Tracy Bucciarelli is a single mom to a nine (9) year old son named Jason. They are long-time members of our community and reside in Indian Head Park. Jason is a 4th grader at Highlands Elementary School. Tracy is a registered nurse, who dedicated her entire professional career to taking care of premature infants in the NICU unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
In June, 2012, Tracy received the devastating news that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Less than 5% of all women diagnosed with breast cancer start at a Stage 4. Tracy’s oncologist revealed that there is no cure for Stage 4 breast cancer, and the median survival rate is 2-3 years. Tracy will be celebrating her third year of survival this coming spring. She credits her survival to God.
Since her diagnosis, Tracy can no longer work. Her treatment plan includes oral chemotherapy, monthly infusions and daily narcotics for pain management. After 20 years of dedicated service to the NICU, Tracy hung up her scrubs and sadly resigned from what she called her “dream job.” Tracy feared her regimen of narcotics might impede her judgment, and she could not expose her tiny patients to such a risk. Since she left her job, Tracy has been volunteering her time to Highlands Elementary, as a room parent, helping to count Box Tops, and taking photos for the Variety Show.
After she left her job, Tracy applied for Social Security Disability and maintained her health insurance through COBRA. Her COBRA payments were $800.00/monthly, and her limited resources did not allow her to extend the health insurance to her little boy. Due to her medical and financial issues, paying her mortgage became a struggle. Her lender placed her townhome in foreclosure. She has, so far, been able to remain in her home, but every month it is a struggle to keep her home.
On January 31, 2015, Tracy received yet another blow when her COBRA health insurance expired. She was forced to apply for Medicaid. Sadly, Tracy has just recently discovered that Medicaid will not cover two very important medications, including a cancer drug called Afinitor, which is a newer drug that Medicaid restricts due to its high cost of $15,000.00 per month. She has pleaded with the pharmaceutical company, and they have given her two weeks of samples for the Afinitor. However, her future use of this medication remains uncertain. Since it is the only cancer drug Tracy is currently responding to, she is terrified that she will have to stop using this drug.
It remains perplexing to understand why a person like Tracy, who has given her entire life to the nurture and care of others, must herself, undergo so much pain and hardship. This is why we, as a community, must come together and give this little family our wholehearted support!
All funds raised will be used for Tracy's medical costs.
UPDATE: We are so stunned with the amount of support from the community. It has surpassed any of our expectations. Tracy is so thankful. We are now looking into creating a trust for Tracy's benefit, to be used to pay her mortgage and any medical deductibles and out of pocket medical expenses she will have. We would like her son, Jason, to get the balance of the fund, should there be any balance remaining. We hope this change will be acceptable to everyone who has donated. We just didn't expect this outpouring of support. Thank you, everyone, so much!
Beata McCann (Tracy's friend)