Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Maara - & IMPORTANT news

It’s Friday 10 August 2007and Maara turns 42 years old.

Today she underwent her second course of the Government funded chemotherapy plus Herceptin combo. Despite the four hour stay at the Oncology Ward, the day went okay. I know Maara feels great that she’s two steps closer to the end of the treatment programme but it also means that they’re moving closer to the private funded Herceptin courses. They are due one more Government funded Herceptin course ..... and this is where I want to explain about the new financial target that Junior & Maara face.

Throughout the initial diagnosis, operation and treatment both the specialist and the oncologists talked about the cost of the year long Herceptin treatment. Estimates were given at the time of between $65,000 - $75,000. Last week the oncologist sent through the final quote for the 15 non-funded treatments (she needs 18 treatments in total only 3 are funded by the government). What wasn’t made clear at the time was the “extra” costs of having this treatment performed privately. Maara will have to go every three weeks to have the Herceptin administered and here is a breakdown of what the costs are....

Herceptin (15 cycles)
Cycles repeated at 3 week intervals for 1 year
15 cycles remaining to complete 1 year of treatment

Cost for cycles 4 - 18
Consultation $ 120.00
Herceptin $ 4830.25
Herceptin administration $600.00
GST $ 693.78 (This is a goods & services tax paid to the government)
Total $ 6244.03 (this is paid every three weeks for 1 year)

Total cost (to complete 1 year of treatment) $93,660.45
NB: These costs do not include any additional radiological or other investigations.

The stress this financial pressure places on families already hit with the traumatic news that a loved one has a life threatening cancer, is unfathomable. For those of you who know me you will appreciate the battle I went through to convince them to allow me to create this blog. This should give you some idea of my challenge to share this latest news with the world.

Junior & Maara are very proud people. To have their private lives exposed to the world and then step back to let people help isn’t exactly a natural thing for them to do!! I get that. For me to be able to take the financial pressure off an already incredibly stressful situation, is a practical and very tangible way that I could help. I truly believe that if Maara can concentrate on her treatment and getting well without the added worry of what needs to be either sold or borrowed to fund her treatment... that would help in her fight against this terrible disease. As for Junior I still have to endure his (sometimes daily) bouts of “uncomfortableness” about letting people help him. They have both been able to draw a huge amount of strength from the outpouring of love & support .

So I bring news that the goalposts have moved and my new target to be reached is $93,000. $93k is a huge number but fundraising so far has put us in a great position.

From here we intend to continue the campaign. It means revisiting some of the events we sidelined previously and continuing those we have already planned. We’re confident we will reach or come very close to the new figure.

Before I go Maara is sporting a new hairdo, she looks wonderful. Junior and the family love her new look and think that she looks absolutely fabulous.

That’s it for now but thank you to everyone for your ongoing support. If you would like any further info or have ideas on fundraising please email me at

The Cake Maker

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