Denise was diagnosed with Systemic Sclerosis 11 years ago and was managing to live with this up until late last year, when a visit to her specialist lead to the family’s worst fears becoming a reality, with the confirmation that all conventional medicines are failing to assist her any further and her disease has progressed to now being terminal. The specialists had 1 more option to offer but this was a high-risk procedure and one she really needed to discuss with her family. So, after these discussions and endless tests she has been accepted to take part in a research project at Sydney’s St. Vincent Hospital, where they will try to stop her immune system from attacking her own body. This procedure has the potential to develop a new immune system with the possibility of elongating her life. It does however come with risks including heart failure but the risk of not doing it is still greater.
After a few personal heartbreaking tough years behind her, Denise is no stranger to hard times, she always just makes the best of any situation and just gets on with it. Denise’s greatest achievement in life, are her beautiful children, Krystyana, Alexi, and Miki, she has never missed a footy/soccer/Oz tag game in 15 years, and she is their biggest fan. Her greatest fear now, is not being here for all the “nexts” like grand finals, birthdays, graduations, relationships, engagements, weddings and grand-babies, as most people in their 40’s look forward to.
Starting in July Denise will be undergoing multiple visits and long stays at St Vincent’s hospital to undergo stem cell harvesting, chemotherapy, and the transplanting of stem cells. She will mostly be separated from her precious family as she gets all these treatments, and when the family can visit the costs of accommodation, travel, rent (back home), electricity and so-on continue to go on. Finances have already been a stretch with Denise giving up work in January due to her declining health.
For me, as Denise’s sister-in-law and a one of my soulmates in life, I find this devastating that she now has to fight for life and there is very little I can do, but I can do this, and ask each and every one of you to help Denise and her beautiful family to make this journey with strength, grace and all the love and support of her family and friends.
People always say ‘let me know what I can do to help’ when people are going through difficult times. Asking for help, letting people know what you need, is difficult at the best of times. Let’s ease some of that burden and raise some funds to take the burden away from them and give Denise nothing else to worry about at this time, other than fighting for life!
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