How our world came crumbling down, everyone please meet karen she needs your help

$24,596 of $50,000 goal
Given by 140 generous donors in 5 weeks

To help Darrell and karen pay for unfunded treatment against stage 4 breast cancer, so karen can have a fighting chance to beat this

Wellington

Hi and thank you for taking time to visit the page, I honestly don’t know where to start but let’s give it a go.

Let me introduce you to our story and let you into our lives, we met 8 years ago when Karen processed my visa for me at the company we both worked for at that time, it wasn’t until 4 years later after my persistent and stubbornness she gave me a shot. We had both been dealt some shit cards in life as many people do but for the next few years life was so good, we’d been so good for each other, you know when you can like literally be yourself around someone and you get excited just by there presence and it makes you feel so lucky to have that one special person? Cheesy I know!

Any how’s let’s fast forward to now, we had just relocated from Auckland to the lovely Wellington area, new home new job prospects and planning to start for a family this December life honestly couldn’t be getting any better finally!

That’s until end of October Karen found a lump in her armpit which at the time we thought wasn’t anything to worry about, so off she goes to her GP who immediately sends her to Wellington ER. We meet a lovely surgeon called Alex who examines Karen and wants to do a ultrasound and a mammogram to make sure it’s nothing to worry about.

So off we go for a ultrasound and Mammogram about 7-10 days later, we turn up and do the tests and they start to take multiple mammogram for a closer look at an area. We then go in for the ultrasound where they want to biopsy the armpit and also a area in the breast they have concerns about but it could be cysts.

We have to wait a week for the results in which we get a call to see a oncologist to discuss them, as you can guess tears panic and fear started to kick in! We also get a call that there is a bone scan and mri and CT scan too so as you can imagine we think it’s cancer and it’s all over the body potentially will all these tests.

We get to the hospital and meet a lovely women called Courtney who sadly delivers a unexpected blow, that this is cancer, it’s stage 3 and triple negative breast cancer.

When she was talking telling you everything your just sat there feeling like your watching someone’s life unfold in front of you and it’s not real. You just feel so numb and honestly you can’t comprehend it. They tell us that they want to start chemo immediately and this is potentially gonna make Karen infertile as we’re needing chemo weekly for 6 months, they said they could see if a fertility clinic could get us in before the chemo starts and discuss ivf.

They manage to fit us in and they start to give injections to start the stimulation to make follicle growth, but there might not be time to harvest as they need 10-11 days. At this moment Karen and I break into tears and think to ourselves why, what did we do wrong in life to be dealt yet another blow. We have a long discussion with the oncologist and the fertility doctor and make the hard decision that if there isn’t any viable eggs ready to salvage in time we will abort the procedure and start cancer later in that week that we have a scan of the ovaries.

Finally some good news! We have potentially 5 eggs to harvest , but chemo needs to be pushed back 3 days over the weekend to harvest, after a deep talk we decide that this could be our only chance and we take it.

We managed to get 4 eggs fertilised and to get one egg to embryo to freeze to try for a family once this is all over. We breath a sigh of relief and think maybe just maybe we’re done with the bad news and finally it’s going to get better from now on. We went in that Monday and started chemo we was so positive and happy that maybe just maybe this is a glimpse at the end of the tunnel.

But Ohhh how naive we was :( we got a call about a recent MRI to be told there now has been changes in the left side lymph-node near the neck and we need to biopsy these. As we patiently wait and pray that these come back clear as the cancer had already spread from the right breast to the chest, armpit and neck lymph-node we knew if it was there this would now be stage 4.

We wait a week trying to live a normal life, we head back to the hospital in high hopes that it’s gonna be good news, surely it can’t have. But It was cancer and it was triple negative also which meant it’s now stage 4, I immediately started looking and researching online.

I was not letting this beat us this women is my world and I’m not losing her, I’m honestly nothing without her. I spend late nights early morning looking and hunting shedding tears at all the scary stories online, hiding how much it’s crippling me as I need to be strong for my beautiful partner and she doesn’t need to worry about me on top of this.

I come across a drug called keytruda and start to do more digging to see the amazing results it had been having around the world, and even in little old NZ. So I get in touch with our oncologist and she says that yes it is available but only in private and you'll need to discuss costs with them as it’s only funded for melanoma in the public health system.

We speak to our healthcare insurance to see if we can claim anything which quickly find out they only cover pharmac approved and will only cover the oncologist fees not the drug.

After a long meeting at the private clinic we get home awaiting our treatment estimate email.

The email arrives and we are blown away by the cost coming in just over 86k, and this is only for a 6 month course and they are anticipating to carry this on for an additional 9 more cycles which are once every 3 week.

We had savings but nothing like this and the reality of this going to have to be a ongoing cost to give Karen the best chance of beating this and becoming cancer free, yet this is the cost of that opportunity.

We tried to get our money out of our kiwi savers to help but we got told we couldn’t.

I’m sorry for the long story but I thought it would be nice to share with you our story so far and to explain where we’re at and why we are asking for any help no matter how small.

I just wanna see my beautiful missus make it through all this, and beat this cancer and to do this I’m needing everyone’s help to beat it, I need your guys help to help us to keep the fight going and kick it’s ass.

Darrell Flint's involvement (page creator)

I’m Karen’s loving partner, she’s my soulmate and my everything and I’m doing this to help the love of my life get the treatment she needs.

Use of funds

This will be used to help fund the treatment (keytruda), if there is anything above and beyond our goals this will be donated to the amazing cancer society

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Latest update

Follow our journey   16 January 2022

If you’d like to follow our story through the rest of our journey ahead, you can follow our Instagram page so you can stay part of this journey, after all if it wasn’t for each and everyone of you guys this wouldn’t be possible.. we’re on Instagram as our_story_nz. Install the app to follow our photos and videos. https://www.instagram.com/invites/contact/?i=8miebm9dx521&utm_content=njelven

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Latest donations

Kat
Kat 4 hours ago
Private
Wendy
Wendy 3 days ago
Private
Lorna
Lorna 4 days ago
Private
Ross and Theresa
Ross and Theresa 4 days ago
Wishing you the ver best with your treatment Karen. Positive thoughts from this whanau
$500
Guest Donor
Guest Donor 4 days ago
$200

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Karen Leslie's avatar
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This page was created on 14 Dec 2021 and closes on 22 Jan 2022.