Hope for Sandi

For: Sandi Kennedy
Organizer: Erin Small Guilshan
of $200,000 goal.
Raised by 987 donors
51% Complete
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The Story

Sandi Tucker Kennedy is a 38 year old mother of four children, Tucker age 9, twin boys Asher & Gunner age 5 and a daughter that is the spitting image of her, Skyler age 2. She is a wife, a sister, a daughter and a dear friend to many. This past November this vibrant, active woman’s health took a turn that no one would have thought it would. She had what started out as a cough and possibly vertigo that in just a few months left her debilitated and her family hanging on to hope that there can be a cure. Since November the Dr’s have been unable to detect what is wrong. Unable to come up with a diagnosis her health continues to fail. She has what is obviously a neurological issue that has taken over the woman she once was. The Dr’s have done every test that they possibly could do including MRI’s and spinal taps to try to indicate why her health has been failing.

By Christmas Eve Sandi was put into the hospital with having symptoms similar to that of a stroke patient. But, she didn’t have a stroke. The Dr’s were once again baffled that every test they ran came back negative. After the Dr’s could not detect where this was stemming from once again, she was released from the hospital. By mid-January she began to get worse and was brought back to the hospital with slurred speech, the inability to walk, a loss of motor skills, deteriorating vision and memory loss. More tests were done and her third MRI and spinal tap along with more blood tests all came back negative once again. Still with no diagnosis the Dr’s have suspected the past few weeks that there is a possibility she may have a rare form of cancer but they had been unable to detect any cancer in her body at this point. She eventually was sent home on outpatient services the end of January able to walk again.

A couple of days later at her home, Sandi’s health went downhill again. Her husband, Jake drove her from their home in Kennebunk, Maine to Brigham & Woman’s Hospital in Boston with the hope that they could help her.  

When she arrived at 11:00pm that night from Maine, they ran tests immediately and indicated that she had encephalitis (swelling of the brain) as a result of whatever was happening to her. She was put on steroids to help reduce the swelling as they continued to try to find a diagnosis. Two days later the swelling did not reduce and her health is continuing to deteriorate.

Still with no diagnosis, the Dr’s continue to try to do all they can to find what type of disease it could be that has taken over her body. Jake has not left her side and our thoughts have been with him. The strength he has had to have throughout these weeks and months do not go unnoticed. He has been Sandi’s rock through all of this, by her side through every moment. Jake has been informed at this point that it is quite possible that it could be a disease called Prion Disease. This is a disease that takes over the neurological system and is fatal. I do not wish to write about all of the details about this disease as she has not been officially diagnosed with it as of yet. There are no official tests that can indicate if that’s what it is and there is also no known cure. If you want to know more you can check it out on the internet.  We are hoping that with all the scary possibilities out there that this is not going to be her diagnosis. We have to have hope and faith as well as be strong for Sandi and Jake. We ask anyone who believes in prayer to please pray for the family.

In creating this web page we are hoping to be able to raise funds so that they will not endure the high costs of the medical bills weighing on them at this time.

Their insurance covers a portion of their medical expenses but unfortunately it doesn’t cover a great deal of them. They will need a lot of support financially as well as emotionally to get through all of this. They have had a severe loss of wages both from Jakes job as a builder and Sandi’s job as a Registered Nurse (RN). Both jobs are needed to support their family with the four kids. Throughout all that they have been going through they still need to pay the bills, put food on the table and be able to provide a decent life for them all. The medical expenses on top of the loss of wages will be insurmountable.

Sadly we know that Sandy will have a long road ahead of her, God willing she will be on a road to recovery.

There are times in everyone’s life when we ask ourselves why things like this happen. I know I have asked myself this question many times recently and have shed many tears over my dear friend. I know our friends and family would do anything to make things better for Sandi. We would give her a part of ourselves just to help her get better. We would do anything. But there seemingly is nothing any of us can do to help her. The worst thing is to know someone is suffering and to feel helpless. To know that there is very little if anything that we can do to make their lives easier right now is not an easy thing to accept. The only thing we can do is offer support and love at this time for the entire family.

At Sandi’s age of 38, most of us would not need to worry or did not worry that we would not live to see our children grow up. We do not suspect that we will not have another dinner with our family or another holiday with loved ones. These are Sandi’s fears right now and they are our fears as well for her, Jake and their children. 

Sometimes all we have is HOPE.

If you are able to help in any way possible it is greatly appreciated.

A word from the Kennedy’s and Tucker’s:

We are so touched by the outpouring of love and compassion from each and every one of you. We are starting this fund to help the Kennedy’s deal with the obstacles that they will face during Sandi’s search for a diagnosis and god willing, road to recovery. Any donations will be used for the care of Sandi's children, their household and her medical expenses. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

With love and gratitude,

The Kennedy’s and Tucker’s

Sandi Strong Facebook Page:

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 29, 2014

Posted on March 29, 2014

Sandi Tucker Kennedy Beefsteak Dinner
West Milford Elks Club
Sunday, April 13th from 3-7pm

Sandi Tucker Kennedy lost her life to CJD (a form of Prion Disease) on March 3, 2014. As a longtime resident of West Milford we hope to raise funds for her family at this time while they not only deal with the emotional loss of this beautiful 38 year old wife and mother but also as they deal with the insurmountable medical bills & loss of wages. Sandi worked nights as a Nurse RN while Jake worked during the day as a builder. We are all heartbroken but together we can help this wonderful family overcome at the very least some of the financial stress.

