Neighbor Micky writes with some difficult news about a crowdsourced effort to help Neighbor Mary Isham pay for her cancer treatment:
A few weeks before her 50th birthday, Mary Isham, a 35 year resident of Andover Street in Bernal Heights, was shocked to be diagnosed with a rare pancreatic tumor. Her doctor told her to get her affairs in order. That was over 13 years ago! When doctors see her now, they are the ones that are shocked to see that she is still alive and thriving despite 13 grueling years after a ten hour surgery that removed her pancreas, her spleen, her gall bladder, part of her stomach and small intestine.
But now, Mary faces metastases of the cancer in her liver. She has located a promising cutting-edge radiation treatment only offered in Europe. She has made one trip and needs to return three more times at a cost of $20,000. per trip. Given the exorbitant cost of the travel and treatment, she turned to Give Forward – an innovative crowdsourcing website designed to help people raise money for much-needed medical expenses.
Mary is well known in the progressive community, as she has been active in one cause after another for the last 40 years. She moved to the city in the early 70’s at the height of the anti-Viet Nam War movement and was influenced by that turbulent and exciting time. She began her nursing career in the city at Huckleberry House in the Tenderloin and went on to work as a nurse in the SF City and county jails and juvenile hall. She continued her commitment to health education at San Francisco General Hospital’s Patient Education Resource Center and then went on to serve as the director of the Health Center at Mission High School, where she became well known for her expertise in adolescent health care.
There’s more information about the campaign to help Neighbor Mary at her page on Give Forward. She’s currently raised almost $25,000 toward her goal of $60,000.
PHOTOS: via Give Forward