About a month ago, my sister Charli Carpenter was taken to the hospital for severe abdominal pain. Without having a concrete diagnosis, the doctors decided to act first and remove a mass that was blocking her intestine and causing her so much pain. Their plan was to send it to the lab to find out exactly what was going on. The cause of the obstruction turned out to be a tumor the size of an orange.
A week after her initial surgery, Charli was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a systemic cancer of the immune system. This means that even if they got the whole tumor out, she must go through an intensive six month regimen of chemotherapy. That’s the only way they will be able to make sure that it’s gone completely.
So we (her family and friends) will embark on this challenging journey with her. Her type of chemo is going to be one of the most aggressive and therefore one of the hardest kinds to deal with. She may be a bit of a mess over the next few months, which is why we need to be there for her.
The great news is that her odds are extremely good: 97% success rate of this treatment for Burkitt's for Charli’s demographic! Unfortunately if the treatment fails, she will only have a few months to live. So this very aggressive treatment is really the only option, and fortunately Charli has access to the best, fastest treatment. The downside is that it is very expensive.
Charli is being very strong and staying extremely positive. She is excited that she is being treated at a research hospital, and will get to be part of clinical trials at Mass General. That she will be benefiting science means a great deal to her, since she’s a political scientist herself.
For those of us who know her, we know how much of a fighter Charli is. And the truth is, no one should have to go through this fight alone. As a single mom, we don’t want her to feel overwhelmed with these new (and steep) medical payments. Please consider donating even a small amount to cover Charli's cancer treatment related costs.