Help Margo Rivera-Weiss celebrate more birthdays

For: Margo Rivera-Weiss
Oakland, CA
Organizer: Margo Rivera-Weiss
of $50,000 goal.
Raised by 267 donors
66% Complete
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The Story

Hello dear friends,

I apologize if this is the first that you are hearing of the rather shocking news that I was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I am still stunned myself as well as devastated. The diagnosis is particularly chilling for another reason. Many of you know that, for the past 24 years, I dedicated my career to helping women with cancer because my beloved mother died of cancer when I was 15. What you may not know is that she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at age 56 (my current age!) and that she passed away less than 5 months after diagnosis.

I am doing everything in my power to have a better outcome than my dear mother. I have used knowledge and resources from my work at Women’s Cancer Resource Center (WCRC) to add anti-cancer and immune supporting foods, juices, teas and supplements to my diet. I have been exercising, meditating and creating art as daily as possible. I have asked for and received your well wishes and so many have sent caring messages, beautiful cards, love gifts and healing altar contributions that have helped sustain me. I truly am grateful for each and every day and for all the wonderful love and good thoughts showered on me by so many of you.

It has been quite a difficult year for my family and me. My wonderful wife Hadas had thyroid cancer surgery and my beloved father passed away just three days after. My work hours and income were significantly reduced and then came this diagnosis. As Hadas worked to rebalance her energy and strength, she has been making me healthy juices, soups and meals and caring for me with boundless love. At this time we are both on temporary disability. My capacity to return to work is uncertain.

On January 26th, I will be celebrating my 57th birthday and I would dearly love to be around to celebrate a few more in good health. It is my desire to heal as much as possible and to have as much quality and enjoyment of life as possible for the duration of my time here, however long or short that might be.

I am following an integrative approach by taking the standard allopathic drugs and utilizing holistic and conventional approaches to mitigate their side effects. I have consulted with the Block Center for Integrative Health in Illinois and will continue to check in with them to make sure I’m doing the best I can with nutrition, supplements and the mindfulness realm. We switched health insurance to a better (and much more expensive) plan so that I could have the flexibility to see a wider range of doctors. I am now getting care at UCSF where they have a great team of thoracic oncologists. I am also accessing community acupuncture to deal with side effects of cancer and treatment. As I am able, I would like to participate in more healing activities.

In my years at WCRC I have helped thousands of people access information, resources, and emotional support, learn new skills and connect with others through wellness classes, and much more. Now that I have cancer I am experiencing firsthand how important these kinds of supports are.

It is difficult for me to ask for financial help.  But we are figuring that our medical premiums and out of pocket costs during this first year of treatment will be about $50,000. Our premiums amount to $21,600 a year and our maximum, annual out of pocket payments for both in and out of network (doctor visits, CAT and PET scans, biopsies, ultrasounds, labs, medication, equipment) are $18,000. Also, the supplements, vitamins, tinctures and herbs that we take cost about $250 a month. Community acupuncture to help with energy and medication side effects are $30 per visit. Finally, if we think of food as medicine, a $50 donation will cover organic vegetables for one week’s worth of juicing and $100 will pay for one month of delicious, anti-cancer and immune supporting foods.

If you are able to support us with a donation, Hadas and I would be so deeply grateful. We send you our biggest, warmest thank you for your generosity. Please share this post by Facebook, email, etc. as you are able.

With much love and gratitude,


Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 8, 2017

Posted on February 8, 2017


I had a CT scan Friday and saw my oncologist today. He said that I had a better than average response with a marked decrease in the size of the main lung mass. The average time this med works for folks is 10-12 months and I've been on it for six weeks. It is possible in rare cases that it can work for years. I will take it as long as it works and I can tolerate the side effects. I hope I can seriously mess up their stats.

While my energy is better than it was even a month ago I still have a lot of fatigue and have to not do too much at a time. And while the daily chemo pill is doing its job it is also causing several side effects. I won't bore you with details but will just say it's a juggling act to keep them at bay.

I'm continuing to do acupuncture to manage the fatigue and side effects as well as exercise daily, make art, prepare and eat healthy food and enjoy each day.

Thank you for all of your support and kind words. I don't think I can express how much this has helped me cope and heal. I feel very fortunate to have so many wonderful friends and loved ones.

Big love

Posted on January 27, 2017

Posted on January 27, 2017

Hello, Thanks for helping me have one of my sweetest birthdays yet. All the support and the very kind words made my day very special. My beloved to me to this beautiful wildlife preserve in the Sacramento area. We walked a little (I sprained my ankle at the beginning of the year and it is still healing) and then drove on the 6 mile auto tour. We saw hundred of snow geese, lots of very cute coots, turkey vultures, red wing blackbirds, egrets, a gorgeous ring neck pheasant, a kingfisher, wood and many kind of ducks and other waterfowl. We also saw jack rabbits and a couple of muskrats. And maybe even some bats. One the way out we heard the magical duet of tree frogs and crickets. With much love and gratitude,
Margo & Hadas

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