Help the Perez family face cancer

For: Heidi (Mary) Perez
Portland, OR
Organizer: Alexei Kojenov
Help the Perez family face cancer (Heidi (Mary) Perez)
of $110,000 goal
98% Complete
Raised by 392 donors

The Story

Heidi Perez, also known as Matushka Mary* Perez, was recently diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer after a year of suffering from recurring pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic cough, several infections, wheezing and fatigue. While the diagnosis does explain her prolonged illness, it came as a shock to her family and friends.

Her husband, Fr. Dimitri Perez, is an Orthodox priest who serves a mission parish in Vancouver, WA called Holy Apostles. For eleven years, Matushka Mary has been helping her husband in his ministry, and has been doing a lot of work herself in the church community and beyond.

Matushka Mary is a Licensed Psychologist Associate, specializing in work with children, teens and their families and has a private practice which helps supplement income to support her family, which includes their precious and only son Benjamin.

As of this week, Matushka Mary has temporarily suspended her private practice due to her recent diagnosis, in order to seek treatment and work toward healing.  Because the family relies heavily on her income for financial support, we are asking for your generous donation in support of her medical treatment and her family's needs, which will be both numerous and extensive due to insurance not covering all of these needed treatments.

* Matushka means mother in Russian and refers to the title of honor that is used to refer to an Orthodox Priest's wife. St. Mary Magdalene is her patron saint.

Offline donations: If you wish to donate with a check, please make it payable to "Holy Apostles Orthodox Church", earmark "Mary Perez" and mail to: Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, 3214 N St, Vancouver, WA 98663

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 12, 2018

Posted on February 12, 2018

Matushka Mary fell asleep peacefully, surrounded by family, this morning at 12:40, may her memory be eternal. Her struggle on this earth is finished, she is at rest. God bless our beloved Matushka and give her peace.

Posted on October 20, 2017

Posted on October 20, 2017

Update from Matushka Mary:

Dear friends and family and supporters of me and my family,

Please forgive me for the delay in updating you about my situation.  First of all, I'd like to thank everyone again from the depths of my heart for your donations for me and my family and our medical expenses.  I can't express enough gratitude but we have been truly thankful.  As you know, I haven't been able to work since being diagnosed a little over a year ago and we were very used to relying on my income to support our family's needs.  The money that you gave has helped us pay off all of my medical bills related to my cancer and therefore we are not in debt over medical bills!  And that includes 3 hospital visits, one being about 2 weeks long.  Glory to God!  It has taken stress off in a very stressful situation.  So, thank you and thank you again and again.  May God richly bless you for your kindness.

I am doing ok as of late.  I had been trying an experimental treatment over the summer to see if I would respond to this medication which has helped some others in my situation, that is with advanced cancer.  Unfortunately, this medication didn't work for me and we found through a series of scans that my cancer was growing and not retreating.  At that time, I was given another opportunity to try, a medication that is a gene targeted therapy as I have a specific mutation related to my cancer.  Within a few days of starting this new medication, I seemed to be responding well and after another scan (just a few days ago) my cancer had retreated quite a bit and the tumors were markedly less than they had been.  This was good news and for now we are thankful.  It is unknown how long this medication will work and everyone is different in terms of their response.  For some it lasts a few months, for others a few years.  We continue to pray for healing and remission.  Please keep me in your prayers I ask.  I know beyond any doubts that the prayers of the faithful have been a source of strength for me and my family as we face this monumental struggle.  And I say monumental because it is.  Cancer is so much more than I could have ever realized and to say that it is hard on a family is a gross understatement.  However, God is good and all merciful and I trust that through this process, He knows what He is doing with me and with my life.  I know that he does hear our prayers however and that prayer can change everything.  I would ask that you continue to pray for me and my family, as we will remember you in our prayers as well.  And may God remember all of us in His Heavenly Kingdom.

Posted on February 14, 2017

Posted on February 14, 2017

Update from Fr. Dimitri and Matushka Mary:

Please forgive us for taking so long to provide an update.  We do understand that you all care for us deeply and that you want to be updated as to how we are doing.  The last 6 months have been a journey to be described as no other.  There have been many positives and also set backs and it is a "one day at a time journey." 

The prayers that everyone continues to offer are so important to our family, and we find most comfort in knowing so many people are praying for us.  Through these prayers, we feel God has led us all along and His Divine Providence is always present.  We work hardest at trusting in Him every step of the way, and as you all know, this isn't always easy.  Matushka is continuing her combination of treatments through conventional and non-conventional ways, managing her pain, and spending time with her precious family. 

Please continue to pray for us!  Our hope and prayer is for healing, we bring this to God every day in our prayers, and we work to trust that He hears us and also knows what is best, as only He could know.

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