Read Marci's Letter
I am very appreciative for the opportunity to apply for a grant from the Inner Circle Foundation. This should be the best time of my life. I am a 39-year old woman, have a tenured position as a high school special education teacher and just had my second child. I have a 7-year old and a 22-month old toddler. Three months after my son was born I noticed I was losing a significant amount of blood through my stool. After several trips to the ER and two missed diagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. This could not have been more devastating. I was still nursing my son at the time and to learn I would have to stop soon broke my heart. I was immediately sent into surgery in October of 2016 to remove the tumor from my colon, and then I was referred for aggressive chemotherapy. I started this aggressive round of chemo in November of 2016 and had it every other week for 11 cycles. It made me so sick, I was routinely hospitalized throughout this phase due to side effect complications. As you might imagine, this had a significant impact on my family and my work. I missed the rest of the 2016-2017 school year. I lost over 60% of my typical income from my job, all my sick days were exhausted, and my medical bills were starting to pile up. As if that weren’t stressful enough, I wasn’t able to take care of my children or the household chores. The stress of my disease, my finances, keeping my household in order is just too much to bare.
I was given a reprieve after my last round of aggressive chemo over the summer of 2017, my doctor put me on maintenance chemo. This allowed me to feel more like myself, be with my family and start back at my job at the beginning of this latest school year. However, my latest round of tests has not been positive. I have two new tumors on my liver and multiple tumors in my lungs. My doctor said I must go back on the aggressive chemo and I am terrified.
I will more than likely have to stop working again and will be home bound for the foreseeable future. My long-term outlook isn’t good. The stress of taking care of myself is bad enough, now I have the additional stress of how I am going to keep up with my bills, daycare and the loss of my income. I am thus respectfully requesting financial assistance to help off-set my medical bills as well as help with house cleaning. If I knew that these huge unavoidable necessities were taken care of, I could spend all my remaining energy trying to beat this cancer and spend whatever quality time I have left with my children and my family.
My out of pocket each year from my insurance is at least $3,500 and due to my toddler’s health issues, I typically have another $1,000 out of pocket for his needs. Daycare fees are about $1,500 per month for both of my children. And, if I am not working, I still have a mortgage to help cover as well as other household expenses. None of this includes my student loan debt that I have had to defer these past few years. A grant in the amount of $10,000 (or any other amount you feel appropriate) for the 2019 calendar year would truly be a blessing, it would allow me not to have to worry about any out of pocket medical expenses, it would also help off-set my mortgage payments and daycare costs. Daycare is essential while I am on aggressive chemotherapy. In addition, since I am unable to keep up with household chores, any assistance with house cleaning would make a world of difference to me and my family. At this stage of my disease, I would really like to have all my focus be on me and my family, not the piles of bills or housework. I would be truly grateful if the Foundation could make this happen for me.