Sometime mid-March Oraida Maria (the mother of Julio and Pedro, known to some as Momma Dos) went to the doctor after feeling something she thought was side-effects from the new diabetes drugs she was taking. The doctors asked her right away to stay in the hospital and do some exams to determine exactly what was causing her pain and suffering. After a few exams the doctors were certain it was some kind of aggressive cancer and that it had spread to some other organs. The doctors have since decided on the diagnosis of Stage IV ovarian cancer (***UPDATE*** in December 2013 the doctors were able to confirm that it is indeed Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer).
In Brazil, things are complicated. Health care is free, but it takes for ever. Heath plans cover some stuff, but that also takes a long time to get approved. We have had to pay out-of-pocket to speed up number of exams, to bring certain specialists, and to cover drugs she has needed already to start fighting this good fight. Needless to say, the cost of all this is pilling up very fast.
Most of you know our mother because of just that: the fact that she is the mother of two giants. But I think it is important to say a little bit about her life in Brazil. Our mother is a workaholic, and every job that she ever had was a job that helped other people. Her first job was as a teacher in one of Rio's favelas
(slums). She then started working on the public health system in Brazil, where she worked until retirement. After retirement she started her political career, which included managing a public-run Psychiatric ER, volunteering in a number of projects directed to helping the poor, and working with at-risk teens helping them build skills and confidence for a life that did not involve drugs and crime. For the last eight years she has been working at the federal government in different positions, but always dealing with the issue of racial equality and dissemination of Afro-Brazilian culture. Now, after fighting for equal rights and helping people all her life, she is the one who needs our help.
We ask you to help us cover these medical expenses as well as prepare for the road to come. It is all very new, we are all in shock, but we are ready to provide what is best for Momma Dos. If you can help in any way we will greatly appreciate it.Português
No começo do mês de abril a Oraida foi diagnosticada com câncer. Nós, os filhos dela (Julio e Pedro) fizemos esta página para pedir apoio aos nossos amigos nos Estados Unidos nessa nova batalha que nossa mãe está enfrentando. Mas sabemos que os amigos e família da Oraida no Brasil também querem ajudar e querem ficar informados sobre os passos que ela toma rumo à recuperação.
Pedimos de todos vocês ajuda nesse momento, seja ela uma oração ou pensamento positivo, ou uma ajuda financeira pelo site, ou uma ajuda moral para aqueles que vivem em Brasília e Goiania. Agradecemos desde já a ajuda.
Julio César A. G. dos Santos
Pedro de Abreu G. dos Santos