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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Thank you so much!