Fight the Good Fight, Help Samantha Johansen Knockout Cancer

For: Samantha Jo Johansen
Orlando, FL
Organizer: Frederick Johansen
$85,855
of $100,000 goal.
Raised by 721 donors
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The Story

After years of trying to have a baby, Samantha and Fred Johansen’s prayers were answered. 

Frederick Knox was born on November 4, 2016.  Samantha is tough, but tiny – so carrying an 8lb + baby wasn’t easy (carrying babies in general isn’t easy!).  Surprisingly, symptoms and pains that were associated with pregnancy didn’t go away as expected. Just 7 weeks after Knox’s birth, tests revealed a tumor. Days later, Sam was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer with numerous metastatic tumors on her liver. 


Family, church family, friends and colleagues know that Sam is a ray of sunshine. Her outer beauty is nothing compared to her amazing kindness, compassion and selflessness. She is joyful and loving – and she is determined to fight AND beat this. 

Sam is deeply loved by so many people. Now is the time she needs your love, prayers and support as she undergoes treatment. First and foremost, please pray for Sam, her new baby, Fred and her family. Second believe in Sam and her strength to kick this awful disease. And finally, please consider providing financial support – in any amount – to help the Johansen family with lost wages, travel and other unexpected expenses related to Sam’s treatment.

You can support Sam by making a donation. Please encourage your friends and family to do the same by sharing this page widely and frequently. Your generosity will mean everything to Samantha, her family, and friends.

A note from Sam….

Everyone has a story... this is just a chapter in mine. It’s a surreal feeling as a 33-year-old healthy and active woman hearing you have stage 4 Colorectal Cancer.  Barely 2 months after giving birth to our son, Knox.

Countless thoughts, scenarios and feelings run through your mind as you try to piece it all together. This however, I know to be true... I serve a big God, one that saves, one that heals and one that has a plan for my life. So as I begin the fight of my life, all I can ask for are your prayers, encouragement, love and support – not just for me, but for my husband Fred, our newborn baby Knox and the rest of our family and friends.

I know that second to my faith the thing that will get me through this is my army of family and friends. Just over the past few weeks I am overwhelmed with the amount of energy, time and dedication my team has put into getting me the best possible treatment. 

Fred, my Husband, my Warrior, my Best Friend – God has put you in my life for such a time as this.  Words cannot express how hopeful and inspired I am as I watch you cope with this.   I know that our love will only grow stronger as we walk this road hand-in-hand. I wouldn't want anyone else in my corner.  

Sabrina, my cup runneth over, you are my Sister, and I love you so much.  

Jess, I cannot find the words to express the love I have for you.  Our friendship is everything to me.  

Kim, you never cease to amaze me. I am so incredibly blessed to have you in my life not just as a boss, but as a friend and mentor.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do for me. My church family at Discovery Church Southwest and DC Students, all your love, encouragement, prayers, dinners, cards, etc. are taken to heart – I love you. 

To the rest of my family, friends and community... this is not going to be easy. Thank you for your support, making me laugh, getting me out of the house...Together we will fight the good fight, and our Faith will sustain us. 

God did not intend us to do life alone, so with you all by my side, I know we will get through this.  


I can do all this through him who gives me strength
.- Philippians 4:13

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 17, 2017

Posted on May 17, 2017

The Impossible Is God’s Ideal
by Chuck Swindoll

Exodus 14:13

I'd like to underline a major truth in this world of ours that I don't pretend to understand. Here it is: The best framework for the Lord God to do His most ideal work is when things are absolutely impossible and we feel totally unqualified to handle it.


That's His favorite circumstance. Those are His ideal working conditions.


God does His most magnificent work when the situation seems totally impossible from a human point of view, and we feel absolutely unprepared and unable to do anything about it, yet our eyes are on Him. . . . That's when God rolls up His big sleeves and says, "Step back out of the way a moment, and watch Me work." Time after time, He brings us to our absolute end and then proves Himself faithful.


That, my friend, is the story of the Bible in a nutshell.


I’d like to thank everyone for your continued love and prayers. You’re the most incredible support system – I’m so humbled and blessed. 


After THE most emotional week of my 34 years on this earth, I’d like to share with you our answered prayers and what’s about to take place next week.


Fred and I just returned from Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) in NYC where the doctors laid out a complete surgical plan to get the disease down to a manageable state.  The plan includes the following surgical procedures at MSK:

1.     Insert an Inferior Vena Cava Filter below my heart to guard against blood clots

2.     Perform a rectal tumor resection

3.     Remove my gall bladder

4.     Treat my liver metastases with HAI therapy  (https://www.mskcc.org/videos/treating-liver-metastases-hepatic-arterial-infusion-therapy)

5.     15 days after surgery, load the HAI pump with the cancer-killing drugs

6.     30 days after surgery, restart regular chemotherapy (in Orlando)

7.     Six months after surgery, return to MSK to resect my liver to eliminate those tumors.


While the length of this list is intimidating, this is the best possible news that could have come out of our trip to MSK and a direct answer to prayer.  The doctors now, for the first time, have a plan to get this disease under control.  


