My husband was friends with Melanie back in grade school and middle school and he recently found her again. She is fighting breast cancer, and, although this is a reproductive health blog mostly about pregnancy and birth, Melanie's plight is close enough to our heart, and as much as a women's health issue, that I felt the need to share.
Please read her story and help us to help this family of 6 who are faced with extraordinary difficulty.
MELANIE BANNISTER is a 34 yr. old mother of 4. She recently graduated from Empire school of cosmetology in hopes of getting a good career started to help support their family. 5 days later she was diagnosed with STAGE 2/3 INVASIVE LOBULAR CARCINOMA. She is battling this cancer with all she has. She has completed 8 weeks of Chemo, with 16 left before she can undergo a hysterectomy and double mastectomy. Afterward she must also face 5 weeks of radiation with 5 treatments per week.
The chemo is leaving her too weak and sick to care for her children at times because she loses days at a time with no recollection of the time past. During these times HER HUSBAND CHRIS must take unpaid family medical leave from his job at Comcast to stay home and care for his wife and children.
MELANIE'S 16 YR.OLD DAUGHTER LEXI was born with CYTOMEGALA VIRUS, which has led to many hospitalizations & surgeries & left her in coma for a month at one point. Lexi has CEREBRAL PALSY and is unable to walk and deperately in need of a new electric wheelchair.
10 YR.OLD KYLEIGH was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, ACUTE INTERMITTENT PORPHYRIA, which CHRIS also has.
8 YR.OLD SON NOAH was born with OCULAR ALBINISM. He is legally blind.
Then there is 2 YR.OLD CALEB. CALEB is healthy, but way too young to understand what mommy is going through.
OUR MISSION IS TO RAISE FUNDS TO HELP THIS FAMILY PAY OFF MEDICAL BILLS, PROVIDE AN ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR FOR LEXI, GET THEIR BILLS PAID UP, AND KEEP THEM PAID UP WHILE DADDY STRUGGLES THROUGH LOSS OF INCOME TO CARE FOR HIS FAMILY, AND WHILE MOMMY STRUGGLES UP THIS HILL OF ADVERSITY. OUR PRAYER IS THAT YOU WOULD BE WILLING HELP US OUT.
We are seeking donations of goods, services, gift cards, and/or money. We will be having a benefit at EASTERN AVENUE HALL located at 506 EASTERN AVE. NE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. 49503 on SUNDAY FEBRUARY 27TH from 2-7 PM. If you are in Grand Rapids or surrounding areas, you can attend and RSVP here.
If you have items to be dropped off for the auction or raffles these can be mailed or brought to:
C/O Melanie BannisterIf you would like to help by making a monetary donation you can send them to any :
94 4 Mile Rd.
Comstock Park, MI 49321
Attention - Breast Cancer Benefit
Fifth Third Bank
Chris Bannister C/O Benefit for Melannie Bannister
Account number 9165183287.
We will have 50/50 raffles, $1.00 raffles and $5.00 raffles, along with an auction, some games for children, face painting, T-Shirt sales, spaghetti and meatball dinner, and other activities. PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING THIS FAMILY IN THEIR TIME OF NEED. And thank you so much in advance for any help you may be able to provide.