Please help support Shimeko while she faces a fight for her life against cancer. Shimeko is a single mother, who supports herself with no financial help or living immediate family. Despite unfathomable odds in life, she has worked continuously and singlehandedly to lovingly raise her son, achieve her bachelors degree, and pursue her interests in art and music. On top of all this she is a true friend, the kind who shows up for you when you need it most and gives tangible support. Our admiration and respect for her is immeasurable.
In her twenties, Shimeko discovered a lump in her left breast. At the time it was diagnosed as a benign cluster of cysts. Because she was so young and there was no history of cancer in her family, it seemed reasonable that this diagnosis was correct. For the last ten years Shimeko has lived her life in the way that only she can- to the fullest: tirelessly raising a wonderful son, working as one of the most talented hair stylists I have known, studying to achieve her degree at Mills College, pursuing her artistic interests, volunteering in her community, and with progressive political campaigns.
A few months ago, she strained a muscle while lap swimming and went to the doctor. It wast then that her doctor examined her closely and became concerned about the lump that had been diagnosed as cysts all those years ago. At this time, Shimeko was having symptoms of fatigue and thought it was because she was working so hard to finish school and raise her son, as well as work 11 hour days to support herself and son, with no financial help. Around the same time as her muscle strain, a coworker was diagnosed with cancer, and within a month tragically passed away. Our coworker was also the mother of a young child. Seeing someone taken away from a full and vibrant life is truly a jarring and tragic experience. It weighed heavy on all of us, but especially so for the moms. It created a real sense of urgency for Shimeko and she made the appointment to have a biopsy.
Last week Shimeko’s biopsy came back positive for breast cancer. Undiagnosed for several years, it has spread into her lymph nodes. She has made the necessary appointments to assess her current condition further and prepare for surgery, but it’s too soon to know what direction this will take.
Please help support Shimeko and her son during this time, so she can focus on healing without the worry of financial stress that comes with not being able to work. Let's be the kind of friend she has been to us, someone who gives you real and tangible support when you need it. Let's give her the peace of mind that she and her son will have the help they need as they face the challenges ahead of them.
All funds raised will go towards moving Shimeko closer to friends and relatives who will support her during and after her surgery, medical costs in excess of insurance coverages, alternative and complemintary therapies to support her recovery, and cost of living expenses for herself and her son while she is in recovery.
If you would like to help support Shimeko in other ways than financial, please contact Amy Melissa Reed at email@example.com.
Ocean & Anna