Marissa and Chris need our help. They are facing a long, difficult, and unpredictable road as Marissa battles this very RARE diagnosis of Histiocytic Sarcoma in her brain.
Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters, The late summer of 2015 was to be among the happiest time of their life together. On September 18th they both said "I Do" and became "One", and united through the bond of marriage. 6 short months later they both purchased and closed on their very first home, and couldn't be more blessed and excited to start building a future together. Things were a bit hectic as they worked hard to settle into their new life. All was well until 7 months later, when Marissa almost passed out in the shower, and started to feel ill. She was taken to the hospital for further evaluation, which showed no neurological signs of any issues. They were going to discharge her, giving her only headache medicine. They both demanded a CT scan, and what she and her family were told next left everyone devastated. Marissa was told "Your scan is showing a mass present in your brain and you will need to be admitted you for further testing."
After a lumbar puncture to test her spinal fluid and multiple MRI's, they finally acknowledged something was wrong, and there WAS, in fact, a mass within her CNS (Central Nervous System), in a ventricle, located in the middle of her brain.
The following week, October 26th, with non-definitive results from the lumbar puncture, she was scheduled for a brain biopsy. Her biopsy was studied carefully at the hospital where she was being treated and nobody knew truly what they were dealing with. Her biopsy specimen was sent to Columbia University, in New York, for further testing. They were unable to determine what the mass was. It was then sent to another facility in Texas, and they too were unable to help. At the suggestion of one of the doctors, they travelled to Boston to see a Neuro-Oncologist, who agreed with the previous physicians in giving a very uncertain diagnosis- a rare disease called “Rosai Dorfman”
Marissa and Chris began to lose hope because of the lack of answers from all of the medical professionals.
On November 28th, Marissa and her family again visited her primary treating physician to better understand the logistics/requirements of their proposed treatment plan. After fully understanding what lay ahead, the very next day they received a phone call from the Neuro-Oncologist in Boston- they had performed their OWN pathology testing on her biopsy specimen, and were now convinced it is a DIFFERENT diagnosis then previously suggested- the aforementioned, more aggressive diagnosis called “Histiocytic Sarcoma”, which in her case is affecting the Central Nervous System in the brain. This cancer requires stronger chemo-therapy then what they were previously advised was necessary, which requires hospital admission. Marissa is now preparing herself for all of the inevitable side effect that result with such treatment- hair loss being the least. Chris and Marissa are also agreeing to injections to stop monthly menstrual cycles, in order to preserve eggs, on account of their plans to have children.
Marissa currently wakes every morning with dizzy spells and headaches- requiring at least an hour or more to even get out of bed.
Currently, it is impossible to predict what Marissa's final diagnosis and recovery will look like. She may be in and out of the hospital for months, because of the chemo-therapy, MRI’s and any additional treatments required.
Although Chris' employer has been very understanding and gracious, and offers temporary intermittent family medical leave- Chris no longer has any paid days off available, and when he has to take a day to take care of Marissa he does not get paid! They have gone from a household income of 2 full time salaries, down to just 1, overnight.
Let’s come together and show both Marissa and Chris just how loved, appreciated and cared-for they are.
Raised funds will be used to pay for all medical costs, as well as any primary/required financial responsibilities such as monthly bills, utilities, etc- on account of their dramatic loss of household income.
Please consider making a donation- your financial support can significantly lessen the emotional and monetary burden that both Chris and Marissa are now faced with.
Thank you so much!
Uncle Tim Family & Friends