• Women We’ve Helped- Leticia

     Grant Recipient: Leticia

    Grant Recipient: Leticia

    Diagnosis: Stage IV Breast Cancer

    Treatment: Chemotherapy

    Grant used for: Housing costs

    A Trip to the ER Leads to a Shocking Diagnosis

    When Leticia, known as “Lety,” went to the ER for stomach pains at the end of October in 2016, the last thing she expected was for a CT scan to discover a mass in her right breast. “It was a shock to me,” wrote the 48-year-old caregiver. The shocks weren’t done coming. A biopsy and a PET scan eventually found that Lety had stage four cancer and that it had metastasized to her liver. Her doctors put her on an initial six-month course of chemotherapy.

    No Longer Able to Work

    Before her cancer diagnosis, Lety worked as an independent caregiver. The work was long, difficult, and physically demanding. As a result of her chemotherapy, Lety can no longer work. As an independent contractor, Lety is not eligible for disability. When she stopped working, the money stopped coming in.

    A Housing Cost Increase

    Superstition says that bad luck comes in threes, and Lety’s experience seems to prove the myth right. On top of having breast cancer and being unable to work, Lety’s housing costs also went up right around the time she received her diagnosis. With no money coming in and only limited help from her adult daughter and parents, Lety asked us for help in covering her increased housing costs.

    In her grant request, she told us how difficult it’s been going through chemo every three weeks. The treatment leaves her weak, tired, dizzy, and nauseous.

    Lety Gets a Grant

    We wish we could make Lety’s chemo treatments better, but at least we can help take away some of her financial pressures. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, our grant to Lety helped her pay her monthly housing costs so she can focus on getting through her treatment. We sincerely hope that her cancer responds to the treatment and that she will one day be able to reclaim her old life.

  • Women We’ve Helped- Cristina

     Grant Recipient: Cristina

    Grant Recipient: Cristina

    I am afraid I will fall extremely behind and hurt my credit and/or lose my house in the process

    Diagnosis: Stage II Breast Cancer

    Treatment: Chemotherapy, Surgery

    Grant used for: Housing Costs

    A Challenging Life Even Before Cancer

    Before she even discovered a lump beneath her arm, Cristina’s life was far from easy. The middle school math teacher is a single mother of an autistic teen daughter who also suffers from epilepsy and severe allergies. Life got a lot tougher for Cristina when doctors informed her that she had two different types of breast cancer in July of 2016. In one fell swoop, the math teacher was facing a bilateral mastectomy and lymphadenectomy (removal of lymph nodes), followed by six rounds of chemo.

    The Death of an Aunt Serves as a Chilling Reminder

    Cristina has tried to stay positive throughout her cancer treatment, but life keeps delivering more difficulties as well as personal losses. The day Cristina was scheduled for her surgery was the same day as the funeral for an aunt who had lost her battle with breast cancer. To Cristina, this was a reminder of how high the stakes were in her own fight against cancer.

    The losses kept mounting. During Cristina’s treatment, her grandmother passed away. The woman was like a second mother to Cristina, and one of her last wishes was for Cristina to put her into her dress for the viewing. With the help of her cousins, Cristina tried to fulfill her grandmother’s last wish, though dressing her grandmother wasn’t easy because her arms were very stiff, swollen, and painful after the removal of more than a dozen lymph nodes.

    Bad Reactions to Chemotherapy and More Family Health Scares

    Cristina’s difficulties weren’t over yet. She suffered multiple severe allergic reactions and terrible side effects from the chemotherapy. She tells us of long episodes of vomiting, terrible rashes, and a burning scalp that led her to beg a friend to shave off her hair. The rest of Cristina’s family wasn’t left unaffected. Her daughter suffered another seizure, and her father suffered a health scare as well.

    The Bills Pile Up

    Throughout this time, Cristina has struggled to stay on top of her bills, which has been nearly impossible. Even before the cancer, she was already struggling to pay her daughter’s many medical bills.

    Cristina tells us that though she is on disability, her paycheck is deducted for each day the school must pay a sub to take over her class. The deduction is higher than what she receives in disability, creating a net loss for every day that she is out of work. Additionally, when 2017 came around, her health insurance reset, forcing her to pay up to her max deductible once again. Cristina is most worried about paying her mortgage. Her ex-husband’s history of paying child support is spotty, and Cristina has learned not to rely on that check to show up each month.

    Cristina Gets a Win

    At Shades of Pink Foundation California, we thought Cristina deserved a win after the many challenges that she has faced. Our grant went toward paying her mortgage bill. We hope that this grant can add a little more stability to Cristina’s life as she continues her chemotherapy and focuses on getting well and caring for her daughter.

     

  • Women We’ve Helped- Rosalina

    Grant Recipient: Rosalina

    Rosalina is kind, funny, hopeful, optimistic, and has a ‘keep going’ attitude.

