Top
$0 of $10,000
0%
0 donations

This fundraiser ended on 11/22/10

Create a fundraiser like this

Brandie is a 32 year old mother with a cancer so rare it doesn't even have a name. We're raising money for her to travel for treatment.

A few weeks before Christmas last year (2009), I sat with my friend eating sushi having a drink and laughing almost non-stop as we talked. We never could have imagined then how quickly her life was about to change.
She had been complaining of shoulder pain and couldn't seem to figure out how it started or why it wasn't getting any better. At dinner that night she told me that she had an appointment with her doctor in a few days to check it out. She'd been feeling fatigued and thought she might be coming down with something. She actually got sick at the restaurant but we chalked it up to a bad choice of pairing sushi with that ridiculous fruity drink she ordered. She went home early with plans to get some rest.
That was a Monday. Tuesday she was feeling worse and sure she was coming down with the flu. Thursday she saw her doctor, who took an x-ray of her shoulder. Friday she was asked to return for a CT scan to further investigate a dark spot at the edge of the picture. Within 24 hours she was admitted to the UAB hospital and later told that she had a 5 cm cancerous tumor growing in her chest. The tumor was pressing on a nerve and causing the shoulder pain.
Unsure if she would be home for Christmas, everything changed. Brandie is only 32 years old. She and husband, Richard have a 4 year old daughter, Emma. Since December, all of Brandie's energy has been spent fighting for her life and trying to find answers about her condition. She was forced to quit her job and Richard had to increase his project work so they could survive on a single income and cope with constantly increasing medical bills
In the months since her diagnosis Brandie has seen more doctors than any of us can count and been given several diagnoses, all of which have been retracted. She has been poked with needles to the point that her arms were black and blue all over. She's been cut open, pumped full of poison, drained of her blood and forced to repeat the details of her story to an infinite stream of over-confident interns. She has been in and out of the hospital, had multiple blood transfusions and received months of chemotherapy. She has been in constant pain in spite of the heavy narcotics prescribed to her (most of which would render a grown man useless, if even alive).
In desperate need of a second opinion, Brandie found an oncologist at St. Vincent's Bruno Cancer Center this spring and has since undergone treatment there. He's never seen a cancer like hers in his career. Her scans have been sent all over the country and no one seems to be able to identify this cancer. The current diagnosis is "primary unknown carcinoma" (even though it is not a true carcinoma, that's the closest thing to relate this mass to). The tumor itself is a "poorly differentiated mediastinal mass" which basically means she has a big cancerous tumor in her chest.
Brandie recently concluded a 6-week treatment cycle that required her to go to St. Vincent's every day, Monday through Friday to receive radiation treatments and also receive chemotherapy once a week. At the conclusion of this treatment Brandie and her doctor hoped the radiation would have shrunk the tumor enough to be operable. Unfortunately that was not the case. The tumor has actually measured 9cm at last scan. He talked to her about Hospice and changing her goal to "staying comfortable.”
Not willing to give up, Brandie traveled to national cancer centers like M.D. Anderson and the Mayo Clinic in October. The doctors at MD Anderson refused to take on Brandie’s case due to the fact that “they just can’t help her”. She spent another week at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN meeting with her oncologist and a team of surgeons. Unfortunately, they too concluded there is nothing that can be done surgically to remove this mass and they will now need to “keep an eye on it to make sure the cancer cells do not continue to spread throughout her body.”
At this time Brandie has seen several of the best doctors in the country all of which said they are unable to help her. She is now starting a Holistic and Homeopathic approach to trick her body into curing itself. Of course, standard health insurance does not cover these types of treatments and they run in the thousands of dollars. This is why we ask your help in funding Brandie’s new treatments as well as helping to pay the upwards of $50,000 in medical bills already accumulated.
Team Brandie is a group of friends trying to save another friend's life. We're doing everything we can think of but we can't do it alone. We need your help! If there is a doctor or treatment out there somewhere that can make some sense of all this, we have to try every avenue imaginable. Your donation could be the difference in getting her to the specialists or new treatment program that could ultimately save her life.

With Faith, Love and Hope, Team-Brandie
View more

Supporter activity

Login to post a comment
or Login