Money for My Momma

For: Terry Desmond
Organizer: Melanie Brown
of $2,000 goal.
Raised by 20 donors
43% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

My mom, Terry Desmond, was diagnosed with Stage 3A lung cancer just two months ago. She worked until the day they found the first mass on her lung. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of tests, scans, surgical biopsies, medicines and supplements, chemo, radiation, and lung surgery to remove part of the tumor blocking her airway that resulted in a collapsed lung, a chest tube and a lengthy stay in intensive care.

She is currently receiving radiation five days a week for seven weeks on top of chemotherapy. She is on oxygen full-time. She is clearly unable to work. My father worked nearly his entire life as a mail carrier but was forced to retire in the last few years. He loved his job, but after many years of endless walking and huge sacks of mail his shoulders and feet required so many surgeries that he could no longer do the job he loved.

My parents have insurance they pay nearly $600 a month for out of his pension. That left them just enough to pay their bills and my mom's income was their "extra" money. My mom has yet to be approved for disability and the copays seem absolutely endless. She is prescribed nearly twenty different medications, nutritional supplements that are not covered by insurance, and her days are spent going in and out the revolving doors of hospitals and doctors offices and each time requires a new copay. Unfortunately, the bills for the uncovered portions of her hospital stays and surgeries are starting to roll in too.

My parents are high school sweethearts. They truly are best friends. They are a rarity in this day and age and they have stood the test of time, for better and for worse, for almost forty years now. My dad was working a part-time job after he retired but was on medical leave for yet another shoulder surgery when my mother was diagnosed. His doctors have not yet released him to return to part-time work, but even if they had, he has found a new job, for the time being, as my mom's much needed full-time medical and personal assistant going with her to every appointment, picking up every prescription, and sleeping next to her hospital bed every night she has been there. He's learned to make a killer Ensure smoothie.

Please help, if you can, by donating even a few dollars. It's getting to the point where they have to choose between paying for her medications and chemotherapy or paying their electric bill. My mother has given her life to caring for those around her. For once, I want her to feel like the one who is being cared for and supported.

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Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 24, 2013 by Melanie Brown
Well, my mom got some good news yesterday. After her surgery that caused her lung to collapse she was put on full-time oxygen. Yesterday, the pulmonolgist said the lung had healed enough that she could try going without oxygen. This is good in quite a few ways. Not being on the oxygen will probably make her less like a "sick person" and less tied down and restricted. Being able to move around more easily is certainly helpful to her emotionally and also helpful physcially, especially in relation to the blood clots. It felt really good for us to see her walking out of the doctors office yesterday not hooked up to any equiptment. Thanks for all the prayers, well-wishes and support!

Posted on April 24, 2013 by Melanie Brown
Thanks, Dave. Your well-wishes and generous donation means a lot. 

Posted on April 19, 2013 by Melanie Brown
I haven't posted an update in a few days . . . Mom finished up another week of radiation. Just a few more weeks on this round, and with any luck, she won't need another round. She has chemo next week. She felt OK this week, just tired and a little depressed about having found another blood clot. She was approved for disability, but won't receive her first payment until August. I am so grateful for all the donations, prayers and well-wishes. I am hoping to raise a bit more to help cover some expenses related to traveling in the next month or so to get a second opinion related to her treatment and overall prognosis. But,(and I don't think I'm supposed to say this on a fundraising site) even if we don't raise another penny during this particular fundraiser, I just want to state again how grateful I am, how much it touched me everytime someone donated. Feeling that you matter, that people care, that your voice is heard, is one of the highlights of the human experience.

Posted on April 10, 2013 by Melanie Brown
Thank you, Bridget for your donation and your prayers. It means a lot to us. When I pray for my mother, I pray for peace and healing. When I pray for myself, I ask to be guided to grace and strength so I may show up for her in whatever way God would have me too. When I don't pray, I show up a scattered, self-centered mess and it's all about my own fear. When I do pray, grace washes away enough of my fear that I can act from a place of, "How can I be of service? How can I ease some of my families burden?" God speaks through other people all the time, and I realize that more & more every time someone offers a kind word, a prayer, or an act of generosity.

Posted on April 10, 2013 by Melanie Brown
My mom had an x-ray today that is probably of something small & insignificant (according to her doctors), but some extra prayers while we wait for the results would still be much appreciated. Please & thanks!

Posted on April 8, 2013 by Melanie Brown
Today is Terry's birthday. After radiation she had lunch with her mom then opened presents with her family. If she feels up to it, she may even have a hot dinner date. Low-key birthday plans for her today but she's the guest of honor at a party this weekend. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Posted on April 7, 2013 by Melanie Brown
Angela Peacock, Jennifer Dreste, Ana Perez and Breezy Ridge Alpacas all donated in the last day or two and we want to thank you! My mom had a slightly rough day yesterday, but the sunshine and warm weather seem to helping her today. We're hoping she'll feel like coming over and sitting on my deck to soak up some Vitamin D. FYI: If anyone needs a hook-up on alpacas I know a guy! That's not something you get the opportunity to say very often so I figured I better seize the opportunity. =)

Posted on April 6, 2013 by Melanie Brown
My mom had a rough day yesterday, but seemed to be feeling a bit better today, tolerating my incessant chatter and her wild-child granddaughter quite well. The radiation makes her really, really fatigued, more so than the chemo, but hopefully that will subside shortly after the radiation is over so she can get back out there and start doing what she loves again . . . shopping for 4 hours at garage sales and come home with two bags full of stuff for 75 cents! Nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody, can sniff out bargains like my mom.

Thank you so much for the donations that came in today. Her friend from work, Luke, donated today and it will mean so much to her to know that her work friends are thinking of & pulling for her.

Posted on April 6, 2013 by Melanie Brown
Thank you, Luke. My mom has mentioned you often and I know she really likes you. It's hard for her to look at this site, but she has, because I think it hurts her to know that she is in need right now. When it comes down to it, she knows it's ok for someone in her situation to be in need, but it's hard to accept when it is yourself I suppose. But she has helped plenty of people in herself so now it's her turn to get back some of what she has given. I will make sure she gets your message. Both the donation & the message will mean a whole to her. 

Posted on April 5, 2013 by Melanie Brown
Thank you, Tricia Frank! You know my family thinks the world of you, your mom, and Nancy. We wish you guys all the best.

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