    Diagnosis: Ductal carcinoma

    Treatment: Radiation, surgery, hormonal

    Grant used for: Housing costs

    Used to Pre-Paying Her Bills

    Before she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma, Rosalina was the type of person who would pay her bills as soon as she received them or sometimes even prepay them. She didn’t earn much, but she worked hard and was able to give her two young daughters a home full of love. However, when the 42-year-old single mom underwent radiation treatment and surgery for her cancer, she was no longer able to work. Without her job, the bills began piling up.

    No Miracles This Christmas

    After she stopped working, Rosalina spent her quickly diminishing money to pay her rent, but this left her with little left over for the everyday expenses of life. Her care coordinator at her cancer treatment center explains that Rosalina is struggling to afford food for her family, personal items, and gas so that she can keep traveling to her cancer treatment appointments.

    Her care coordinator tells us of how Rosalina received a letter from the state disability agency in December. She was so happy, thinking that this was going to be her first disability payment. Now she would finally be able to buy her daughters Christmas gifts! Instead, when she opened the envelope what she found was a denial. It seems that her paperwork was not entered into the state’s system on time.

    Money for All the Little Things

    While Rosalina works to begin receiving disability payments, we were happy to step in and provide her with a grant to help her cover her housing expenses. With this big bill out of the way, Rosalina will have the funds to buy all the necessary things in life, like groceries, gasoline, and personal care products. So often, we meet women in active cancer treatment who are working so hard to keep up with their bills that they cannot afford to buy all the little things that we take for granted, like shampoo and clothing for their growing children. We hope that our grant lets Rosalina cover all these little expenses that can mean so much to maintaining a normal life during a very abnormal time.

     

     

  • Women We’ve Helped- Teresa

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  • Women We’ve Helped – Fleur

    Grant Recipient: Fleur I am struggling now to pay the monthly bills Diagnosis: Stage II Breast Cancer Treatment: Surgery Grant used for: Rent, utilities, groceries …First the Mastectomy Fleur is an 84-year-old widowed mother who was struggling just to get by on her limited Social Security income before breast cancer made her life even more difficult. Due to the size ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped-Serenity

      Grant Recipient: Serenity I am eternally grateful and am so glad and blessed to have donors out there helping us who have breast cancer. Diagnosis: Stage IV breast cancer Treatment: Surgery Grant used for: Rent payment and groceries A Single Mom Struggling to Pay Her Bills Serenity received the shock of her life at age 35 when she was diagnosed with stage ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped- Christiana

      Grant Recipient: Christiana The assistance I received from Shades of Pink California literally kept a roof over my head. Diagnosis: Stage II breast cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy, Surgery, Radiation Grant used for: Housing   A Breast Cancer Diagnosis…and Then Pneumonia A breast cancer diagnosis is bad enough all on its own, but cancer was only the beginning of Christiana’s health woes. Weakened by ... Read more
  • Women We’ve Helped- Lindsey

      Grant Recipient: Lindsey Any little bit helps out in so many ways. Diagnosis: Stage II breast cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, reconstruction, hormonal therapy Grant used for: Car payments, groceries Chemotherapy Before 30! Lindsey is a beautiful 29-year-old who was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in March. She continued to work at her job through six courses of chemotherapy. The well-known ... Read more
  • Grant Recipient-Noni

    Grant Recipient: Noni The addition of cancer has caused me to lose my independence Diagnosis: Stage III breast cancer (diagnosed 12/15) Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, reconstruction Grant used for: Auto payment, auto insurance, groceries A Difficult Life, and Then Cancer For Noni, life has long been a struggle. Early into her 20s, Noni was wracked by chronic back pain and ... Read more
  • A Follow Up with One of Our First Grant Recipients: Tara

    Our First Grant Recipient — Tara–An Update In May of this year, Tara published an important update on her Facebook page. It was the announcement that she was officially cancer-free for two years, and she had passed something her doctors called “the survivor anniversary,” the two-year mark after her mastectomy. “Most people didn’t even know I’d had ... Read more
  • Grant Recipient: Hillary

      Grant Recipient: Hillary I look forward to the day when I can repay the generosity and incredible kindness that has been shown to me throughout my cancer journey. Diagnosis: Stage II breast cancer Treatment: Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy Grant used for: Rent Payment Hillary Discovers a Lump…and Loses Her Job “I liked being able to pay my own bills and buy ... Read more
  • Grant Recipient: Vong

    Grant Recipient: Vong Diagnosis: Stage IV metastatic breast cancer Treatment: Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy Grant used for: Utilities, auto insurance A Terrible Diagnosis Vong is a mother of two young children, ages three and nine, who worked hard at her job to keep her small family financially afloat. In October of 2015, her doctor gave her a terrifying diagnosis of ... Read more
  • Grant Recipient: Sarah

    Grant Recipient: Sarah “We have discovered that the cost of breast cancer does not end with medical bills…” Diagnosis: Stage II breast cancer (diagnosed 09/2014) Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation Grant used for: Car repairs Mother of a Big Clan At the age of 36, Sarah has her hands full as the matriarch of a blended military family on a fixed ... Read more