In October 2010, my mother and very best friend was diagnosed with brain cancer. After a very hard fight, with lots of ups and downs, she passed away on February 23, 2011. Losing my mom was the hardest thing I've ever had to face but I know it does not begin to compare to what she had to endure. She was a young, vibrant 54-year-old who never got sick. She was healthy and strong. Watching this disease take its toll on her was devastating for our family. And, our experience dealing with the healthcare system in general was something that affected me in a profound way.
While undergoing intense treatment plans, my mom not only had to battle cancer and the physical and emotional pain that comes along with it, but we were all confronted with ongoing anxiety and frustrations while navigating the muddy waters of doctors, hospitals, health insurance providers, patient advocacy groups, and governmental assistance organizations. There was so much information out there, but it all seemed to be out of our grasp.
Despite all of the "resources" out there, few actually provided the help that we so desperately needed. While some organizations were good at connecting us with resources, there was a lack of actual hands-on assistance and follow-up. And, while household and medical bills continued to mount financial assistance was desperately needed.
After my mom’s death, I vowed that no one should have to wade their way through administrative nightmares, and endure added mental, physical, or financial stress while they are fighting a deadly disease. It is because of this that we started a charity in her name, to lend personal and financial support to cancer fighters and their families, so they can focus on one thing – surviving.
I am so thankful for Accelerate Brain Cancer and the other Brain Tumor organizations out there because they were the only groups who really gave us specific information we needed to know. This is why I choose to also help these charities because we must find a cure for this disease. I don’t want it to take another mom, dad, sister, brother or child.