Fight the Good Fight, Help Samantha Johansen Knockout Cancer

For: Samantha Jo Johansen
Orlando, FL
Organizer: Frederick Johansen
Fight the Good Fight, Help Samantha Johansen Knockout Cancer (Samantha Jo Johansen)
of $100,000 goal.
Raised by 814 donors
96% Complete

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 November 26, 2017


Posted on November 26, 2017

Psalms 95:2 says "Let us come before Him with Thanksgiving..."

As we celebrated Thanksgiving - a time of reflection, appreciation, family and love, I'd personally like to THANK each and every one of you for the way you've impacted my life this past year. During a time of turmoil and pain, you prayed, encouraged, donated, sent cards, messages, emails... you called, you sent thoughtful gifts, you shared our story. On behalf of Fred, Knox, Cassius and both the Seidman and Johansen families we appreciate you all so very much!

"Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security." 
 Jeremiah 33:6

Last month Fred and I spent 10+ days in NYC for a scheduled liver resection and ileostomy reversal. Well, the surgeon and God had other plans. Although the reversal did happen we were told the liver resection would be postponed until Dec. I won't get into the details, but as you can image Fred and I were very disappointed. BUT I was reminded that God does have a plan for me, plans to prosper me, not to harm me but to give me hope and a future. So... we press on and will head back to "the city that never sleeps" on December 5 for my liver surgery scheduled for December 8. It will be a long and emotional couple of weeks, but we hope to be back home just in time to celebrate Christmas with Knox and our families. 

I speak for both Fred and I when I say, this has been, by far, the hardest year of our lives. I have good days and bad days, days of discouragement, weakness, worry and doubt... days where I want to crawl into my shell and be left alone. But someway, somehow God has brought me through and given me the strength and peace I've needed each and everyday. I tell you this because the struggle is REAL. Life is hard and so very fragile - so don't take each other or your health for granted. 

With that, we humbly ask for you to continue donating (not only does cancer suck, it’s darn expensive!), following our story (I hope to impact your life just as you have mine) and praying for the following:

- A successful liver resection!

- Dr. D' Angelica's team of doctors and nurses

- Strength and Healing

- Pre-surgical testing comes back clear 

- Peace and Patience

- GiGi as she takes care of Knox and Cassius (her 2 boyfriends)

- Safe travels to and from NYC

- Thoughtful and kind nurses

- A discharge date that would get us home in time for Christmas 

We love and appreciate you all, more than you'll ever know. If you'd like a Christmas card from The Johansens please send Fred or I your mailing address.

Fred: [email protected]

Sam: [email protected]




Posted on October 24, 2017


Posted on October 24, 2017

It wasn’t that long ago that our prayer was, as opposed to a future of endless chemo cocktail treatments, the doctors would craft a plan that gave Samantha a chance for a long and healthy life.  Now, not only have the medical professionals at Memorial Sloan Kettering crafted that plan, the plan is working.

On this Friday, October 27th, my beautiful, courageous wife alongside her dedicated medical team at MSK, will mount another offensive in this war with Cancer.  This surgery represents a significant milestone for Samantha, and for all who love her.  

It was less than 6 months ago, on a Sunday morning in May when our Discovery Church family laid hands on Sam and I and prayed for Sam’s healing and protection a couple hours before boarding a plane for NYC.   Sam was scheduled for her first surgery since diagnosis. 


We all, who love you, laughed with hopeful hearts as you and your BFF ‘footloosed’ into the operating room, singing Hope & Joy in the face of fear.  

We all, who love you, shed many tears that night.   We waited in anguish as you sacrificed your organs, muscle, flesh and blood at the altar of medicine in a war with this disease.   In the early morning hours, you came into consciousness in a dimly lit corner of the MSK’s PACU room.   Just hearing your whisper was enough to send our hearts soaring with gratitude and praise.  

Samantha Jo, your unwavering faith, strength, and perseverance has touched the hearts, minds and souls of so many.  Whose light shines brightest in their darkest hour?  Yours does.Quite extraordinary in this fallen world.

We all, who love you, are witnesses to your story.  You have fought through so much adversity, so much heartache.  My love, you have endured so, so much just to get here.  

In-between championship rounds, in the biggest fight of your life - fighting with everything - for everything - Samantha Jo, took Cancer for a little walk down the runway in New York City Fashion Week… You did that.

AND we know that God is weaving His story, working through you, in us and for us.  Using his children to bless us.  The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is irrefutable.  Through the darkest times we seek Him.  In the midst of torturous suffering – He meets us.  His love, peace, hope, grace and wisdom always within reach.  Have you noticed?  This year we have experienced so many life-giving moments of pure joy – more than all our other years combined – in the worst year of our lives.


We are so humbled and grateful for your financial support, cards, care packages, dinners and to everyone who has reached out with love, encouragement and hope.  To watch our baby Knox take his first steps and leap into Sam’s embrace…To place him into his mother’s arms at night so they can rest in each other… To be able to do life with Sam, one day at a time, suddenly aware of all the blessings, in a river of selfless and unconditional love.   These are the moments that have been made possible by you all.   Your continued love, encouragement and support sustain us.  On behalf of my family, thank you. 

We leave for NYC in a few hours, Wednesday and Thursday will consist of pre-op tests, surgeon consults & consents, paperwork etc.  On Friday October 27th, a very dedicated team of Memorial Sloan Kettering medical professionals will spearhead TEAM #SAMSTRONG’s offensive against this ‘Emperor of All Maladies’.

