Help Support the Wascaks

For: Heather and Dan Wascak
Organizer: Friends
$25,586
of $50,000 goal.
Raised by 427 donors
51% Complete
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The Story

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Heather is a wife, a young mom to 2 beautiful children, and she's fighting for her life. She was diagnosed with late stage fallopian tube cancer in February 2014 while 34 weeks pregnant with her second child, a chubby little lady named Lucia (pronounced Loo-sha, like the island.) She was planning a natural home birth with a midwife, the same way she birthed her first child, Dylan.

Heather's world was turned upside down after hearing those 3 dreaded words, "You have cancer." At 35w6d, she underwent an urgent cesarean section, complete hysterectomy, and tumor debulking surgery. She was placed in the ICU and didn't get to meet Lucia until the next day. The baby had breathing troubles and was transferred to a different hospital with a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Heather started chemotherapy less than 3 weeks after she was born. The dream of breastfeeding Lucia had to fall to the wayside in favor of lifesaving treatment that rendered her milk toxic. That was one of the hardest parts of the diagnosis, for Heather.

Fast forward to August 2014...Heather completed 6 months of grueling chemo treatments and was declared in remission!

Just 4 months later, Heather found a lump in her abdomen. She and her husband Dan received the devastating news that the cancer had returned in January 2015. This time Heather opted for holistic, natural treatments. She chose the Gerson therapy. Unfortunately, due to the aggressive nature of this disease, the cancer spread to her liver in 5 short weeks. She's now undergoing second line chemotherapy treatment. Initially, her tumor markers were coming down, but after 3 cycles they jumped back up and we learned the cancer is resistant to all chemos. She's now looking into other alternative treatments to save her life. 

This is where you come in. There's an amazing clinic in Mexico where Heather can be immersed in Gerson Therapy and also undergo some additional alternative treatments that might be more effective than chemo. This is her last effort to ensure that she will be able to watch her children grow up and attend their weddings. It is not covered by health insurance, and it will cost $35,000 to go, not to mention lost wages for Dan. 

Heather could be any of us- as a vegan Registered Dietician, who was running 8-10 miles per day until her initial cancer diagnosis. She had genetic testing done and does not have any genetic predisposition to cancer. She defies all odds, as everything about her life, history, and genetic background indicates that she shouldn't be fighting for her life today.

Please help her fight this fight. Support Heather in the way you would want someone to support you if you were in her shoes!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 30, 2015

Posted on May 30, 2015

I woke up with a sinking feeling this morning. I've had trouble sleeping the past week as pain in my abdomen has slowly increased. I went to bed almost in tears last night from the pain and discomfort. I was moments away from taking a pain pill, but I try and avoid taking pharmaceuticals unless it's unbearable. I've heard it's very painful when tumors burst, so I was hoping that was what's been going on.I had Dan call for my results because I was too sick about it. My oncologist said he would let us know Monday, but we couldn't wait around all weekend not knowing. The chemo nurse at Roswell delivered the news. My tumor markers jumped up over 100 points in 2 weeks. The scan showed overall improvement, but not by much. Some areas even grew. The spots on my lungs are stable. Wait, what?! I didn't know I had spots on my lungs, but it explains why I'm short of breath all of the time. The nurse said she can't understand why the tumor markers went up based on looking at the scan. Regardless, this isn't the news we were so desperately hoping for. I will see my doctor on Thursday, and I imagine he will want me to continue with the current regimen. In his eyes, the chemo is working because it's keeping things stable. In my eyes, the chemo is toxifying me without much benefit. I would get chemo indefinitely if I thought it had a chance at keeping me alive long term, but it doesn't. I haven't made a decision yet, but I'm leaning towards no more conventional treatment. I need to get strong enough off chemo to start eating and drinking more so I can go to the clinic in Mexico. My appetite is slowly returning since I haven't had chemo in 2 weeks. I'm still struggling to eat as I get full quickly and have a lot of GI pain and discomfort when I do eat. I'm going to stop the tpn tonight and see how I do without it.It's time to rally. I'm running out of time. I hate talking about my prognosis because I am not a statistic, but I do know if I do nothing, I'm looking at 6 months to 1 year at best. And it will be a very painful end of days for me. I also hate asking for help, but I don't have much of a choice. We need to raise enough money to get to Mexico. Can you please share my story and donation page? I'm so grateful for every dollar we have raised so far. If you can find it in your heart to help us, we will be forever grateful. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 


Posted on April 7, 2015

Posted on April 7, 2015

Hi everyone! Not too much has changed since the last update. Heather was hospitalized once, released and put on IV nutrition to help her regain her strength. She got a call from the reporter she met in February about a milk sharing story the news was putting together, so once again Heather got an amazing news spot!

http://www.wgrz.com/story/news/local/lancaster/2015/04/06/study-breast-milk-purchased-online-may-contain-cows-milk/25392901/

Posted on February 26, 2015

Posted on February 26, 2015

Heather and Dan are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love they've been receiving! In just the last month Heather had surgery to remove 5 tumors identified in a CT scan, only to find 20 were removed when she awoke from surgery. While recuperating and getting into her Gerson therapy,  the Wascaks were visited by a WGRZ news team who spent the evening recording interviews and learning what life on Gerson was like. 

Heather began to feel uncomfortable again and she and Dan decided to head to MD Anderson, a national resource for fallopian tube cancer- only to discover during testing there that not only was her cancer growing back quickly, but that it had spread to her bowel and her liver.

As of this writing (2/26/15), Heather is starting chemotherapy again to get the tumors in check so that she can have time for the Gerson therapy to work. Chemo is the immediate solution, Gerson is the long term one. Heather WILL stick around to attend her children's weddings!!!

Here's a link to the media coverage she received: http://lancaster.wgrz.com/news/news/216411-lancaster-mom-chooses-gerson-therapy

Thank you all for your continued support- we're once again raising the goal as Dan will be continuing to take unpaid leave in order to go to as many of Heather's appointments as he can.

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