#HelpMelanieCervantes Fight Cancer

For: Melanie Cervantes
San Leandro, CA
Organizer: Gina Acebo & Morning Star Gali
#HelpMelanieCervantes Fight Cancer (Melanie Cervantes)
of $70,000 goal.
Raised by 665 donors
67% Complete

The Story

As many of you may know, Melanie Cervantes, our friend, movement sister and cultural warrior, recently shared that a nodule has been found in her right lung after experiencing heart palpitations. Despite a battery of tests and a bronchoscopy procedure, she now faces a biopsy to determine if there is evidence of cancer, and if there is no evidence of cancer, there is a possibility of undergoing a lobectomy which would remove one of the three lobes in her right lung.(Update: Melanie has been diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. She has a carcinoid tumor in her right lung and will need to undergo treatment).

The physical and emotional stress of this health set back has been extremely challenging for Melanie, but more so because she has not had enough strength to continue working as an independent artist, which means zero income generation at this time. With so many extra and hidden costs, Melanie and her partner, Jesus, are confronted with a significant change to their out-of-pocket expenses as they deal with insurance, medical treatments, day-to-day living expenses, and most importantly, time to manage this new reality. When Melanie made the decision to go independent and to devote her life full time to her movement art making, she probably never thought that she would have to stop working for months in order to confront a medical battle.

Here’s where you come in: Melanie needs our help and support now more than ever to help her weather this medical storm, to give her the necessary time to focus her energy on healing, and to not worry about how to live day to day for the next 6 months. We can help her to do this.

This page has been set up to help Melanie not have to worry about generating an income in the midst of this frightening medical challenge. Any amount, large or small, makes a difference. Won’t you join me and chip in to help Melanie?

We know that we are so very grateful to have worked with Melanie and to be moved by her cultural contributions to our shared movements. Let’s show her that we have her back and stand in solidarity with her as she moves towards health and well-being.  It is going to take all of us with prayer, love, strength, and support to help you her through this.

Thank you all for your love and generosity in supporting Melanie. 

Sending you much love, blessings and gratitude,

Gina Acebo and Morning Star Gali

With your donation to Melanie, the secondary contribution to YouCaring is optional, you can edit the amount to $0.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 11, 2017


Posted on June 11, 2017


I continue to carve relief images of cacti as I experience the waves of emotion that come with my lung cancer diagnosis. One of the surprising gifts that this cancer has given me is a deep well of gratitude for the people in my life and in my community who are showing me such compassion and empathy. This feeling makes my heart swell like never before.

Through this struggle in my life I am learning new depths of gratitude. I was able to get the name of an amazing doctor through the network of the surgeon I have befriended on Instagram. This new doctor is amazing! Compassionate, honest, patient and empathetic. After my conversation with him the fatigue that has been weighing so heavily on my body lifted, I slept a solid nights sleep and felt cheery and optimistic. And in the past week I have connected with an amazing social worker who works at Kaiser, again through Instagram (not the official channels) who has helped me navigate the maze that is Kaiser when I feel desperate and sunken into misery. So many folks have been offering their support and it has really taught me so much about what it looks and feels like to experience solidarity from others. And thank you to everyone who has continued to talk about, share and contribute to the fundraiser. Knowing we have a pot of resources that will allow me the time to heal relieves some of the stress I have been carrying. Cancer has given me a gift- a  well of gratitude and it is all so unexpected.

Posted on May 27, 2017


Posted on May 27, 2017

Dear family, friends and supporters,

I want to give thanks to everyone who has sent me good energy, made a contribution and shared this fundraiser as I have gone through a multiple step process of diagnosis with my doctors. Instead of celebrating my 40th birthday this year, a few weeks ago, I spent most of the day dealing with the avalanche of emotions that came with the possibility of having cancer and imagining what it could mean for my life. Yesterday, I finally received the results of my biopsy and learned I have a somewhat rare type of lung cancer.

Carcinoid tumors are slow growing which is a good thing! The team of doctors that have been conducting the tests believe that the tumor is limited/local/early stage but I have to undergo another scan to be sure. I will be meeting with more doctors soon to determine if surgery or other treatments are the best next steps. I will also take action on the sage advice to seek a second opinion as well as alternative parallel treatments.

As I gear up to fight for my health and my future it’s hard not to worry about how we will make it through the real financial challenge of fighting this disease and not being able to work. The expensive co-pays, consultations from out of network specialists, alternative treatments, specials foods and the regular costs of living all add up. While I have a good insurance plan at the moment it will only last through the end of summer as it is continuation coverage that is available to me through my former employer. I worry about the future and being able to smoothly transition from this plan and continue having access healthcare with several preexisting conditions including cancer (thanks a lot Gran Cheetoh).

I’ve always believed that we can solve big problems collectively and that together we are capable of truly transformational change. Will you chip in and help me win this fight so that I can continue to serve my community, to love, to laugh and to live?

With love and gratitude,

About the Organizer

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