As many of you know, I don’t post personal fundraiser stories here at Daily Kos.
Unless the story and the person whose life that story is made up of, really touches me as someone who is fighting even when everything seems to be against them.
I guess I’m a big fan of underdogs.
Which brings me to the story of J Graham, a member here whom comments about all seem to be of the “I don’t know how she carries on” and “what a lovely person” sort of messages.
These are all messages about J Graham from DK members and they all highlight this unwritten motto about Daily Kos:
Beloved community member who has been fighting cancer
I don't know how J Graham stays so positive and kind, but she does. She is going through her cancer experience with such dignity and grace. (I went through mine kicking and screaming!)
JG is one of those people who has done all the right things and still been knocked around (HARD) by things beyond our control.
I know what it's like to have your world crash and burn in spite of all your best efforts. No one should have to go through that and yet our own J Graham has and is.
She can't even apply for disability because of her inability to work for the required 3 years before application. This is our current, busted up, nonfunctional social safety net utterly failing.
I so admire J Graham… she been buffeted by almost impossible winds, including major health issues. Yet, in her diary about receiving the community quilt she responded: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
She always thinks of others. Let us think of her.
What I think about J Graham (and I’ll be honest, I haven’t known her long, but many of the people here at the DK Community whom I’ve known for yonks, do) is just how damned hard it must have been for her over the last few years to just keep getting up day after day, and hoping that sometime in the not too distant future, there would come a day when the first thought in her mind upon waking was not her cancer or an unpaid bill.
A message from our friend ericlewis0 and his friends Daisy and Ollie:
There are three ways you can make a donation
How Unlucky Can One Get? You Have No Idea.
Imagine if you could muster enough energy and gather sufficient resources to graduate from college at the age of sixty-two. Soon after graduation, you find out you have breast cancer. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments occupy much of your time over the next year. Just as you start to feel better and optimistic about the future, even as you deal with multiple side effects, the world (literally) shuts down around you due to Covid-19.
Since the world has started to recover from the COVID pandemic there has not been a lot of “good news”, not for J Graham. Her life is still a fight, every day. Her Stage 4 breast cancer is still affecting every moment of every day of her life.
J Graham is fighting as hard as she can, and still not able to keep her head above water when it comes to the cost of that fight. She needs more help than is available from government sources (she has applied for everything possible) and her family.
She needs the help of this Community.
THIS is what J Graham is facing in her finances:
I've crunched the numbers and here's the overall financial picture: My out-of-pocket (CAM and over-the-counter) treatments come to $1,084 a month, if I do everything I need to do and don't skimp.
My income is Social Security retirement which is $1,189 plus approximately $300 more from my two students, so that's $1,489. That leaves about $400-$500 for all of my other expenses. I'm currently running about $400 a month short.
In addition J Graham has nearly $1,300 in past due medical debt.
Could you pay for everything else you need to in life (outside of healthcare) with $400-500 a month? What if you had to give up power or food to pay for the medication which makes it possible for you to live with the side effects of your cancer treatment? These are the daily challenges J Graham is facing and she needs whatever help we can give her.
A personal message from J Graham:
Once again, a huge thank-you to everyone who has contributed to past fundraisers for me! I have immense love and gratitude for you. You have helped me and my daughter several times over the past four years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, first stage 2 in 2019 and then stage 4 in November 2021.
Today I’m asking for funds to help me stay on my CAM (complimentary and alternative medicine) treatments and supplements because they are crucial in helping me tolerate my cancer medications. They help me manage the often-intense side-effects of the medications and give me a greater ability to recover from drug toxicity. I also need traditional over-the-counter medications to help manage side-effects.
None of these are covered by Medicare and Medi-Cal and their cost has become greater than I can afford.
My CAM and over-the-counter treatments consist of acupuncture, herbs, vitamin and immune system support, and medications and supplements that help control nausea and other digestive problems which are side-effects of treatment.
This combination of treatments has given me resilience and a reasonable quality of life, though it is definitely challenging at times. Not being able to tolerate side-effects is one of the main reasons people stop cancer treatments, so it may help keep me going long enough to see the cure, if I’m destined to be that fortunate! I would accept a complete remission as well, of course.
Currently, I’m on the waiting list for a clinical trial that tests a new drug. That, or another drug, will be my next line of treatment if the one I’m on isn’t working anymore, which might be the case. My doctor has increased the dosage, and I’ll know in a few weeks if that works. The good news is that the cancer continues to be only in my bones and a couple of lymph nodes.
My housing situation is still stable, thanks to my mother paying for rent, gas, and electric. I’m in a one-bedroom place in a senior building in my old hometown, a semi-suburb of Los Angeles. I’m looking to hire a caregiver through the Medi-Cal program for the days I’m needing more help than usual due to treatment side-effects.
My daughter, from whom I was separated after we had to move out of the moldy place last October, currently lives nearby with a friend of her father’s. After a long pandemic hiatus, she’s getting back into her own treatment. She tells me that when she’s better she’s going to get a job and rent us a place so we can live together again.
I continue to play music and now have two music students, which gives me a little extra income each month, on top of Social Security retirement. That extra bit helps pay for food. I’m still working on getting an increase in food stamps benefits.
Thank you so much for your generosity!
The goal of today’s fundraiser is $15,000, which will be enough to help pay for her non-covered healthcare needs for about an entire year and pay off that past medical debt. It will be enough to get the stress of having to choose what bills to pay and which to just set back on the table and hope you can catch up, somehow, at a later date, off her back. It will provide her with some breathing space from all of that stress — at a time when she should be living as stress free as possible.
There are already some Matching Donor funds for this fundraiser and the first one is mine.
Matching Donations Challenges:
#1 @ 1:00 pm EST $50 from donor Angela Marx
so the first $50 in donations today will equal $100!
#2 1:29 pm EST — $250 Match from Anonymous donor!
#3 1:54 pm EST — $150 Match from Anonymous donor!
- #4 2:38 pm EST — $300 Match from Anonymous donor!
#5 3:05 pm EST — $300 Match from Anonymous donor!
#6 3:40 pm EST — $500 Match from Anonymous donor!
#7 6:15 pm EST — $1,000 Match from Anonymous donor!
For those wondering How Much has been Raised so Far?
Check the Mighty Cause link in the Donations box above and you will see if you scroll down through the donations, that J Graham has started adding in the amounts sent via PayPal directly to that site, so that a running total of all donations can be seen in one place …
a note of caution, J Graham is a bit overwhelmed with the math and it may take a bit for her to keep going back and forth and updating that amount into the Mighty Cause page.
So please be patient.
As of about 2 hours in we are
at or above $875 so far!
Just over $1,000 in total donations!
WE breached the $2,000 in total donations as of 4:00 pm EST!
per the Mighty Cause link, the total raised today
as of 12:06 am PST July 23 : $7,000
as of 10:00 am PST July 23 : $8,000
as of 3:00 pm PST July 24 : $9.871
as of 9:00 am PST July 25: $10,021
WE got 2/3rd of the way to the GOAL!
Thank you to every donor and everyone helping to share this story today!
You people, you lovely people, I am so proud to be a Kossack.
We know how to make things happen.