Readers of this blog will know that I have written before about friends of mine who have done battle with cancer. My beautiful friend Christelle and my first love Peter both succumbed to this devastating disease, but Gail, Francois and Lizel all came through fighting and winning. And having watched these people all do battle with cancer in their own and unique ways, I have the utmost respect for those who can face the disease head on, put on their gloves and climb into the ring to show cancer who’s in charge here – even more so when this is a re-match.
Brianna of the lovely blog Figs with Bri is one such person.
Bri is one of the 5% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 30 and when she was diagnosed in late 2005, she had already had a harrowing experience with the disease, having lost her mother to breast cancer 14 years earlier. Bri underwent a full surgical removal of her right breast (a mastectomy) and underwent a gruelling course of chemotherapy, and it seemed that she had beaten the disease. But this year, she received the devastating news that the cancer has returned, this time affecting her lungs and bones. She is at Stage IV (the most advanced stage of cancer), and many people in her shoes might lose all hope and throw in the towel.
But not Bri. In the words of Lance Armstrong, she has chosen to fight like hell.
In some respects, Bri is in a fortunate position, in that she has armed herself with knowledge about the disease, is surrounded by a loving family, and has her supportive husband by her side. She also has medical insurance which will cover surgery and conventional therapies like chemotherapy or radiotherapy. But Bri would also like this time to explore the use of complementary therapies as part of her treatment. Some of these are aimed at curing the cancer, while others strengthen the body and improve the patient’s quality of life – but her medical insurance has declined cover for any of them.
At a time like this, Bri and her family need to expend all their energy on fighting the disease and remaining calm, positive and focused on healing. The very last thing that anybody needs is to be worrying about expenses and trying to weigh up quality of life with dollars.
Bri has estimated that the costs of treatments over a year (over and above those covered by her medical insurance) will total $12,000 and this is where my lovely friends Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi stepped in. Here’s what they have to say:
This is an appeal on behalf of a group of food bloggers who are friends of Briana Brownlow of Figs With Bri.
Bri was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. At the age of 15, Bri lost her 41-year old mother to the disease. Now, she’s waging her own war against breast cancer. Read more about it here.
She is going through intensive chemo and other treatments and needs to focus single-mindedly on healing and finding what treatment works best for her. Her health insurance, unfortunately, does not cover holistic alternatives which she would like to try. Bri and her husband Marc have enough on their plates right now in addition to worrying about her medical bills.
The team organising the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.
CLICK is a monthly theme-based photography contest hosted by Jugalbandi. This month’s theme is: YELLOW for Bri. Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation it has also come to signify the fight against cancer.
The entries can be viewed HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008.
The target amount is 12,000 U.S. dollars. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise.
Your donation can be made securely through credit card or Pay Pal and goes directly to Bri’s account.
This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details HERE.
You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicising this campaign.”
I am proud to be one of the prize donors for this event – by donating $25 (that’s not even £15), you stand a chance of winning some fabulous prizes, including Flickr Pro accounts, photographic prints, photographic equipment and great books, including this book on food styling for photographers donated by me!