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Help Tash Overcome GBM

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My name is Shannen Brown. I am raising funds for my sister, Natasha Brown. Natasha is 28 years old and lives in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.

Natasha was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme (Malignant brain tumor) in January 2014. She underwent brain surgery in February 2014. After surgery Natasha was treated with radiation and regular check-ups with yearly MRIs.

In 2020, Natasha developed a speech impediment and difficulty communicating as well as numbness/muscle paralysis on the right side of her body.

On the 25th of August 2020 Natasha had an MRI where they found an increase in tumor size and increased pressure and swelling on the brain as well as brain herniation with a cerebral midline shift, they recommended an urgent neurosurgical consult.

On Thursday 27th of August, Natasha met with a surgeon and is booked for surgery on the morning of the 1st of September. 

Natasha has an entry-level medical aid that does not cover 100% of all costs involved in the surgery, hospital stay, and post-operative care which will include physiotherapy and speech therapy as well as follow up visits to the surgeon and neurologist.

On the 1st of September, the surgeon performed another Craniotomy for the resection of the tumour, similar to that of the surgery she had in 2014, the surgeon aims for total resection of the tumour.

Natasha is in the unfortunate position where above all she has gone through, she also lost her job due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The funds raised will assist in medical aid fees, co-payments on hospital bills, additional scans, as well as anything she may need post-surgery including assisting with physiotherapy and speech therapy bills. Finances should be the least of her concerns at this time.

Funds raised will help to get Natasha the important and necessary post-operative care she needs and relieve her stress of finances at this time having lost her job due to the lockdown.

UPDATE - 02 September 2020

Natasha's surgry went well, we haven't received any detailed feedback from the surgeon yet but he seems happy with her recovery so far.

UPDATE - 07 September

Thank you for all the support so far. Natasha has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering at home. She has a follow up appointment with the surgeon on the 18th of September to discuss the way forward.

UPDATE - 28 September

Natasha had her follow up appointment with the surgeon, her staples were removed and he explained that he removed a cyst from her brain and as much tumor as possible without causing permanent complications. There is still tumor left behind and Natasha will see her oncologist for the way forward. She is unable to have more radiation as she has received the maximum amount. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts as she recovers; She will have a MRI in 3 months to monitor her condition and recovery. On behalf of Natasha's family, we thank you for the support thus far, she still has a long road ahead.

UPDATE - 10 December 2020

It was Natasha's 29th Birthday on the 5th of December. She is doing well, she has made some improvement but still hasn't gained all her strenth back in her right hand and is still not confident in her speech. There are still medical bills to be paid as well as a MRI that Natasha will need to have in early January 2021. Thank you all who are following Natasha's story and for the support.

UPDATE - 25 January 2021

Natasha had a MRI on the 18th of January and a follow up with the surgeon on the 21st of January. The latest MRI shows small tumor growths and the cyst which was drained in surgery in September to relieve the pressure has a small amount of fluid in again. He wants her to see an Oncologist to discuss chemotherapy which will be on the 9th of February. At the moment, the surgeon sees no need for further surgery unless she presents with symptoms.

Donations have assisted us thus far in paying Natasha’s medical aid as well as bills not covered by her medical aid. It will also assist us going forward with a private oncologist and the extensive cost of the treatments.

UPDATE - 16 February 2021

Natasha has seen an oncologist and needs to start Chemotherapy as soon as possible. She will need a minimum of four rounds of Temozolomide tablets, possibly five or six. This includes 5 days on the chemotherapy tablets, 28 days off and then the next cycle will start. There is also other medication needed to treat side effects such as nausea.

There is still a 4cm tumor on her brain. If left without treatment the oncologist estimates that the tumor doubles in size every 3 months. The chemotherapy will shrink the 4cm tumor and hopefully eradicate any small tumor fragments remaining from surgery.

After 6 months Natasha will have another MRI, if the bigger tumor has shrunk enough, the oncologist believes she might be a good candidate for the Gamma Knife treatment - this is a form of minimally invasive surgery using radiation. This would mean flying Natasha to Johannesburg for this treatment.

Natasha's medical aid covers oncology such as consultations but not the full benefits, she will also need additional blood tests and a MRI. She has already had a MRI this year and the medical aid is reluctant to cover another in the same year.

We are needing to raise funds for her treatment as she needs to start treatment as soon as possible. Any additional funds raised will pay for any medical aid shortfall on her treatments and tests as well as her monthly medical aid payments as she is still unable to work.

UPDATE - 10 March 2021

Natasha started her first session of chemotherapy this morning, day 1 of 5 days then 23 days until the next round starts. She will do three rounds of chemotherapy and then a MRI in early June to assess progress of chemotherapy then her oncologist will suggest a way forward.

UPDATE - 12 May 2021

Natasha has finished her three rounds of chemotherpay, she is doing well despite some nausea and fatigue caused by the medication. Natasha is going to have a MRI on Thursday 20 May. This scan will determine the way forward and if the chemotherapy medication has been successful in shrinking the tumor.

