I wanted to reach out to all of you because my friend Jenny could use some help.
I encourage you share this story on your Facebook or Social Media Page.
As a fundraising professional it is an honour to be able to put any skills I have to work for a friend, so please read her story below:
Operation ‘Help the De Guia Family’ aka ‘Bring Momma Home’
We are hoping you might be able to lend a hand to a very important person in our office. Jenny De Guia, member of the Donor Relations team, is dealing with a family emergency right now and needs our help.
For those of you who do not already know, Jenny’s mother Eva was diagnosed with plasmoblastic lymphoma (a rare form of non-hodgkins lymphoma) in June of last year. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor and then began aggressive chemotherapy treatment from August to November. Eva tolerated the treatment extremely well, and with no evidence of cancer since June, and much to Jenny and her family’s delight – Eva completed treatment for the lymphoma and marked as officially in remission as of December 30. This past March, with the blessing of her doctor, Jenny’s mom and dad decided to travel to the Philippines for a six week trip to see their family.
Unfortunately, this is where things took a turn for the worse. Eva was having difficulty breathing and was taken to the hospital in the Philippines on April 2. Through a series of tests it was determined that the cancer had returned and was quite aggressive. As a result, and at the recommendation of Eva’s oncologist in Calgary, Eva needed to come home as soon as possible.
Eva’s condition requires that she have a constant oxygen supply and a chest tube, and because of these medical requirements – Eva’s travel options were very limited. Eva was told she can be released from the hospital in the Philippines with a ‘travel with precaution’ status, as flying was high risk for her. Nonetheless, she was willing to accept this risk in order to get home to Calgary and start cancer treatment again.
Jenny traveled to the Philippines and after one stressful week full of phone calls, working through the complex Philippines medical system and clearing the airline physician test, a miracle happened and Jenny was able to bring her parents’ home this past Saturday, April 19th.
Eva is now in ICU at the Peter Lougheed, and requires a respirator.
The quickest way to get Eva back to Calgary was via a direct flight from the Philippines to Vancouver. Given that this is an international flight, the airline was able to provide Eva with the oxygen she required for the duration of the trip. However, as soon as she deplaned in Vancouver, the international airline could not provide oxygen, this is why an air ambulance was required from Vancouver to Calgary. An air ambulance was the only option for Eva, as her cancer has spread rapidly and she cannot go without oxygen. Unfortunately, domestic flights cannot provide the oxygen that Eva requires. When Jenny and her parents landed in Vancouver an air ambulance team was necessary, given Eva’s deteriorating condition.
When the family landed in Calgary – Eva was sent directly to the Peter Lougheed where her oncologist had a bed waiting for her.
Why we need your help
As you can imagine, supporting a loved one through cancer treatment is a difficult enough task when you have all the resources and support you need at your disposal. This is not the case for Jenny’s family.
Although Jenny’s parents purchased traveler’s insurance, the company is now indicating they will not cover any expenses associated with a pre-existing condition. As you might imagine, all of these unexpected costs are substantial and add to the crisis they are dealing with.
Jenny’s friends are trying to help the family with the cost of the air ambulance, which was around $10,000. Any donations raised beyond the cost of this transportation will be put towards covering the cost of Eva’s care and treatment in the Philippines over the past few weeks.
We are hoping that, together with Jenny’s local family and friends, we can raise $15,000 – $20,000 to help the family with hospital, airfare and air ambulance expenses.
Each day all of us work to raise money for great causes at the University. We are hoping that, together, we can use our skills, expertise and resources to lend support to one of our own in her time of need.
How you can help
We encourage you to share Jenny’s family’s story with your network of friends and family. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer and we can all relate to the stress and struggle that Jenny and her family are going through.
If you are able to provide support, here are two ways that you can:
• For any monetary donations – friends have set-up a bank account at TD Financial Trust which you can donate to by visiting any TD branch and quoting account number 8175 9817 5605 0295.
• Additionally, donations can be accepted via e-transfer firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Please know that since this is not a charity, tax receipts are not available.
• The question for the e-transfer will be: Who is this donation for? And the answer is evadeguia. Cash or cheques can also be given to Erin Bodman on the Development Team. Any cheques can be made payment to Jeff de Guia.
• In lieu of monetary donations, grocery or gift certificate donations would also be much appreciated. Should you want to provide a gift of this kind – please contact Gemma (one of Jenny’s best friends) at email@example.com – so we can coordinate the delivery of groceries or gift certificates.
Any gift, of any type, truly will make a world of difference to Jenny and her family.