So, on that day, on behalf of my Queen Samantha Jo and our miracle baby Knox, I humbly and gratefully ask all that read this to pray for Samantha, pray for our family, pray for the Doctors and Nurses at MSK.  But mostly, pray for the kind of healing that only HE can bestow.

My prayer is that 10 years from now, Knox will learn life’s greatest lessons: about love and courage, selflessness, kindness, compassion and faith through afternoon talks with his Mama.     

We'll be in NYC for 3-4 weeks - eclipsing the 100-hospital nights mark for the year. We’ll miss Knox's first birthday – on 11/4/17.  Samantha’s recovery will be a long, painful, arduous, physically, mentally and emotionally taxing process - again…

But we may just get a few more decades together as a family.

And that's all that really matters.


A Note from Samantha:

"What do you mean, 'If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes."    Mark 9:23

Looking back, at this point in May my mind was stuck on a loop of endless terrifying thoughts about the upcoming surgery.  Fear & anxiety ran wild through my thoughts.  I was enslaved to this deep, frightening voice that only left the day I went under the knife.   This time, God has blessed me with an overwhelming sense of peace... or maybe He's just kept me so busy this week I haven't had time to think about it. Either way - I'm thankful. 

As the 27th quickly approaches, I ask for your continued prayers for these specific things:

  • D'Angelica is able to remove ALL the cancerous areas of my liver
  • Paty is able to reverse the ileostomy
  • Wisdom, patience and stamina for both Dr. D'Angelica, & Dr. Paty and their teams
  • All pre-surgical testing goes smoothly
  • Gigi & Judy as they care for Knox... and Cassius
  • Peace in the Chaos

Fred and I appreciate all the love and support more than you'll ever know. I will continue to fight and be the light as God continues to bless us.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...



Posted on September 13, 2017


Posted on September 13, 2017

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials.”

– James 1:2

Don’t get over them. Don’t rush through them or past them. Rejoice in them.



To be completely open, I am struggling to rejoice in this trial.  Even over the past week with so much to look forward to, I’ve been feeling somewhat depressed... why? And to be honest I don’t think I’ve dealt with these emotions very well - I tend to shut down and internalize things until I can somewhat communicate them days later. Thankfully, I was reminded by a good friend today that I can’t clear my head because Satan is fighting strong for my joy. This is a mental battle – one of which I’ve chosen to tell Satan “Not this week. Not this heart. Not this body. No way, no how.” So as I press on, reminded every day that I am His light, I will claim Psalm 40:1-2 “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”


So, this year, in the midst of all the turmoil and easily the most difficult year of my life, God has not only made one of my dreams come true - He's basically taken this opportunity to remind me that He alone is God and can do all things.

I could not be more exited to announce that on September 16 at 6pm, I've been chosen to walk in New York Fashion Week! My bucket list consisted of just being a spectator... but nope, God had bigger plans. I now get to walk in a show that couldn't be more special to me. Stay tuned for pictures and behind the scenes updates!


“We will not know whether the HAI pump is working and the tumors are shrinking until our next CT scan in NYC in September.” (YouCaring Update 5- 7/18/17)

Back in late May two surgical teams at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC proceeded to remove the tumor in my colon and attempted a resection of the entire right lobe of my liver.   Although, Dr. Patty successfully resected the primary tumor with good margins, the liver surgeon decided against a resection of the right lobe as my left lobe “looked too beat up” to sustain me.   Instead a Codman HAI pump was placed in the space previously occupied by my gallbladder.  My oncologist, Dr. Kemeny stated that she would order another CT scan after 3 consecutive monthly HAI pump infusions.   So there we were, Fred and I sitting next to each other in Midtown Manhattan – a 1000 miles from home – not speaking out loud but fully communicating. 

And wouldn’t ya know!  The latest scan showed a good tumor response.  Of the multiple tumors on my liver they all shrunk by 20-50%.  YAY hockey puck shaped pump device in my stomach!  Dr. Kemeny, satisfied with my progress arranged a consultation with a new liver surgeon on 10/3.   

Enter center stage:

Michael I. D'Angelica, MD, FACS Surgeon

Enid A. Haupt Chair in Surgery;

Director, Hepatopancreatobiliary Fellowship Program

Director, Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program

“As a surgical oncologist, I personally perform approximately ~100 hepatopancreatobiliary (operations annually.  For context, a 100 liver operations a year is more than what most hospitals in the U.S. perform. Many patients come to me with cancer that has spread, or metastasized, from the colon to the liver. The tumors that I treat are rare and many forms were once thought to be incurable. There have been periods of time where these operations were thought to be too dangerous and should not be performed.   The liver is a complex organ in a complex area and major complications are easy to run in to.  Therefore, only surgeons who do them routinely can do them safely – and that’s been well established. 

The best days for me as a surgeon are those operations that offer patients a good chance at long-term survival and, in many cases, cure.” 

You can read his bio here:

The treatment is working and paths are being prepared and we praise God for that!  God is moving and answering prayers which we are so humbled by and thankful for.

The road ahead will bring more blood, expenses and heart ache.  On behalf of our family and friends, we sincerely appreciate your support, prayers and financial contributions during this incredibly difficult time.  With God’s provision of Hope, Peace and Love we move forward together, trusting Him, one day at a time. 

Here is a brief list of how your donations are being used:

- Flights to NYC at least once a month for treatment

- Accommodations in NYC

-Cancer Center for fluids 3x a week

- Bi-weekly doctor visits

- Medications

- Surgeries

- Since Jan 1st, Fred and I have spent 80+ nights in hospitals

- Providing for our family and our 9th month old son, Knox

With Hope, Peace and Love 

Sam, Fred, Knox and Cassius (our French Bulldog)

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