LET HER LIVER LIT'L LONGER – Jolenes life saving journey
My name is Jolene Anderson. I'm 38 and have Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer. I was diagnosed at 36, 5 months after my second daughter Layla was born. Ongoing symptoms that something wasn't right were repeatedly brushed off as "Oh you're pregnant, it's pregnancy-related symptoms, totally normal." I remember the day so clearly... it was my sister in laws birthday. There's something about the 29th of May.... only 2 years previously on that very day I was undergoing a lumpectomy on my right breast. Having been diagnosed with Breast Cancer 18 months after my first daughter Chloe. Seriously...give a girl a break am I right?
I am writing this today, with the hope you or someone you may know may be able to help me. Help me continue to be a mother to my two, beautiful girls, Chloe 5 and Layla 21 months. To continue to be a loving and supportive wife to my Husband Russ, and a devoted friend and family member to those I love and cherish.
I'm currently undergoing chemotherapy for my Colorectal cancer. The medical delay in diagnosis caused the cancer to spread to my liver. ALL lobes of my liver have little tumours within it. This sadly means the chance of liver resection surgery has never been an option for me. "Chemo for life" I was told. Wow, what a life to look forward to ey?
I've never been one to back down, I trust my own judgement and was determined to find alternatives to this slow and tragic loss of life. Upon my endless research, I discovered LIVE liver transplants for CANCER Patients. WOW, this was exciting! They've been doing this procedure in limited countries, Norway for example have been having success for over 15 years. New York also too, have begun and been extremely successful in this procedure.
I contacted so many Liver Surgeons here in Australia to question them as to why they don't do it?? They all completely rejected the notion - "We don't do that here. No way." I even had one Surgeon LAUGH at me, stating "If we're going to give someone a liver, we want them to utilise it and LIVE!?"
A complete disregard of my life, I wasn't "worthy".
I was disgusted and extremely disappointed at the lack of innovation/forward-thinking from what I thought was a first world country with incredible health services. Turns out I was incredibly wrong.
Along comes Dr. HERNANDEZ, a Liver Surgeon and absolute saint in Rochester New York.
We have been in contact for over a year now. I need to meet strict criteria to qualify for a live liver transplant. So far, thank God, I am all within ranges and have remained progression-free since May 29th 2020. This is MASSIVE, as my cancer has a mutation (brafv600e) and is particularly aggressive. I’m truly blessed to have made it this far and continue to respond to chemo. I need to make it until January 2022 and be 18 months progression-free for Dr Hernandez to do the surgery. This involves a living donor (god bless them!) to donate one side of their liver, whilst I have ALL of mine removed and accept their portion. Each liver (the donor and my new liver) will grow to the size of a normal liver within weeks - incredible! This extends my chance of survival from 5-10% with chemo alone to 85% PAST 10-year mark with chemo and this surgical procedure - that's a substantial difference.
I will have to travel to New York to have this operation done. I will need my family by my side, a carer for the children along with my donors family and a carer. It is a monstrous undertaking I'm attempted to organise as a mum of two small kids, working part-time and undergoing chemotherapy.
I CAN do this and is my only option out of this nightmare. The surgery for myself and my donor doesn't come cheap, as I'm Australian getting medical assistance in another country, no medical insurance is available. Therefore the surgery alone will cost approx $650,000 AUD dollars. Along with surgery costs, there will be added costs of accommodation requirements, living/medical expenses, loss of income and flights. (Money previously raised will go towards this along with paying the bills whilst I recover)
I need to raise this money before April 2022.
It's an eyewatering figure, but it's a figure I desperately need to raise -
I won't have my babies burying their mum before they can even understand the concept of death.
I would love to get this whole process filmed and a documentary created, this will not only provide awareness to help others, but gain hope, fight for their options, and create a real-life success story despite the odds stacked against them. I'd love YOU to be a part of this story, to enable it to happen, be credited and be deservingly appreciated for making it possible.
If you are able, in any way, shape or form financially or know of anyone/any company/organisation that is able to donate towards this mission, you will be helping a loving family remain a family for many years to come, you'll allow two beautiful girls the gift of their mum to live on.
I want to thank you for any contribution and wish to assure you that any funds raised that are not used will be contributed to supporting other cancer patients in need.
So much appreciation, love and respect to you. Thank you for your time and for continually supporting my life.
Bless you all.
Love Jolz. Xxx