My name is a Diana Casas. I came to Australia by myself in February 2019 as an international student from Colombia, however I have met some amazing people who I have now adopted as my family.
I have recently been diagnosed with terminal stage 4 Adenocarcinoma ROS1 Lung Cancer which only occurs in 1% of all Lung Cancers. At this stage my options are very limited, it is incurable and aggressive. As a healthy 35 year-old, non-smoker this came as a huge shock to me.
I had a cough for 8 months, I went to the doctor numerous times, with many different diagnosis – including sleeping in humid room, sinus and then asthma. One day I woke up at 4am in morning with incredible pain and took myself to the emergency room at St Vincent’s – where I was admitted for the next 11 days. While here, they discovered 6 liters of liquid in my lungs, and later uncovering I had stage 4 Lung Cancer.
As I am not an Australian resident I am not entitled to any public medical benefits and my health insurance will only cover very minimal medical costs; and going back to Colombia is not an option at the moment, as I will not be eligible for any medical services.
Due to the diagnosis being so rare and so advanced, my only treatment option is Crizotinib which is a medicine that costs $7,300 per month and I will be required to take this for the rest of my life. THROUGH MY ONCOLOGIST I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET FUNDING FROM PFIZER – on compassionate grounds – AND THEY WILL COVER THE COST OF THE MEDICATION. This treatment will extend my life expectancy to 3 to 5 years and may allow me to see my family and friends in Colombia again.
Unfortunately I will still have to cover medical and treatment costs for things like, doctor appointments, examinations, x-rays, blood tests etc. as well as school fees (to remain on my student visa and be able to stay in Australia and receive the treatment) and general expenses which I am unable to cover as I am unable to work; hence my call for help to all of you to assist me with these costs and even try to bring my mum over to be with me during my treatment.
Any assistance you can provide me, no matter how big or small, will be a huge help to me while I fight with this horrible disease. I would also like to use my condition to remind everyone that life is very short and you should embrace life and make the most of every opportunity. Spend as much time as you can with your family and friends – because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all your support, and having me in your prayers.
- Liliam Osorio
- Sathyaprem Ajithkumar
- Loreena Merkwitza
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