We will be traveling back to New York on 5/21 to prepare for the plan shown above. 


How am I feeling? I’m terrified. Experiencing my first Mother’s Day put it all in perspective this past weekend – it’s a game changer. BUT it’s causing me to fight even that much harder. Plus, I have the most INCREDIBLE husband. There are no words to explain how thankful I am for all you’ve done and will continue to do for Knox and I. You are my great love story.


So, please pray for the following:

-All the medical personnel

-Great surgical outcomes

-Peace & Strength

-Accommodations in NYC

-Grandparents as they take care of Knox (he's a handful lol) 


#SamStrong


“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10


Posted on March 2, 2017

Posted on March 2, 2017

Faithful you have been and faithful you will be.

Wow, what a world-wind the past couple of weeks have been. As I sat in my hospital bed, watching the my nurse hook me up to multiple IV bags of the newest chemo cocktail,  I felt so encouraged by all the texts, phone calls, personal visits, messages, posts, scripture and songs I’ve received.  Words just can't convey how appreciative I am.  Please keep em’ coming!

First the good news.  Dr. Kayaleh came in yesterday morning and told us my CEA Tumor Marker is down to 8 (from 22)!! So THANK YOU for all the prayers. The great healer is at work. Amen!

Here’s a quick update on the last month or so. 

After my first round of chemo,  Fred and I decided to make a trip to New York to visit one of the most sought after colorectal oncologists in the country, Dr. Kemeny at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She called our local oncologist and recommended using a more agressive chemo cocktail because of the nature of my disease and the fact that I am young and strong.   Bless her heart.  ;-)

So we moved on to round 2 which gave me a nice swift kick in the butt. We've been admitted to UFHCC 4x so far due to chemo related symptoms.  After the last round, the Dr.'s here agreed to pause the treatment plan for a week.  This is the best I've felt in a while.  I’m ready to fight again!

As they administer Round 3, I feel encouraged, I have an appetite (which is a huge deal), I feel strong, and at peace because HE is able and I KNOW I will be healed. I am however,  very aware of the vicious effects of the chemo – so I ask for your continued prayers and encouragement. 

I’ll have 1 more round on March 13, then Fred and I plan to make another trip to New York for restaging. At that point Dr. Kemeny and my oncologist here in Orlando, Dr. Kayaleh will determine the gameplan moving forward. 

In the meantime, thank you again for all the love, prayers and support. We are forever grateful.


Posted on January 21, 2017

Posted on January 21, 2017

Just want to share with you a family photo-shoot we did downtown on Mon. 1/16.  The same amazingly talented photographer from our crazy wedding set it up, thank you Kristen.  I need to personally thank my support team- a strong group of men that are walking this road with me.  The fellowship sustains me.   

First things first,  Knox is a special little boy.  

He's beautiful, and perfect, and a bit dramatic, but still just the greatest blessing.   

Samantha will undergo 4 rounds of chemo treatment.  

With the 4th round scheduled to be administered in Mid-March.  

Rest assured Sam will get the best care possible. 

We live humbled by the Support, Love, Hope and Prayer bestowed daily, sometimes minute-to-minute.

FJ

p.s. Sam and I just cried watching Aspect Lombard's video.  Well done.  

Here's a message from Sam:

With one week of chemo behind me, I wanted to give everyone an update on how I’m feeling and what’s been going on. So we decided to do what the Doctors were recommending, stay local where my support team and community is.  Currently I’m seeking chemotherapy at UF Cancer Center (I know, this came as a shock to us too, lol) here in Orlando - used to be MD Anderson. Essentially each chemotherapy treatment is on a 3-week cycle. I went in for chemo last Friday, I’ll take pills for 2 weeks, take 1 week off then start over.    

So how am I feel physically?

I have days that I’m very tired even lethargic, but then others where I’ll have the energy to work out, go shopping, clean, etc. It just really all depends. I’m thankful to say the only pain/discomfort I’ve had so far is back pain but that is alleviated by taking medication.

Emotionally...  I am overwhelmed with the amount of support everyone has given me. I am humbled by the donations given and promise to be a good steward.  God has provided a Peace that surpasses all understanding.

So overall I’m blessed, and so incredibly thankful for you all.

Fight the Good Fight.

Sam




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