UPDATE - 24 June 2021

The fourth round of chemotherpay is complete and Natasha is experiencing some side effects which are quite unpleasant but she is soldiering through this chapter very brave and confident.  On 20 May 2021 her MRI result held positive news - the tumor has become less active and has become slightly smaller. Next chemo is 30 June 2021, one more in July, then another MRI.

I would like to appeal to you to please help Natasha as she cannot work at present, she is struggling to make her monthly medical aid payments which had to be increased to accommodate private oncology benefits, other medical costs and levies not paid by medical aid which are extensive and no donation is too small.  Previous donations helped more than you will ever know.

If you are able to help it is very much appreciated, if not, a share is helpful to spread the word as the last thing Natasha should be doing now is stressing about medical aid payments.

 

Read more on Natasha's story on:

Donations

  • Aug 31, 2021 - R 200.00
  • "One day at a time:)" - MustLoveCatsToo

  • Apr 06, 2021 - R 300.00
  • "

    Sending prayers, love Becca & Diego

    " - Batista's

  • Mar 10, 2021 - R 1 000.00
  • "

    In our thoughts and prayers

    " - Payroll Services

  • Feb 17, 2021 - USD $ 34.39
  • "You are in our prayers darling " - Claire Albutt

  • Oct 16, 2020 - R 1 000.00
  • "May God bless you with enough love and peace for each day!" - Anonymous

  • Oct 16, 2020 - USD $ 11.98
  • "All the best" - Pippa

  • Oct 16, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "

    Keep believing! Praying that see many tomorrows

    " - Tania Fisher

  • Oct 16, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "just keep going" - Anonymous

  • Oct 12, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "Cancer will rue the day it met you !" - Braam

  • Sep 11, 2020 - R 1 000.00
  • "All the best" - Cedric Brown

  • Sep 09, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "I've read your story and I truly wish you a full recovery. You are in my thoughts! " - Seshni Mala

  • Sep 07, 2020 - R 2 500.00
  • "Sending you are love and best wishes for a speedy recovery. Peter and the Floradale Team." - Floradale Nurseries

  • Sep 07, 2020 - R 1 000.00
  • "Hugs from all of us. The Rose Garden Team" - The Rose Garden at Floradale Nurseries

  • Sep 04, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "Good luck & get well soon xx" - Kezia

  • Sep 04, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "

    Hugs

    " - Anonymous

  • Sep 03, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "strongs girl" - None

  • Sep 03, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "

    You are in my thoughts.

    " - Jessica Mac Innes

  • Sep 02, 2020 - USD $ 60.10
  • "All the best Natasha!" - Tilly & Nina

  • Sep 02, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "

    Thinking of you and praying for 100% recovery.

    " - Harry & Melanie

  • Sep 02, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "

    Kick this thing's butt!!!

    " - Anonymous

  • Sep 02, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "

    Stay strong, you are in our prayers

    " - MarcAndrew Hairdressing

  • Sep 02, 2020 - R 250.00
  • "Everything of the best Natasha and Jason, thinking of you guys during this time" - Ivan Goddard

  • Sep 01, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "My prayers are with you Natasha. May the Lord place his hands upon you for a speedy recovery." - Marisa Knepscheld

  • Sep 01, 2020 - R 1 000.00
  • "Our thoughts are with the Brown family during this difficult time. " - John+Kev Elliott

  • Sep 01, 2020 - R 750.00
  • "Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery. God Bless!" - Jodi Mattheys

  • Sep 01, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "Thinking of you Tash. Lots of love from Caitlyn & Sarah " - Julie Briggs

  • Sep 01, 2020 - R 150.00
  • "

    Thinking of you Tash ️. You've got this!

    " - Carmen Mattheus

  • Sep 01, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "Praying for a speedy recovery! God bless you!" - Nakita

  • Aug 31, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "Thinking of u Tash! U got this! Love Nick & Dez" - Nick&Dez

  • Aug 31, 2020 - R 250.00
  • "Thinking of you Tash ️🤗 " - Jenna Henning

  • Aug 31, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "We are thinking of you and hoping for the best. You are in our thoughts and prayers" - Maureen & George

  • Aug 31, 2020 - R 2 000.00
  • "Get well soon Tash. Thinking of you! " - Leigh

  • Aug 31, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "All the best " - Anonymous

  • Aug 30, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "Tash, the bravest person I know " - Donovan

  • Aug 30, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "Good luck" - Angi Lues

  • Aug 30, 2020 - R 1 000.00
  • "God bless you and keep you safe. You will get through this " - Claire Albutt

  • Aug 30, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "You are in my prayers x" - Christine

  • Aug 30, 2020 - USD $ 11.99
  • "Tash, you can can best this again girl. X prayers going out to you. " - Anonymous

  • Aug 30, 2020 - R 150.00
  • "Wishing you all the best, Tash, you are such a brave person! " - Taryn Currie

  • Aug 30, 2020 - R 200.00
  • "Tash you can beat this again! " - Bron and Grant

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Statistics

Donations to date

R 21 592.64

Fundraising target

R 100 000.00
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Natasha Brown Medical Cause

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Shannen Brown is raising funds for her sister, Natasha Brown (28) from Port Elizabeth who is undergoing brain surgery.