Help Meridee fight the odds
Please help fund treatment for a rare type of cancer in this young woman.Auckland
Two years ago, after a routine check-up, Meridee learnt she was carrying a 2.4kg tumour in her abdomen, and was diagnosed with cancer shortly afterwards. Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma (Adrenal Cancer) is a rare illness with only one in a million people diagnosed each year and generally much older than Meridee. By the time she was diagnosed it had already spread, and at 30 years old, she was told the statistics weren't good with only 50% of people living beyond a year and less than 20% beyond five years.
Meridee has resolutely refused to give in to this disease. In the last 24 months, she has undertaken multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and two major surgeries, with a smile on her face. She’s suffered influenza, persistent nausea, chronic fatigue, and an inflamed oesophagus that rendered her unable to eat or drink for several days. Still, she smiled, and joked, and worked hard to make the most of life.
But now she needs our help. Unfortunately, the traditional treatments are no longer working, and she has only one option left. Immunotherapy is a treatment that stimulates the immune system to fight the cancer cells. This treatment is not without risk however, for Meridee, the possibility of an autoimmune disorder is still worth it for the chance of beating cancer. It’s the best shot she has, but as a new and still experimental treatment for this type of cancer it is not covered by the public health system and getting it is not without significant cost.
Meridee is a truly beautiful soul. Her generosity, loyalty, and love for life under even the most trying circumstances is inspiring, and the world is a better place with her in it. Since she was diagnosed, she has spent much of her time public speaking and blogging about her experience, to build awareness, to educate, and to encourage those around her to value each and every moment.
Please help us provide much needed support to Meridee and her family as they start this journey. Not only does fundraising help relieve the financial burden, it raises awareness of a little known illness that takes so much. Whether you can give a little or a lot, your support keeps the fight going. Thank you for getting in our corner.
Sam (childhood friend)
Friends and family of Meridee's involvement (page creator)
Friends and family of Meridee are fundraising for her treatment. The donations will go into a separate account in her parents' names to be managed by them on her behalf whilst Meridee is undergoing treatment.
Use of funds
Donations will be used to assist Meridee in accessing new medical treatment to fight this rare type of cancer.
Should anything be left it would be donated to assist others with rare types of cancer.
Other page links
Apologies for being so quiet after you all made such a beautiful gesture to help me access treatment. It's been a big life adjustment to say the least.
With lots of wonderful help I've managed to access an immunotherapy drug, a Pd-1 inhibitor for those of you who like details. I received my first dose at the end of January and have a dose every three weeks.
The dramatic life change means I'm now living across the ditch as the treatment was not available in New Zealand. I'm so fortunate that my tribe extends across to Australia too and I have great support to settle in there. Still lots of adjusting to be done.
I am going to have monitoring scans every nine weeks so we can have a look at how the immunotherapy drug and the rogue cancer are battling things out. I had my first scan at the beginning of April and, although the results were a little mixed, the amazing news is that the two tumours in the liver had shrunk and I'm feeling pretty ecstatic about that. I'll provide more updates of the scans as the treatment continues.
If you don't follow my blog feel free to have a look at my latest post about maintaining a social life while managing illness at https://thrillspillsandaheadscarf.blogspot.com/2019/05/how-i-made-sure-my-friends-didnt-escape.html
And if you'd like to read my interpretation of how immunotherapy works please read March's post here https://thrillspillsandaheadscarf.blogspot.com/2019/03/immunotherapy-according-to-meridee.html
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This page was created on 10 Dec 2018 and closed on 10 Dec 2019.