Please Help Lisa Survive Advanced Ovarian Cancer with Lifesaving Treatments

  • HK$122,747
    raised of HK$1,155,000.00 goal goal
10% Funded
94 Donors
Raised offline: HK$357,071.53
Total: HK$479,818.53

The campaign owner has stopped the page from accepting further donations. Please contact them if you'd still like to donate

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Our Story

No matter how you may have arrived here, I ask that you listen to my story of love found, and consider my plea for your help. My partner has been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, and we hope this fundraising effort will raise the $1.15M HKD ($196,000 CAD) required for treatments to save her life.

My name is Stephanie and I am raising money on behalf of my partner, Lisa, who has recently started undergoing treatment for Stage 3C, high grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer at the age of 37. This cancer treatment journey and fundraising goal is as much to save Lisa's life as it is also to help me maintain the belief that God and the spiritual world does not give you more than you can handle, because I am not sure I can handle the thought of her being taken away from me.





It wasn't until 8 years ago when I met Lisa in Hong Kong - that I finally found the 'right' person for me, regardless of gender. She's originally from England and I'm from Vancouver, Canada and we easily connected. She has an easy-going nature, she is kind in every way - not just to me but to everyone around her - and she is incredibly caring. Her ability to brush off the pressures of societal expectations were refreshing to me and made me happy. If you've ever been with someone who enjoyed the simple things in life, someone who didn't worry over where we needed to be or the material things we had to have, you'd know the light and free feeling I felt and continue to feel when I'm with Lisa. She was the addition to my otherwise "complete" life that I had been looking for, for so long.

Over the last 20 years of my life, I have watched my father pass from lung cancer, my mother undergo treatment for breast cancer, and my brother pass away from a stroke just a few years ago at just 43. By the time I met Lisa I felt I had learned as much as I could from those devastating experiences. The tragedies in my life taught me how to appreciate everything around me, always be grateful, enjoy nature and live simply. I truly hoped I could move forward and live peacefully and trauma free for a while and in Lisa I found the perfect person to do that with. Sadly, this was not to be. Both of our lives changed a few months ago in August, 2020.

The Journey Begins

In early August, Lisa began experiencing troubling stomach issues that seemed more serious than the typical bloating discomfort she would have on occasion. We went to see two different gastro specialists and one urged us to get an abdominal CT scan as he agreed the bloating was not normal.

After a private CT scan, the gastro doctor quickly called us back the day after to notify us of the results. This was the turning point. His face was somber and the lightbox that held the CT scan images showed a tumour- like structure. Lisa looked scared, as was I, though my previous cancer experiences with my family helped me to remain calm - on the outside. My mind was swirling in disbelief that this was happening yet again to someone close to me.The doctor informed us that there was a mass and also some fluid in the abdomen, called Ascites which is never a good sign as it is a good indicator of ovarian cancer. Surgery seemed inevitable and the doctor noted that having surgery quickly was important.

We decided to contact a private gynecological oncology surgeon since Lisa continued to experience increasingly severe stomach issues and had not eaten much for about 3 weeks by that point. After meeting the private surgeon on August 24th, her surgery was scheduled for the next day on August 25th. During our conversations with the surgeon, he indicated an approximate cost of $300,000+ HKD (~$50,000+ CAD) for the surgery but the final bill ended up being over $400,000 HKD (~$70,000 CAD). This was an incredible amount of money and we realized immediately that we would need significant financial support.

Her surgery lasted over 5 hours and it was during the operation that the surgeon confirmed that the tumor was malignant. They performed a full hysterectomy including/as well as removing her omentum, appendix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, parts of the peritoneum and 39 lymph nodes (37 of which were cancerous). The cancer had spread throughout her abdomen. Post-surgery, there remained smaller tumors (less than 1 cm) in her diaphragm that the surgeon noted could be handled by chemotherapy afterwards, the next part of our journey.



Obstacles and Challenges

There are several financial challenges we face with respect to treatment. It has been difficult living in a somewhat conservative place like Hong Kong while navigating the healthcare system as a same sex couple. Same sex relationships are not recognized in Hong Kong, so we are unable to be married and so none of the healthcare benefits from my job would be able to be applied to help with our situation. Even if we were married in the UK or Canada, it would not be recognized legally here in Hong Kong. In addition, every nurse and doctor we encounter keeps asking about my relationship to Lisa, as they are curious why I am always around. We are not sure if there 'may be' bias if we admit to our relationship so I maintain we are 'family' members without expanding on details. I try to take it in stride but it has been another stress point on our journey.

