This is my beautiful friend Christina. Some of you may know her as sapphsmum. Some may know her as Mom. She's a lot more than any of these things. She's a photographer and a poet, she's a wife and a lover, she's an activist and a humanist and one of the most generous, loving people you would ever have the pleasure of calling a friend. She is also very sick and what is happening to Christina and her family - my family - is something I hope none of you ever have the misfortune to experience.
In August 2003 Christina was diagnosed with a very rare cancer of the salivary gland. The January before she was diagnosed with cancer she had pneumonia, then from March of 2003 until March 2004 she underwent 5 major surgeries. Two of those surgeries were for the cancer in front of her left ear. In addition to the cancer, she has been diagnosed with asthma, Graves's Disease and Sarcoidosis.
She is in a great deal of chronic pain and profoundly tired everyday and is for the better part of the day bedridden for which she now has to be confined to a hospital bed for the majority of the day. Due to all these serious health issues she is permanently and totally disabled and unable to work to help the family finances. In a period of less than two years, they have travelled to the Mayo Cancer Clinic over 22 times. The cost of travel was exhorbitantly expensive, and was out of pocket in order to pay for gas, food, and hotel rooms. Christina's husband of 33 years (Larry, her sweetheart since age 16) lost two jobs due to downsizing, along with a very big loss in pay within the last 4 years, and that coupled with her high medical bills with their co-pays and deductibles along with having to pay extremely high monthly COBRA payments while Larry was unemployed has bankrupted them. As of this writing, Larry (through no fault of his own) is only able to secure part time work which is just simply not enough - let alone the fact that you can only be afforded insurance benefits through full time work, you have to go through a probationary period before the benefits become active in many cases, and that's not even addressing the issue of preexisting conditions.
Larry, Christina and their family are desperately trying to keep up with expenses so Christina may continue going to Mayo Clinic where she has the best chance catching the cancer when it returns, treating it so she can survive and getting care for her list of 23 medical problems that need ongoing treatment. Imagine if the person I was writing about was YOUR mother, YOUR wife/husband/partner, YOUR child, YOUR friend - then imagine being that person or a loved one and not only being forced to suffer the pain and agony of disease but the systematic erosion of everything you ever worked a lifetime to have for your family.
She needs a staff of doctors working together to keep up with the cancer which can return at anytime in her bones and lungs, and other health problems which require constant monitoring. Currently the Sarcoidosis is a tentative diagnosis as the doctors can not say with 100% certainty that it is not cancer in her lungs. The only way that could be accomplished is with a surgical biopsy of the enlarged lymph nodes in her lungs, and they would have to biopsy every lymph node to be sure none had cancer which is not feasible. So she continues to go back for CT scans of her lungs to check for growth of the enlarged lymph nodes which at this point will be the only way of knowing IF the cancer has already returned to her lungs.
With the money put out just for the traveling costs of going to Mayo Clinic they could have taken the trip to Europe they had saved for until Christina was diagnosed with cancer. She has a very complicated medical case including the cancer, and her Endrocronologist at Mayo Clinic says it will be very hard if not nearly impossible to find another doctor to take on her medical care outside of Mayo Clinic in her home town because her health problems both overlap and new ones keep appearing to add to the already lengthy list they treat.
It is my profound belief that everyone reading this can make a difference for this family. If you are able to make a financial contribution, however big or small, every single bit helps. If you are unable to contribute financially, I'm certain someone you know can. The internet is a huge thing, and if I can get everyone reading this post to link it to their own LJ/blog/website, then hopefully others will do the same and more awareness can be made of the Hall family's situation and some relief can come to them. For my part, I'll be auctioning off some things on eBay and donating the proceeds raised to the family. I'll be making some of those swankly little box purses, random designs for auctions and custom ones for anyone who wants a custom piece. I'll be taking some of my photography and artwork and offering prints as well once I decide what to put up for sale. All of this will be detailed in an upcoming post next weekend, but for now, PLEASE REPOST THIS!
Bottom line, something has to be done and this is what I'm going to do. I spoke with her by phone on Friday and told her about this post, and also told her that she, Larry, & Jillian (her baby) are as much my family as Damien, Maggie, and Christi are. Please, PLEASE - help me help this family out. If nothing else, please copy & repost the code below to help raise awareness, even if you cannot help then there's a good chance someone will by your example!
(For an alternative to PayPal, and if you use the Amazon
Honor System more of your donation reaches Christina
because Amazon Honor System's fees are less than PayPal.)
To send a check or money order:
2793 East Mill Road
Byron, Illinois 61010
1. Right-click inside the text box above, press Ctrl + A to copy (Ctrl + C) all of the code.
2. Paste (Ctrl + V) into your own LJ or blog update portal or client, and post.
Here's what will appear in your post:
PLEASE READ AND REPOST THIS!
An urgent message from your neighborhood jesus_h_biscuit