The Story Of A Mom With Stage 4 Brain Cancer and 3 Young Daughters

We talk about beauty and fashion on A Mom in Red High Heels because it’s fun. We also talk about it because how you feel about yourself matters. When someone you love is losing her hair because the medication she is taking to try and save her life is causing it to fall out, you suddenly feel like the next great hair product doesn’t really matter. It’s perspective and it’s important to have it, which is why I share this story with you:

Imagine for a moment that you have had a roller coaster of a life, complete with the lows of an abusive relationship and the highs of beautiful children and a job you love. Now imagine having horrible headaches that get treated with the typical prescription drugs that ER doctors give you. You finally convince the powers that be that you there is something “really wrong” and get some extensive testing to discover you have a tumor the size of a golf ball on your brain and that it’s cancerous. Stage 4, in fact. Imagine being given 6-14 months to live.

This story is not fictional. This story is the story of my cousin, pictured above with her 3 girls (on right), my daughter and myself (on left). We recently visited with her in Michigan while on a girl’s trip with my mom. It was a fun reunion to see everyone and especially great to see Heather rocking her gorgeous head scarf shortly after having brain surgery.

Heather is very independent and asking for help does not come naturally. However, since she has not been able to work since May, she has run out of money to support herself and her children. The programs she has applied for assistance with will not be available for her until months from now. What a scary position to be in…sick and vomiting as she goes through chemo, radiation and an experimental drug…with the worry that she will not meet the most basic needs of her children.

It’s a horrible place to be. Horrible.

But she doesn’t have to do this alone. Her sweet best friend has started a fundraising effort to assist Heather.

My best friend Heather was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer in May 2012. The average survival rate for this type of cancer is only 6-14 months. She is 31 years old and a single mother of 3 amazing girls. She is currently undergoing chemo and radiation everyday. She has not been able to work since May and has no income. This is a time in her life when she should be out enjoying every precious moment with her kids but is unable to. Any donations made would be to help with her rent and all other bills and maybe be able to go out and do something fun with her kids. Anything that anyone would be able to give would be a huge blessing! We also ask that you share this story and pray for her and her family. Thank you again!

To echo Leah’s plea: Anything that anyone would be able to give would be a huge blessing!

If I had to live that story, I pray others would surround me with love and support. I can’t imagine the fear that arises in her. When she jokes about her hair falling out or that her skull incision is her “squishy,” you know that she is just trying to make the best of a bad situation. It must be the hardest thing in the world wondering if you are going to see your 1-year-old turn 2 and wondering what will happen to your children if you don’t make it. (That is a silent conversation. We don’t talk about, we stay optimistic but it’s an underlying dark energy that lingers and any mother would naturally worry about!)

Would you bless Heather and her girls? If you are able to help in any way, it would be a wonderful gesture. When we reach out to others and pass on love, we are building a more caring world, one beautiful gesture at a time. Heather and her daughters are going to remember the wonderful people who helped them during a very difficult time.

If you are able, please make a donation at GoFundMe.com. The site is legit. You can make a donation of any amount and even share the story on your Facebook page if you’d like to keep the chain of love going. The power of many is so much greater than the power of one. You may think a $5 donation is not even worth the effort but if 20 people make that $5 donation, we are moving toward making a significant difference. This mom needs the love and support of complete strangers to get through the hardest time of her life.

We value and appreciate your prayers for healing, financial support and care for Heather and her daughters. Thank you!

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Comments

  1. Cheryl Canfield says:

    Tammy…..thank you for sharing this so beautifully! I spent the weekend with Heather, and the need for financial help is real and urgent. It took me three tries to get through your post, tears come easy and frequently, and the way you put things is ‘spot on’.
    To all who read this, I’m Heather’s mom. Like my niece said, Heather worked her butt off at a job she loves, and hopes to get back to. Even though the end of the first six weeks of treatment is near, she still needs to find out the results of a MRI and meet with her surgeon to hopefully get good news and have her restrictions lifted, she hopes to get clearance from him to get back to business, back to the job she loves. Right now she’s at the point that she junked a disabled vehicle, got money for that, then had the rental center pull in as the tow truck was leaving…..yep, the money went to the rental place so she could keep her furniture. That’s how things are happening. Paying shut off notices, dodging phone calls, not having any idea where to get more money to take care of things. Choosing where $50 goes, keep her phone on, restart garbage collection, gas? Most of us have no idea how it feels to honestly have no way to pay for things. Yet, I count the blessings that she has, those 3 gorgeous girls that light up her life. She has made it through this round of treatment on her own, driving herself to all her appointments, doing her own grocery shopping, maintaining her home and family. She is amazing. Heather, don’t be upset that I wrote these things, I just think people need to know just how hard it is to ask for help, and yet realize you have to. I love you, Mom.
    To my beautiful niece, Tammy Gibson, thank you again for sharing this through your website. Love you, Aunt Cheryl

  2. Ann says:

    Heather, hang in there girl – you are so vey brave

  3. Tammy Gibson says:

    Thanks Ann for your encouraging words for Heather! xo

  4. thanks for sharing excellent story you are very brave good luck

  5. Be strong. Heather, you are in my prayers. I have shared on my facebook page, and hope that it helps.

  6. Tammy Gibson says:

    Thank you SO much Makeup Mistress! Heather is heading in for another surgery as the cancer has started to regrow. Your help is so appreciated!

  7. Cheryl Canfield says:

    Thank you to everyone who has shared my daughters story! We’re getting her by for the most part. There are some things she just had to let go. We made enough through your help and through the help of family to pay her rent for August, and pay some of her electric bill. Thank you. My biggest concern at this moment is her electric bill. I don’t want to see her power get shut off! So please consider donating a little bit so we get more funds together to pay on her bill. Thank you again, I love to see all the people that have joined in and have been praying for Heather and her girls. We have faith that the Lord will provide for her ‘needs’. His will be done!

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