My neighbor, and now good friend, Cynthia was recently diagnosed with tracheal cancer, a rare malignancy of the respiratory tract representing 0.1% to 0.4% of all cancers. Its prognosis is poor - less than 15% of patients survive more than 3 years. Early diagnosis is uncommon, due to the lack of early symptoms and the difficulty in its visibility in a chest x-ray. Due to the location of the tumor, surgery isn’t an option.
Cynthia’s cancer wasn’t diagnosed until after 3 hospital stays in a 1 month period.She had been hospitalized twice for pneumonia, and during her 3rd stay after a MRI, she was diagnosed.Due to the size and location of the tumor, it was now understandable why she could barely breathe.
During her 2nd hospital stay, Cynthia was let go from the job she had only recently started.She hadn’t become eligible for medical benefits and was left with no income and no health benefits.Luckily, the hospital offered a Forgiveness Program, so at least approximately 50% of her medical costs and cancer treatment will be covered.
While Cynthia was in the hospital, I put in every spare moment I could in cleaning her apartment from top to bottom.From being so ill for so long, it was impossible to her to clean.When she got released, I wanted her to come back to a nice clean home.Knowing she had no money for food or other incidentals, I took money from my small amount of savings and stocked her refrigerator with food and easy meals she could heat on her own.When arriving home, she was in tears thinking anyone would do something like this for her.To me, it was the least I could do.I remember being in a very bad place a few years ago with little to no money and having to leave my home.I will never forget the kindness shown to me by some family members, friends and neighbors.I thought, I could never pay them back for all that was given to me.The things was, no one wanted or planned on me paying anything back.Thinking of Cynthia’s situation, I felt in my heart I could now pay it forward.
Numerous people from the hospital and her Church have come to her aid, and we are all doing what we can to help while she undergoes her chemotherapy and radiation treatment.But, even with all the help Cynthia’s receiving, the worry of how her medical bills will be paid, how her rent and utilities will be paid is taking a toll on her.I offered to pay her gas and electric bill.When food shopping, I pick up food for her, and when cooking a meal, I always make enough for one more meal and bring it to her.I wish there was more I could do, but I’m a single Mother, and I too have expenses in order to live and care for myself and my daughter.
My reason for starting a fundraising campaign is because it’s November 21st, and Cynthia’s rent is due on December 1st.She has $25 in her checking account and that’s all.There is no money for her rent, other utilities, food, etc.Just the basics we all need to live.What I found so disheartening was that before her release from the hospital, I helped her reach out to Social Security Disability.She’s too ill to work, and until she completes her cancer treatment, she doesn’t know the prognosis.I was in complete disbelief to find out she will have to wait a 3 month period in order to receive Social Security Disability payments, and that is if she is approved.I don’t see why she wouldn’t be approved, but honestly, nothing surprises me.We even called our local Congressman who wasn’t able to offer any help.For anyone who is terminally ill, how is it possible that there be a 3 month waiting period to receive benefits we all paid into our whole working life?Cynthia is 58 years old and has always worked.Now when she needs help from Government and/or State agencies she has paid taxes for, she’s told she has to wait.My hope in starting this campaign is to secure enough funding to cover Cynthia’s housing (rent) and basic living expenses for utilities, food, and basic necessities for the next 3 months.The worry of losing her home & being evicted is overwhelming for her.It would be overwhelming for anyone, but for anyone who is terminally ill, I can’t imagine how she feels.When I talk with her, I know she is trying to appear strong.But when stopping down to see her, there are times I see her eyes swollen.I’m sure it’s from crying over worrying about what will happen and thinking she could be evicted.I’ve only known Cynthia for about year now, and she’s a wonderful person and friend.I have told her she will never be homeless because she would have a home with me.
I have never done anything like this, but I thought if I could do something / anything to help her and put her mind at ease knowing she doesn’t have to worry about being evicted and her expenses are covered for this 3 month waiting period, I needed to do it.I would never have survived or made it through that difficult period of my own life without the kindness of others.So if you feel you would like to help someone in need, the smallest contribution would be so deeply appreciated.With everything going on in our world today, I think we can all make a difference in small random acts of kindness and then paying that kindness forward.