Three words. Three little words that can fill you with dread and fear, that can bring even the strongest man or woman to their knees.
In April 2014, my best friend Nina Andersen, called me. And, for the second time in her life, said,
" I have cancer. "
As I listened to her crying on the telephone, in my mind I am screaming,
" GOD, no! This can't be happening to Nina again. It isn't fair. How much do you expect one person to take! "
For those of you that do not know Nina personally, she has lost so much in her life. She has lost her father, her two oldest brothers, she beat cancer back once before in 2006, only to watch her marriage, her hopes, and her dreams collapse.
In the year before this new diagnosis of stage 3 breast cancer, Nina lost her stepfather and, her sister Hanne passed away unexpectedly.
Nina's pets, her babies, have passed away, one after another. Most recently, her sweet goofy Odin passed away suddenly and unexpectedly just one week after her cancer surgery.
Growing up, Nina, Tammy Donaldson, and I were inseparable. Like the three musketeers! The stories I could tell you about our adventures; and our misadventures! And though Nina chose to live on the West Coast to be near the ocean ( why she didn't want to remain here in Ontario with minus forty temperatures! ), she still remains my closest and dearest friend. I can pick up the phone and it is like I just saw Nina the day before.
Nina has been my best friend, my soul sister, for most of my life. She is a kind, gentle, and loving person. And she is actually funny! I can't imagine this world without her in it.
One of the things I have always loved and admired about Nina is her inner strength. It has seen her through many a tragedy and has helped her to stand up, dust herself off, and carry on, no matter what life has thrown at her. It must be that Viking blood!
But now, for the first time, Nina needs our help - your help.
Due to health complications from her original cancer treatments in 2006, Nina suffered severely from the conventional treatment prescribed for her cancer treatment today. So she made the decision to forgo further chemotherapy and radiation in favour of natural healing methods. And, as you know, our governments do not support traditional medical treatments and they are not covered under provincial medical plans. As a result, traditional treatment is very expensive. In fact, they are crushing.
As a previous cancer survivor, there is no private insurance available for Nina. As a single person, there is no one to catch her as she falls. As a business owner, Nina must rely on herself for all her expenses.
These past few months have required everything Nina has got - mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially. And it still has not been enough! Nina has accessed every resource she has to continue her treatments. She has used all her savings, she has maxed out her credit cards, she has reached out to her family, and now Nina has had to remortgage her home; the one place that has been her sanctuary during her healing journey.
Nina should not be worrying about her finances and paying her bills. She should be concentrating on getting healthy. Stress is not good for anyone, let alone someone with cancer.
The treatments prescribed by her naturopath need to continue for several more months to completely and successfully eradicate the cancer. Nina was responding very well to treatment. Test results showed that the number of cancer cells in her bloodstream were coming down. And right now Nina cannot afford to continue her treatment.
If you have ever donated to cancer research, if you have ever donated to any cancer fundraising efforts, now is your opportunity to donate directly to someone that would really benefit from your support.
Please give today to help Nina with her expenses. Please give so that Nina can continue her treatments and focus on her healing journey.
To know Nina is to love her. The world truly is a better place with her in it.
With much love and gratitude,
Laurie and Barry Wannamaker
PS. Nina has started a blog, sharing the ups and downs of her journey with you, as her way of giving back and as a way to help others on their path. You can follow Nina on her extraordinary healing journey at www.theinconvenientmessenger.com.