DiBiase Cancer Recovery Fund

For: Emma & Greg DiBiase
Organizer: Dara DiBiase
DiBiase Cancer Recovery Fund (Emma & Greg DiBiase)
of $100,000 goal
87% Complete
Raised by 506 donors

The Story

In July 2013, we received the terrible news that Greg had Thyroid Cancer that had metastasized to his lymph nodes.  He had multiple tumors on his thyroid, the largest one growing into his neck muscle on his left side.  On August 1, he had a Thyroidectomy, including the removal of many lymph nodes on both sides of his neck and a portion of his neck muscle.  Six weeks after surgery, they did post-op ultrasounds and discovered two more suspicious spots in his neck that are “likely cancerous lymph nodes.”

On Dec 4, he started Radioactive Iodine (RAI) treatment and will have a body scan and ultrasounds to check for any remaining cancer.   If the spots in his neck are cancerous, they are likely too big to be killed by the RAI, which means a second surgery or further cancer treatment will be necessary.  But we won’t know until he completes the RAI treatment and the subsequent scans 3-6 months from now.

In October 2013, Emma began complaining of stomach aches after eating.  She was diagnosed with constipation and, after lots of Miralax, a GI specialist, 2 ultrasounds, enimas, more Miralax and a growing belly, she was admitted to the hospital in Wilmington on Oct 26.  They did a CT scan and discovered a softball-sized tumor in her abdomen.  She was taken by ambulance to University of North Carolina Children’s Hospital at Chapel Hill at 3am on Sunday, Oct 27. 

On Monday the 28th, she had exploratory surgery, during which they drained 6 liters of fluid from her abdomen to be able to see the tumor.  Once inside, they could also see many, many Small Round Cell Blue tumors (implants) covering the inside of her abdomen.  Tissue samples were taken and sent for analysis.  They also did several baseline scans (Bone, PET, CT), blood tests, and bone marrow biopsies.  On Oct 30, we received the devastating diagnosis.  Emma has Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS), stage 4.    It is an aggressive cancer that requires intensive treatment.  The size and location of the tumor in her abdomen, combined with the pervasive small tumors, made it inoperable.  The bone and PET scans revealed tumors on her spine and bone marrow biopsies showed trace amounts of the cancer cells in her marrow.    

Emma will be receiving intense Chemotherapy every week, at UNC Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill, about 2.5 hours from home, for 52 weeks.  Due to the advanced stage, they started her on the 7th week’s treatment, so they are wasting no time.  Her treatments will generally start on Fridays and last either 1, 2 or 5 days.  Some will be outpatient treatment at the clinic next to the hospital (requiring hotel stays) or overnights at the hospital.  Following the 52 weeks of chemo, we have been told to expect at least an additional 12 months of frequent tests and follow-ups, requiring travel to Chapel Hill.

Over the next 24 months, the out-of-pocket expenses related to the weekly trips to Chapel Hill (including gas, food , lodging, parking) and the medical and prescription costs not covered by insurance are expected to be quite large.  We are setting a fundraising goal of $100,000.  We have received many inquiries from generous friends, family members and colleagues , asking how they can help financially, so we opted to set up this fundraiser to facilitate donations.  I know it is cliché to say “no amount is too small,” but truer words were never written.  We are incredibly grateful that you would want to give ANY amount.  Thank you all for your prayers, concern, support and friendship.  It means the world to us.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 29, 2016

Posted on April 29, 2016

Dear All,
As the dust is settling, we are feeling so incredibly blessed to continue to be surrounded and supported by all of you.  We are so thankful for your generosity, love, friendship and prayers.  We are closing this YouCaring fundraiser today.  

We'd like to give a very special thank you to Emma's amazing friends that put on various fundraisers (Greer's Fight Against Cancer Benefit, Greer Fest, T-shirt sales, Emma Greer in Loving Memory....) and the bands that came to play! (Pill Friends, Meth Wax, Olive Drab, Astro Cowboys, Slow Hollows, Casinos, Celebrity Crush.... all the bands at Greer Fest and, of course, the incredible members of Mesto. Your music got her through the worst of times and your continued dedication, love and generosity has been an incredible help and comfort to us.

If you still feel compelled to donate, please consider giving to Lower Cape Fear Hospice or the Children's Cancer Research Fund.
Again - we cannot thank you deeply or often enough for helping us through this incredibly difficult time. 
All our love and gratitude,
Greg, Dara, Maddie & Spencer

Posted on April 4, 2016

Posted on April 4, 2016

I apologize for not updating this site earlier.  Once Emma returned from her West Coast trip, a lot happened in a short period of time. Many of you have been in touch and are already aware, but for those who aren't, Emma passed away peacefully just before 4am on Easter Sunday, March 27. 

After returning from her trip, her pain was unbearable and we were unable to get it under control at home.  She was admitted to hospice on Thursday, March 10.  On March 16, she wanted to go spend some days at home.  Her pain medication requirements continued to increase, as well as the round-the-clock care.  On March 24, she was transported back to hospice where she later passed.

There is no question that Emma left an indelible mark on this world.  The social media response has been incredible.  We are so proud of her and so relieved to know she is no longer suffering.  We cannot thank you all enough for your love and support throughout this journey.

Greg, Dara, Maddie & Spencer

Posted on February 21, 2016

Posted on February 21, 2016

Hi all,

So it took longer for UNC to get access to the clinical trial protocol and drugs than they had hoped. But two of the drugs they already had access to so, rather than wait on the complete protocol, we opted to start her on the two drugs they had access to, planning to add in the two oral experimental drugs as soon as possible. She received 6 days of those chemos. They finally got access to the trial drugs but hospital staff needed to be trained so she was set to officially begin on March 14. 

Friday morning, Emma was admitted at Chapel Hill because her stomach was getting really big again. A CT scan confirmed our worst fears - it is the ascites again. They could not confirm the recurrence of the small round blue cell tumors from the CT scan but the presence of ascites leaves little room for doubt that they've come back.

They put her on a morphine pump for the pain and installed a drain in her abdomen to allow her to drain the fluid herself. We hope she'll get to come home in a few more days. At this point, the doctors have indicated that chemo may not be a viable option and she is not likely a candidate for the trial because two of the proven drugs aren't working.

At this point, we have no plan. We will be talking with doctors tomorrow to find a way forward. 

On a more positive note, Emma will be going to LA with her mom on March 1 to see her boyfriend and friends. She is 100% focused on this and extremely excited. Doctors and family are focused on making this happen for her. 

Please continue to pray for Emma and her entire family while we wrap our minds around all of this. 

About the Organizer

*Please report fraud and Terms of Service violations only. Personal disputes will not be reviewed.

* YouCaring will not use or share your phone number or other information for marketing purposes.



Grab Our Widget

DiBiase Cancer Recovery Fund

Grab Our Widget
Facebook Share Button