Project Julia Gruca

For: Julia Gruca
Organizer: Project Julia Fundraising Team
Project Julia Gruca (Julia Gruca)
of $30,000 goal
1% Complete
Raised by 9 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Help Save a Life!

Your donations will IMMEDIATELY be used to fund Julia’s urgently needed treatment for small cell carcinoma lung cancer.

Julia's parents, originally from Poland, moved to Germany in 1984. A few years later, Julia was born and they packed up their lives and immigrated to the US, eventually settling in Anaheim, California. As a child, Julia was always able to make friends quite easily. Her curiosity and loveable personality meant she was popular in the neighborhood.

Soon, her family moved to Yorba Linda, near Anaheim. As a teenager, Julia attended Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills, CA. Her 6’1” height had her trying out for the high school volleyball team and she quickly became a successful middle blocker. In the off-season, Julia played club volleyball for Orange County Volleyball Club and Saddleback Valley Volleyball Club. Early on, she earned a spot on both the #1 volleyball team for her volleyball club and on the Canyon High Volleyball varsity team. In the summer months, she spent most days at the beach, visited family in Poland, and hiked, canoed, and explored Oregon with her dad. Julia’s friends have always described her as fun, loving, and adventurous, with a heart of gold and an optimistic outlook on everything. One of Julia’s greatest qualities is her creativity —always drawing pictures for friends and family and taking professional photos in her spare time. She enjoys photography so much that she often talks about becoming a high school photography teacher one day.

In March 2012, a few weeks after her 26th birthday, Julia was confronted with a life-changing reality: stage 4 lung cancer. After several weeks of lung infections, numerous tests and scans led to a diagnosis of an inoperable small cell carcinoma, a very aggressive form of cancer, in the lung which had also spread to her liver. Fortunately, tests showed that no further spreading had occurred to other parts of her body. Almost immediately, Julia started rounds of chemotherapy 3 days in a row for one week then repeated 3 weeks later for 3 straight months. After her first two chemotherapy sessions, the tumors in her lung had started to shrink. Throughout the entire treatment, Julia remained smiley, optimistic, and active in daily life. Although she lost her hair and dealt with side effects of chemo, Julia continued to work and hang out with friends and be the loveable person that she had always been.

In July 2012, the tumors had stopped shrinking. A few weeks later, she found more small surface tumors around her body. Julia immediately moved to a stronger type of chemo to combat the new tumors. While Julia had minimal symptoms in her initial rounds of chemo, her new chemo now leaves her with often very harsh symptoms such as extreme body aches, numbness and nausea. To help curb some of these symptoms, keep her body strong, and complement chemo treatments in shrinking her tumors, Julia and her family have been using all kinds of alternative treatments: energy healing, acupuncture and Eastern medicine.

Since August 2012, Julia has faced an increasingly uphill battle. New chemo mixtures have been administered and, although they were effective initially, eventually she would have to switch chemos again. In December 2012, Julia went to the hospital with severe stomach pain and pancreatitis. Fortunately, after a few days, the infection cleared. In January 2013, Julia was treated with the harshest chemotherapy yet and the stomach pain returned. 

By early March 2013, Julia had checked herself back in to the hospital. After 3 weeks in the hospital, doctors had ceased chemotherapy because Julia was too week. She received radiation to help stop the growth of the tumors and relieve some pain but this also proved to be ineffective. Now, Julia is fighting this battle from home. She is regaining her strength and her family has used everything they have--financially and emotionally--to keep fighting for her.

All donations will be used for Julia's clinic bills, chemo treatment co-pays, prescriptions, possible future clinical trial fees and other expenses that Julia has incurred while battling this aggressive disease. Julia and her family are investigating all treatments possible--medically, alternatively and clinically--to help her beat cancer. HELP JULIA FIGHT!

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