Imagine you’re only a few weeks away from your 50th birthday -- a momentous occasion that is usually full of celebrations with family and friends. But instead of planning for how to honor that milestone, you are wrestling with asking for the financial help you desperately need to cover the next breast cancer treatment.
This is a glimpse into the true and heartbreaking reality that a woman named “Julie” is currently living. She is a single mom, battling breast cancer who hasn’t had treatment in a little over two years. She struggled to put her pride aside and ask us for help. Julie’s name is a pseudonym, but she and her story are real. She learned about HER too eight months ago and never once asked for help because she believed there were women that needed it more than her. She has deferred treatment for the last two years due to her financial struggle and instead, has relied solely on diet, supplements, and other readily available alternative methods. The last time she received substantial treatment was in December of 2020 and was only able to do so with the help of someone she refers to as “an angel.” Julie took out a loan a couple of years ago to help with living expenses as her work is sporadic, but her situation was exacerbated when her son’s father stopped paying child support almost a year ago and simultaneously stopped her health insurance coverage.
During our hour-long phone call with Julie, we discussed in depth her current situation and asked all the important questions, including: “What stage are you?” “When I was first diagnosed in January 2019, I was Stage 3, when I came back from treatment in 2020, I was down to Stage 2 but during my last scan this past January I learned I’m back at Stage 3 and I am noticing disturbing changes in my body.” “Like what?” we asked. “The tumor is ulcerating and starting to come through my skin, the tumor is practically taking up my whole breast, there is discharge coming from my nipple and I am out of breath sometimes which is strange for me, and I am in pain. All of these were signs that it is much worse, and I couldn’t keep suffering in silence or wait until I could afford treatment on my own. I knew I needed to ask for help.” After hearing all of this, it was clear action needed to be taken immediately and so we’ve kicked our ongoing fundraising efforts into high gear to help her NOW!
Women like Julie are the reason HER too was created: women caught in a perfect storm of financial need, marginalized women, women of limited financial means, moms, women who otherwise would, and do, fall through the cracks of the breast cancer fight simply because they cannot afford treatment. Something that should be a universal given human right!
After we told Julie that we are here to help her, being the fighter she is, Julie responded, “Thank you, I am still going to reach out to other people to see if I can get the money together.” This is a strong woman who has held things together as best as she can on her own, but the truth is she can’t do this alone anymore, she needs our support!
We need to raise more for her treatment and we are on a tight timeline.As you know, every little bit helps so we are grateful for any amount that you can contribute toward Julie’s treatment. Even just sharing this email with someone you think can donate is appreciated.