While some of you may already know, I’m sorry if I’m the one to tell you that our friend Stacy Manfredi has been diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic melanoma.
Several years ago, Stacy had a lump on her back that tested positive for melanoma that was promptly removed. Two years later while pregnant with her first child, Colbie, the lump reappeared and was removed again. Her lymph nodes were tested, came back negative and it was determined that no further treatment was required.
In May of 2017, Stacy gave birth to her second child, Domenic. Soon after, a trip to the emergency room for shortness of breath revealed a nodule on her lung. A PET scan was ordered, and doctors discovered that the melanoma had returned and spread in the form of a lump on her shoulder, two nodules on her lung, into her hip bone, and both breasts. She became virtually immobile for a short period due to the bone pain in her leg. She recently completed 10 rounds of radiation,which has helped tremendously with the pain.
Stacy was scheduled to begin immunotherapy treatment immediately, but that was placed on hold for several weeks due to abnormally elevated liver enzymes. On December 29th, she finally began treatment despite that. Following the first treatment, she was in and out of the hospital due to experiencing severe side effects including high fevers and loss of vision. She was given prednisone to counter the side effects, but her oncologist was unsure if she would be able to continue treatment, which was devastating news. Thankfully, Stacy found out on January 8th that they will begin to taper the prednisone, and are hoping to resume treatment by January 22nd. Unfortunately, the oncologist warned Stacy that if she thought the side effects were bad the first time, she should prepare herself because they will continue to get worse with every treatment, and she has a long fight ahead of her. Little does that oncologist know that Stacy will have an army of people right by her side helping her fight this thing!
Stacy and her family need our help. Shortly after her diagnosis, she was told that she is no longer eligible for Family & Medical Leave, and her sick time was exhausted while on maternity leave following the birth of Domenic. This leaves Stacy with little to no income over the course of her treatment. She has been out of work for almost two months, apart from a half day here and there when she is able. Co-workers have offered to donate their own sick time, but her place of employment will not allow this assistance. It has been a struggle for Stacy to concentrate on her care due to her financial burdens increasing under this unfair system. Stacy, Kelley, Colbie and Domenic are going to need the help and support of family, friends, and members of the community. Their bills are mounting and I am hoping we can relieve some of the burden and help her get past this so she and Kelley can raise their children and watch them grow into the amazing adults they are sure to become.
I picked up Colbie from daycare the other day and she was singing in the backseat, “Mommy have boo-boo. Doctor fix Mommy” over and over again. She’s right. Mommy does have a boo-boo, and the doctor WILL fix her. I’m asking you to be a part of the team that helps give her the strength to fight back.