Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How You Can Help Support a Local Mom Battling Cancer

Aimee & Alexa. Photo: Images by Bethany
When I read Aimee's story in the Province--someone in my Facebook feed posted the article--I was immediately struck by the horrible unfairness of her predicament. Cancer at any age sucks, but when you have a five-month-old baby? Brutal. Not being able to breastfeed because you're in hospital with chemotherapy drugs running through your veins? I can't even imagine.

Not long after I read the first Province article, I was happy to hear that Aimee & her partner Evani had received lots of milk donations for their daughter. A week or two after that, I discovered that Aimee & I have a friend in common & heard more difficult news about her prognosis.

My friend Emily (of Well Fed, Flat Broke & Regressive Parenting) has told me more about Aimee's story & I'd like to share it with you:

Aimee Taylor, 33, studied Creative Writing at UBC, marrying her partner, Evani, after she finished the program. She & Evani are both talented musicians who both sing in the Lions Gate Chorus.

Aimee works in communications at the Child and Family Research Institute; she’s currently on leave after recently having her first child, Alexa, who was born full-term & healthy a little over five months ago.

Since Alexa's birth, Aimee's recovery has not been straightforward. Although doctors thought the symptoms she was experiencing were due to a difficult labour followed by a C-section, she learned in late June of this year that it was cancer.

Aimee was admitted to VGH with severe stomach pain, they found a tumour, & the cancer had spread. She underwent surgery to remove the tumour, then had a PET scan to determine what the next steps would be. The good news: the scan determined that the cancer had not spread anywhere other than the liver so she will undergo chemotherapy, followed by surgery to remove what they can from her liver. The not-so-good news: it is a stage IV cancer - the most advanced kind, which means this will be a difficult fight. However, Emily knows that Aimee is a tough lady with much to fight for.

Emily describes Aimee as kind & funny & creative. "She is a talented writer & storyteller. She is a devoted partner, mother, & friend. In hospital, she confided that she hadn’t begun to process this news for herself – her primary concern lay with Evani & Alexa, & how this would affect them. Aimee would never ask for it, but she needs our help. Her partner is now on leave with her, so funds are tight; Aimee’s brother has set up a fundraiser here at GoFundMe."

I'm sure Aimee's story has touched you--there are many simple ways you can help, whether you're in Vancouver or not:

  • Donate money. Aimee's brother has set up an online donations page here. Any amount is helpful.
  • Donate Save-On Points that they can use toward gift cards for groceries (they live right next to a Save-On store), call 1-800-242-9229 & ask to put the points toward card number 480 0343 4081 (the second line of numbers is AC #X6VXNU)  
  • Donate breastmilk. Please email Margo at margo{AT}margossecrets{DOT}com to get further information.
  • Donate baby gear or meals for the family. Sign up here to help: Aimee's Circle of Food (Google Doc) or email Emily at emily{DOT}wight{AT}gmail{DOT}com

Thank you for your support!

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