Love For Lisa

Love For Lisa

From Marvin Church

I am raising money for my wife Lisa and her cancer treatment for triple negative breast cancer. Even with the cost that insurance will cover, the remaining amount and all the ancillary costs will be impossible to pay.

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Hello, my name is Marvin Church, and the love of my life is Lisa, my wife of 32 years. Sadly, our story is familiar to many, so I am not saying our situation is unique. One day you are living the busyness of life, and the next day you have been diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer. But before I share our medical realities, I wanted to help you get to know this beautiful woman. 

Our story began in 1990 with the birth of our first child, a boy who would be just one of our five kids. Our second boy would come along in 1996 after a miracle event of God bringing salvation to my wife and me after a very long road of alcoholism for me, resulting in a tough first five years. Our faith in Christ has been our foundation since then and would later bring me to the ministry as a youth pastor and eventually as one of three preaching pastors at our current church. 

Next in line was our first daughter in 1999 and two more boys in 2005 and 2007. As you can imagine, life for us was busy but awesome. Throughout that journey, Lisa has been my best friend, my earthly rock, and my better half, as many often say. She has been and still is a stay-at-home mom and teacher as she homeschooled each kid. Some were harder than others, but she never waivered, never wanted to stop, and consistently pushed ahead with much love and patience. A massive job, often a thankless one, but one I never took for granted. 

She is and always has been so silly and fun-loving. Her silliness is what attracted me to her back in high school, and it's what keeps me from being so serious all the time. She has given so much of herself to so many through the years, to me more than any, which is why I am here. I have always struggled with asking for help even when I needed it most, and she has always said, "Marvin, stop and just ask for help."

I felt selfish and silly even considering doing this when it seems there are so many with needs likely greater than ours. But I know what Lisa would say, so here I am, asking for help. Not for me but for Lisa. This brings us to the medical side of our story. 

On December 1st, 2022, after the biopsy results, it was confirmed that Lisa indeed had breast cancer, and life was now about to be very different. We, of course, then waited to get the results of the HER2 testing, which along with the biopsy results, showed that she had what is known as triple-negative breast cancer or TNBC. This breast cancer is one of the rarest, with only 10-15% of all breast cancer patients having this form. It is also the hardest to treat and often has the poorest outlook when considering its return after treatment.

What does this all mean, and why am I on Go-Fund_Me? Because of her cancer type, her chemo treatments will be costly. Early estimates at this stage would put our initial costs at well over $150,000. This cost is primarily for the early biopsies, MRIs, PET scans, Ultrasounds, chemo port surgery, and chemotherapy. It doesn't include the cost of the eventual double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation that will come after months of the first round of chemo treatment.

Thankfully I do have insurance which will help some for sure, but as I am sure you all know is never sufficient and will not cover all the costs. Then there are the weekly trips to Pittsburgh, an hour and twenty-minute drive to get the treatments. My work has given me some scheduling flexibility, for which I am very thankful. There will be days when I can't work at all, and PTO will only go so far. I will lose some income if I have days I can't work. I don't know what to expect, but I am trying to prepare for something. 

Even with the cost that insurance will cover, the remaining amount and all the ancillary costs will be impossible to pay without help. My goal is to start raising some money now to help pay some bills as they come and help keep the financial burden as low as we can as we go through this journey. 

When I speak to friends and family about our situation, they always ask, "How can we help?" or "Please let us know what we can do." I never know how to respond because I don't know where we will be in a day, a week, or a month. I don't know if I will need help when y wife is sick and vomiting from chemo. Will I have time to clean the house, do laundry, cook a meal, and still try to work to have an income? I may need help in those times and with those things, but they will be hard to ask for when you are deep in them. So, for right now, the one thing I know I can use help with and that anyone, even someone I have never met, can help with is this financial side. 

If you are reading this and are moved to help in any way, a dollar, a prayer, or a kind word of encouragement, then we will gladly accept what you can offer. And know that you and what you share will touch our hearts in ways you can't imagine. 

I will share all I can on this platform so you can see Lisa's progress, the bills, the reports, scan results, the mileage we are traveling, and anything that I can so that you can be on this journey with us knowing that your help means so much to us. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or clarification on anything I have shared. I have created an email specifically for this campaign so that I also see your correspondence and you never get lost in the junk emails. Please email me at [email protected] 

Thank you so much ahead of time.

In His loving Grip, 

Marvin Church

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