Some maybe curious about our decision to stay in Hong Kong and wondering whether we could have accessed more affordable or better healthcare in the UK or Canada. Since we are not married, I would not be able to enter the UK as her spouse nor could she enter Canada as my spouse until we are formally apply for common law partnership in both countries. This could take upwards of 1 full year according to immigration consultants I have spoken to. In addition, even though she is a UK citizen, there is a priority queue and she cannot suddenly return to England after being away for 11 years and expect to have access to surgery, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments right away. This is also true in Vancouver, Canada where even if I were to return, there would be a waiting period of at least 3 months before I could access the healthcare system. For advanced and aggressive cancer like what Lisa has, timeliness to treatment is extremely critical.


Telling Her Family

As Lisa is from Manchester, England, the majority of her family, including her parents are not in Hong Kong. During her diagnosis and surgery we had to communicate through her brother who thankfully is currently in Hong Kong. He managed to convey the difficult news to her elderly parents and her two sisters. As the youngest of 4 siblings, it was an immense shock and devastating news for her family. Through it all so far, her siblings have showed incredible support. Even with families of their own to support, they all contributed what they could for the surgery cost. They, like myself, want to be able to support Lisa with the treatments that she will need now and in the next 1-2 years to ensure her long term survival.




Post Surgery Treatments

After the 1st chemo cycle, the public hospital doctor and private oncologist recommended that Lisa also add a target IV drug (Avastin) to her chemo treatments from the 2nd cycle onwards and then continue on for 12 months after chemo ends due to the advanced and aggressive nature of her cancer. With Stage 3 and 4 ovarian cancers, recurrence rates are between 70%-90% after first line treatment and the only way to keep the cancer stable is by using target drugs and/or PARP inhibitors for a period of time after 1st line treatment. For the target drug, the public hospital does not cover the cost and it is $30K+ HKD per month (~$5,000+ CAD), an enormous amount. In addition, after target therapy, depending on how Lisa responds, she may need to continue on other PARP inhibitors that are even more expensive than the current target drug. In addition, subsequent diagnostic scans as well as tumor genetic profiling will be imperative to effectively monitoring and preventing the spread of this aggressive cancer.

The Costs

After consulting with the private oncologist, I came to a better understanding of all the costs that may come up during her long battle, especially over the first 1-2 years after surgery. Due to the high recurrence rate of her cancer, we want to be able to access the required life saving treatments to prevent recurrence. This includes the many target and immunotherapy treatments that are often not covered by the public healthcare system in Hong Kong or at home as well as diagnostic scans and genetic profiling services. Below, I have broken down all our costs. For the purposes of this fundraiser, we are targeting current and future costs in the hopes of alleviating financial pressures. This would be a tremendous life-altering help for Lisa, me, and her family.


Pre-Fundraiser Costs Already Incurred HKD CDN
Surgery $410,000 $70,000
CT Scan $7,000 $1,166
Total $417,000 $71,166

Fundraiser Treatment Costs for now and longer term HKD CDN
Target Therapy - $35,000 x 17 cycles $595,000 $101,000
PARP Inhibitors - after target therapy - $40,000 x minimum 12 cycles (duration is estimated) $480,000 $81,500
Genetic testing/Tumor profiling for recurrence $40,000 $6,800
Diagnostic scans - every 6 months x 1 year - $20,000 per scan (full body) $40,000 $6,800
Total $1,155,000 $196,000


As an alternative to donating through this site, you can make donations directly through my bank account in Hong Kong, as this platform charges a 4% fee. Specific information is listed below. My Hong Kong bank account can accept multiple currencies.

Hong Kong

Bank Name: Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Bank Address: 1 Queens Road Central Hong Kong

Account Name: Stephanie Kong

Account Number: 593-781354-833

Swift Code: HSBCHKHHHKH


Final Thoughts

Asking publicly for help like this is not something I have ever done, nor have I publicly shared so many personal details about myself and my relationship with Lisa. But consider this my heartfelt and desperate plea for help, not only from me but also for Lisa's family and of course, Lisa herself. I want to give Lisa the best chance, using all available treatments to keep her here with us for as long as possible.

I may have been a more passive participant through my father, mother and brother's illnesses, but I have learned and grown from those experiences and am able now to take a substantially more active role in the battle against Lisa's cancer. Please help give us a fighting chance of having her here with me, her family and friends for longer than what the grim statistics indicate.

Oh behalf of her family and myself, we thank everyone who has taken the time to read through our cancer journey. If you are able to make a financial donation we will be forever grateful and even if you are not able, please help share our story to your network. We greatly appreciate it!



Organizer

Donors

  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Jun 02, 2021
Amount Hidden
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  • Marilyn Wai
  • Donated on Apr 09, 2021
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Oct 14

It's been a while!

Update posted by Stephanie Kong at 09:08 am

Hello friends,Sorry there has been no update for a while as we were just focused on getting through chemo for Lisa's recurrence. She finished 6 chemo sessions with the same drug combination as last time (carboplatin+taxol) and Avastin. Her starting CA125 number was over 400 and it did drop nicely,. . . . .

