Hello, my name is Jennifer. I am the mother of two wonderful children and I am a chronic cancer patient. My initial diagnosis was in 2001, my first relapse was in 2005/6, I have done countless treatments and procedures and it keeps coming back. My greatest wish at this time is to attend the graduations each of my children are having this year (only 4 weeks apart). One trip is 1,266 km each way, the other is 1,930 km each way.
Due to financial and health reasons, they have lived with their father since 2003. They moved to Kansas (USA) in 2006, I was in the process of my first re-diagnosis at this time. I am in the midst of another re-diagnosis now. My children are now grown and we are still close.
When my son turned 18, he moved in with me, until he decided what he wanted to do. He moved back to Kansas and joined the National Guard. He is graduating Basic Training in April, in South Carolina.
My daughter is living with me now, but needs to return to Kansas for her high school graduation ceremony.
I have been on disability pension since late 2006. I am able to make ends meet, so long as I keep my budget tight and strict. This does not leave me much opportunity to splurge and unfortunately attending the graduations of my children falls under this category on my budget.
What We Need
I have been working out a budget for the required transportation and shelter costs.
Son's graduation in South Carolina (my mother will accompany me): car rental (minimum 3 days , about $200-300+ insurance), gasoline for the car (I estimate $200-300 round trip), motel room (minimum 2 days, $100-200), food (for 2 people for 2-3 days, $60) = $560 to $860 +insurance
I am hoping this will be sufficient. This is a 2 day event and my plan is to leave home late Tuesday, arrive early Wednesday (Family events), Thursday is the graduation ceremony; leave South Carolina after the ceremony (and spending a small amount of time with my son), to arrive home early Friday morning.
Daughter's graduation in Kansas (mother will accompany me again): car rental (one week, $400-500+ insurance), gasoline for the car (I estimate $400-500 round trip), motel room (3 days, $250-300), food (for 4-6 days, $200). = $1250 to $1500 +insurance
The plan for this one is to leave home Thursday, drive through the night arrive in Kansas Friday; spend the day sleeping/resting, graduation on Saturday, leaving either Sunday or Monday (depending on amount of rest received). My daughter will drive back home with us.
Before her graduation, my daughter would like to attend her prom. We have been lucky enough to find dress & shoes second hand and I have found jewelry on clearance. Her entire prom attire has cost us $30. She has had to move back to Canada before expected, so now would like to return to Kansas for prom with her friends. She has friends she can stay with, but the flight there will cost $300-500.
This gives us a grand total of $2110 to 2860 (plus insurance on both rental cars) and of course, there are always unexpected costs that come up (I am hoping this will be less than $500 for both trips). We are only looking to raise $2000 of this, hoping that we can cover the rest without missing too many utility bills (water, electricity, gas).
If we are unable to reach our goal, I will have to decide which graduation I can/should attend. If there is extra money raised, I will be donating to the local food bank. My mother volunteers there and we know many families who benefit from the great work they do.
For me, it means a lot to be there for my children, to show them that I support them, to show them that I am proud of them.
I can not speak for my children, but I think it would be a negative impact to not have me in attendance at their graduations. Due to my cancer, they know there is a possibility that our time is limited. Knowing this, I try to make the best of my "healthy days" by spending time with my kids when I can. With my son being part of the American military now, I am not sure of often I will be able to see him. This scares me, as a mother.
I also don't want to have to tell my son about my most recent cancer relapse by mail, email or text message. I would rather tell him in person, for a change.
Other Ways You Can Help
There are links here to share this campaign with your friends and family, please pass this along, even if you are unable to assist us.
All well wishes and prayers are welcome and appreciated as well.