‘I need help’: Residents with health issues share stories
October 18, 2012
Editor's note:This is a small sampling of letters submitted to The Union by Nevada County residents in urgent need of financial assistance due to health issues.
Talli Davis, age 4, Grass Valley
"In 2011, Talli was diagnosed with a Ewing sarcoma tumor, a rare and aggressive bone cancer that is almost never found in children her age. She finally finished her treatment on Oct. 4 and was getting pretty knocked down there at the end. We are now just waiting for her scans so she will be considered in remission and then we have about six years of regular checkups for her to be considered cancer free.
"We have just been so incredibly grateful and overwhelmed with joy with how much support and love our family received! We were so blessed to be down at one of the greatest hospitals and it just would have not been possible without people's love and support. We also just would not have gotten through this past year without this community and other communities' support! A situation that I would never wished upon anyone has actually been a blessing in disguise … it has truly helped shaped who I am and who I will strive to be for the rest of my life … and helped me find what I feel like may be my calling which is to help other families dealing with the same or similar circumstances.
"So I am trying to figure out a way to help in any way I can. I have an idea to turn Talli's website into some sort of foundation. I am still trying to figure out all the details but ultimately I was hoping to get together with a couple of my friends and figure out a way to start possibly sponsoring different families and children and to help raise money or do some sort of fundraising for them.
"I am hoping it all works out because there is just way to many families out there dealing with this heartache. And they should all have the opportunity to have the best hospital and care for their children … just like so many of your contributions to help my family, my family wants to contribute to them! I will eventually have the information on Talli's website (rallyfortalli.com) God Bless you all and thank you so incredibly much!"
— Talli's mother, Jacy Davis
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Jeanie Withers-Berg, 54, Grass Valley
"I was diagnosed with stage 3 follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2005. I was treated for seven months, which only put it into a partial remission. In 2011 the disease progressed to stage 4, involving the spleen and bone marrow. I had treatment again in July 2012.
"The disease further progressed and even short periods of remission were no longer attainable, leaving a bone marrow transplant as the only alternative to stay alive. But the cancer needs to be gone from my system before I can have the bone marrow transplant and it is not gone.
"I now have anemia. I have incurable cancer, but if the transplant goes well, I have a good chance of being cured. I am a single parent of a 13-year-old boy and need all the help I can get, so I am reaching out. Please help if you can by making a donation at my website: gofundme.com/10ug44."
Jeff Montgomery, 50, Grass Valley
"I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in March of this year. Since then cancer cells have been discovered in my cerebral spinal fluid and I've just begun chemo treatment. I have two children, ages 7 and 9. Due to my illness I lost my job and health insurance, which used to cover my children. I've been told I'll never work again. I'm eligible for disability and my children are now on Medi-Cal, but family expenses are mounting. The biggest help would be money for food, and a place to live of my own — I'm currently staying with friends." To offer assistance or donations, call (530) 559-1394.
Rick George. Age 50, Grass Valley
In 2000, I was diagnosed with cirrhosis. Then I was diagnosed with liver cancer. I am now on a liver transplant list with Cal Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco. In May I had chemo and treatment that was directed right to the tumor on my liver. It was a successful treatment and put my MELD number up to a 25. But I still need a liver transplant. I'm hoping to have a transplant in three months, if not sooner.
There are many expenses that my insurance does not cover. I am told to be prepared for living close to CPMC for a month. I will have to go to the hospital every day to make sure that the anti-rejection medication is working.
I am reaching out to my community and fellowship for help. You can make a tax deductible donation at http://www.helphopelive.org for my uninsured medically related expenses. Please make sure my name is on the memo section of your check so it will be credited toward my campaign."