Dinner catered by The Brownstone
  • $45 per person 
  • You will be served a choice of excellent cuts of beefsteak or chicken (including baked ziti, antipasti, french fries, cheese, cake and coffee 
  • Cash bar will be offered 
  • County Music & dancing by “Northeast of Nashville” 
  • Tricky Tray & 50/50 Raffle 

Contact Erin Small-Guilshan / John Bossolt to order tickets at [email protected]

When Ordering Tickets include
  • Your Name
  • Number of Tickets 
  • We accept check or cash 
  • Tickets picked up at front door of event

Posted on March 15, 2014

Posted on March 15, 2014

A message from Sandi's parents:

While Sandi was fighting for her life against that terrible disease, we, her parants, Jack and Jen, son ,John and wife Dee and of course son-in-law Jake, were overwhelmed by everyone’s caring and compassion.  Now, with heavy hearts, after Sandi’s passing, all of us want to thank each and everyone of you, family and friends and folks we didn’t even know, for your outpouring of support caring and generosity. 

With much love and appreciation, we thank you all

Jack and Jenny Tucker

Posted on March 12, 2014

Posted on March 12, 2014

Beefsteak Dinner Fundraiser at West Milford Elks in support of Sandi Tucker Kennedy’s loving husband & 4 kids.

Catered by The Brownstone - choice of excellent cuts of beefsteak / chicken, ziti, antipasti, french fries, cheese, cake and coffee. Cash bar offered.

Sunday, April 13 from 3-7pm

Music & dancing by “Northeast of Nashville”

Tricky Tray & 50/50 Raffle

Tickets are $45 per person. Contact [email protected] for tickets.
Learn More at our Facebook Page.

Posted on March 4, 2014

Posted on March 4, 2014

A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. 


Posted on March 4, 2014

Posted on March 4, 2014

Visiting hours for Sandra Tucker Kennedy will be in Friday, March 7th from 2-4 & 6-8 at the Bibber Memorial Chapel Funeral Home (67 Summer St Kennebunk ME) and the funeral service will be on Saturday, March 8th at 11am at Holy Spirit Parish, St Martha's Church (rt 1 kennebunk -across from McDonalds). A private burial will be held in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations in Sandi's name be made to the Hospice if Southern Maine. http://www.hospiceofsouthernmaine.org/donations-volunteering

If you are traveling from out of the area one of the hotels we recommend is:
Port Inn Kennebunk
Tel: 207-985-6100 

Posted on March 4, 2014

Posted on March 4, 2014

Our hearts are very heavy but with the love and support from all of you, we find strength through our tears. Sandi has passed away and although our sorrow is overwhelming for a life taken too soon, we find comfort knowing she will live on though those she loved so dearly. Your continued prayers, support and love for the Kennedy and Tucker family has been truly heartwarming and amazing. Please keep Jake, their four beautiful children, Sandi's parents, Jack & Jenny as well as her beloved brother and his wife, John & Denise in your thoughts and prayers. 

Posted on February 23, 2014

Posted on February 23, 2014

A message from the family:

"The outpouring of support and love for the Kennedy-Tucker family has been amazing. We are so thankful for each and everyone of you, who has prayed, donated money, time, food, etc. We continue to cherish each and every moment we have with Sandi. Thank you."

Posted on February 8, 2014

Posted on February 8, 2014

Ours and Sandi’s worst fears have come true. Sandi has been given only a short time to live. The disease is in fact Prion Disease as the Dr’s had suspected and it is rapidly taking her life away. Sandi came home to be with her family and is on hospice care. She is surrounded by her children, her husband, her brother and parents. She is coherent and able to speak although it is slurred and her eyesight continues to deteriorate as this terrible disease has takes over her body. Sandi is overwhelmed by all of the support and love that has poured out to her and her family and wishes to extend her gratitude to all of you for the overwhelming amount of support and love toward her and her family at this time.

Suspecting the medical bills will likely be outrageous and overwhelming to the family we have increased our goal amount to raise. They will not only have to face medical bills but they have lost wages and their future earnings are now going to have an impact as Sandi, who is an RN at a local hospital and is no longer able to work. They are going from 2 incomes to just one. The cost to raise children including daycare and the basic needs outweigh what they will be able to earn. Jake is now facing so much that he must endure. He is one of the strongest people we know and has not left Sandi’s side through all the hospital stays, through the moment the Dr’s told them she has just a short time to live and through the emotional impact this has had on Sandi and the family. Jake has been Sandi’s rock and now he will need all of us more than ever to be his rock.  

On behalf of the Kennedy – Tucker family, they want to thank each and every one of you for your generous support. They are taken back by the overwhelming kindness even by complete strangers. They find comfort in knowing that they have so much love being given to them all at this time.

Posted on February 7, 2014

Posted on February 7, 2014

We have created a facebook account for the supporters of Sandi. Please feel free to "like" and follow for updates. https://www.facebook.com/SandiKennedyStrong

Posted on February 5, 2014

Posted on February 5, 2014

The Kennedy-Tucker family is so overwhelmed and appreciative at the outpouring of love and support for Sandi. Sandi remains in the hospital in Boston at this time, working closely with her team of doctors on how we can best proceed from this point forward. We ask for your continued prayers and positive thoughts. 

Thank you

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