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This fundraiser ended on 02/28/13

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Zenny Pappas is battling terminal stage IV pancreatic cancer. Please help her continue on in her fight against this devastating disease.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about someone named Zenny.  She’s in her 11th month of an ongoing battle with terminal metastatic stage IV pancreatic cancer.  She’s a senior.  She’s a widow.  She's my mom.  And she’s my hero.

For those who don’t know, pancreatic cancer is rare and lethal.  Of the 38,000 new people diagnosed with it every year, tragically about 36,000 results in death.

It's known as the silent killer because it usually spreads before ever being detected.  The average life expectancy for patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is three to six months.  Only three percent survive to five years.

My mom was diagnosed with terminal stage IV pancreatic cancer just days after her birthday.  She was not a candidate for surgery because the tumor in her pancreas had already spread to her liver.

You might be familiar with the stories of actor Patrick Swayze, Apple founder Steve Jobs, Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch, or members of former President Jimmy Carter’s family, who have all publicly battled this same pancreatic cancer.

My mom’s been receiving chemotherapy continuously, almost every week since her diagnosis 11 months ago.  It’s what keeps her alive, and keeps the cancer from growing.

Her treatment schedule now consists of chemotherapy every day, for 14 straight days, then one week off to recover and rest.  This cycle then repeats continuously.

Her courage, her strength, and her grace are just amazing.

But to say these past 11 months have been emotionally, physically, and financially devastating would be an understatement of enormous proportions.  It goes far beyond that. 

My mom worked until she was no longer able to.  I do everything I can to take care of her.  I'm the only family she has.  But all resources have been completely exhausted now.  And insurance was never enough to cover the astronomical costs of treatments and associated costs from the beginning.

It’s impossible to not worry, I know she does.  And financial hardship makes fighting the vulgarity of cancer even more grueling, and more inhumane.

But not a single time have I heard my mom complain about any of it.  Not one time.  I’ve seen her cry of course.  But I’ve seen her laugh far more often.  My mom doesn’t mourn cancer.  She fights it.  And for every precious moment of life she has, I know she is profoundly grateful.

To be sure, she’s always been like that.  It’s who she is.  And even the scourge of cancer can’t take that from her.  I’ve honestly never witnessed someone with as much heart as my mom has, on so many levels.

But she needs help going forward in her battle against this cancer.  And so I hope this page and pictures and video from the past 11 months give you a glimpse of who she is, how hard she continues to fight every single day, and why she needs your help.

Your donations will go towards Zenny's medical treatments and associated costs, and allow her to continue her fight for life. Thank you for your support, your encouragement, and your love.

And from Zenny:

“Give your loved one an extra kiss tonight. Spoil your kids more. Tell your family and friends how grateful you are they’re in your life. The love of family and friends is the most precious gift you’ll ever know.

And don’t ever give up.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your kindness, your generosity, and your prayers. It means everything to me.” 



Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
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