfortunately the weather got crappy, the conditions challenging, the stress level higher - it was not what I imagined at all for our "fun" gathering. But I was again reminded that what we anticipate is not always what we get and that even in the most challenging moments we can find laughter and joy if we choose to. My friends all reminded me of this. They chose joy over disappointment, rising up to the challenge rather than giving in.
Reality is that I continue to get immunotherapy chemo treatment every two weeks. That continues to be my journey until my body and God direct otherwise. So I will choose joy and thankfulness and know that I am blessed by all my friends and that this world is a wonderful place when we all work together with peaceful hearts.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Much love,
Joni
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$36,719 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 279 people in 9 months
Created May 19, 2018
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