See update
0
Jul 11

Finished 3rd chemo cycle!

Update posted by Stephanie Kong at 10:53 am

Hello folks,Just wanted to provide an update since Lisa finished her 3rd chemo cycle and started onto her 4th cycle just last week. The original plan is for 6 cycles, but seems Dr. Wong may want to extend this to 8 cycles to ensure greater efficacy for treatment. BUT this. . . . .

See update
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May 30

Campaign 'Stopped' and Update

Update posted by Stephanie Kong at 08:43 am

Hi everyone!It came to my attention that some of you were a bit alarmed by the 'Campaign stopped' notification. Apologies for that! I actually did not know this action would create an email notification for everyone :/ I stopped the campaign for fundraising, but I want to keep using the. . . . .

See update
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May 18

Weekly chemos

Update posted by Stephanie Kong at 09:17 am

Hello everyone,It's been an interesting couple of weeks. ;) After Lisa's small port surgery, the doc ended coming to the hospital around 9pm. He took a look at her wounds and told us the surgery had gone very smoothly. We left the hospital afterwards and were relieved to be home. . . . .

See update
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May 07

Port a Cath Surgery Update

Update posted by Stephanie Kong at 08:11 am

It's finally done! Though it's not a big surgery, we still had significant anxiety thinking about the port a cath implant. Lisa had her 1st round of chemo 3 weeks ago through her regular hand veins. Starting May 10th, she will be getting chemo on a weekly basis through the. . . . .

See update
0
Apr 19

Chemo Restart Update!

Update posted by Stephanie Kong at 02:04 pm

Hello everyone,Just a quick update for those who are still reading these updates ;) So from my last post, I indicated that Lisa would be getting a port-a-cath (implanted port on her chest) to restart her chemo. This is to be used to prevent the veins in her arms from. . . . .

See update
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Mar 24

New Year, New Treament

Update posted by Stephanie Kong at 10:46 am

Hi everyone!I thought perhaps this would be an easier way to update everyone on Lisa's current health status. It's been a long journey and she had a good 1 year remission...but seems she will have to restart treatment again. Her CA 125 marker number has actually been rising for the. . . . .

See update
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Jun 20

Scan Update - Milestone!

Update posted by Stephanie Kong at 02:27 pm

Hello!Hope all is well everyone! It's been a while but some good news with this update. Lisa finished her chemo treatment at the end of Feb and since she had a CT scan in December 2020, the doctor opted to wait a few months before requesting an end of chemo. . . . .

See update
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Apr 30

3rd Avastin only treatment Update!

Update posted by Stephanie Kong at 11:41 am

Hello Folks!Thought I would provide an update since it has been so long since my last one. Lisa had her 3rd Avastin only treatment yesterday. It is certainly much easier than chemo but it still has its side effects (joint pain, fatigue...), and like chemo it is also cumulative, so. . . . .

See update
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Apr 01

After 1st (only target therapy) treatment

Update posted by Stephanie Kong at 10:59 am

Hello everyone!Just a quick update just before Easter :) Lisa had her first Avastin (target IV) treatment on its own a couple of weeks ago. With her last 7 chemo treatments, Avastin was also included. The plan is to proceed with another (min) 12 cycles of Avastin on its own. . . . .

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0
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Donors & Comments

94 donors
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Jun 02, 2021
Amount Hidden
Amount Hidden
  • Marilyn Wai
  • Donated on Apr 09, 2021
Amount Hidden
  • Ken Wai
  • Donated on Apr 09, 2021
Amount Hidden
  • Insa Kuo
  • Donated on Feb 25, 2021
HK$600.00
  • Eric Rodriguez
  • Donated on Feb 16, 2021
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  • Candice Lee
  • Donated on Feb 02, 2021
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  • Jodie
  • Donated on Jan 24, 2021
  • My friend Kylie shared me your story. All the very best with Lisa's treatments and wishing you both and your families a lot of strength and positivity.

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  • Esther Lee
  • Donated on Jan 18, 2021
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  • Kirk Jong
  • Donated on Jan 15, 2021
  • I’m a friend of Maurice Li, in Vancouver. Sorry to hear about the cancer, and I still can’t believe how some places are so far behind in recognizing equal rights for all. Best wishes for treatments and recovery!

HK$1000.00
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Followers

29 followers
Suelina Chow
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Kirk Jong
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Show more Followers
HK$122,747
raised of HK$1,155,000.00 goal
10% Funded
94 Donors
Raised offline: HK$357,071.53
Total: HK$479,818.53

No more donations are being accepted at this time. Please contact the campaign owner if you would like to discuss further funding opportunities

Help this ongoing fundraising campaign by making a donation and spreading the word.

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