With A Little Help From My Friends

As I sit here searching for the right words to express my emotions, I realize that words will never do a cancer diagnosis justice. I can’t speak from experience. I have never been told–you have cancer. I have sat in the room with many patients as they are told. I have received the phone call when family members are diagnosed. And I’ve received the email or facebook status update as friends and friends’ family members go through their battles.

Cancer means a great deal to me. It has taken the lives of loved ones, it has caused battle scars on friends and family, it has taken too many too soon.

Cancer is my passion. My career. My nemesis.

Two friends are dealing with cancer in two very different ways. Kari, one of my closest friends since we were in Kindergarten together. Monica, a college friend and sweet soul sister who can write and create emotion in her words like none other.

{Christmas Eve Brunch with Kari in Hayward}

Kari’s story, in the words of the beautiful Jessie Mae

It has been a tough year for the Tribble-Campbell family. A day after their son Aven was born, Kari developed a serious infection, becoming septic at one point and requiring a blood transfusion. The infection recurred for several months until a disease specialist found the proper antibiotic to treat it.

On January 20th, only a few months after the infection was quelled, Kari underwent a procedure to remove a 3cm cyst on her thyroid. After removal, the pathologist discovered that the cyst was malignant, and Kari was diagnosed with encapsulated follicular carcinoma of the thyroid. This was a major shock to Kari and her family, as the cyst had been diagnosed as benign in two previous biopsies.

Kari’s focus is to heal from her disease physically, mentally, and emotionally. She wants to attack the cancer from as many angles as possible, and in order to do this she will be seeking treatment from an endocrinologist, a naturopathic physician, and a therapist who will work together to determine the best course of treatment. She would also like to consult doctors who specialize in reiki and other healing modalities.

The most difficult part of Kari’s treatment is that the appointments, hospital visits, and operations have deprived her of precious bonding time with her son, Aven, who is now nine months old. She wants to take care of this cancer in the most comprehensive way possible, so she can focus on being a mom and not a medical patient. I am asking that you, her friends and loved ones and loved ones’ loved ones, contribute whatever you are able in order to help Kari pursue the path of treatment that she and her doctors deem best for her. Your donations will be used to pay for the holistic care Kari will be pursuing and for child care for Aven during her treatment and recovery.

As a token of gratitude, those who contribute $25.00 or more will receive a free digital download of Kari’s album Prism. I will also be offering custom watercolor portraits for those who donate $500.00 or more.

Thank you all in advance for your love and support during this difficult time.

Jessie Mae


To help Kari and her family during this difficult time, you can donate on the widget embedded below or go to her ChipIn page.

{Kari, Tristan and their Sun, Aven}

My sweet friend Monica is facing a battle I cannot fathom. Her father is in the end stages of multiple myeloma and her mother likely has Stage 4 colon cancer after a rush visit to the ER this week.

In Monica’s words…

Dear Friends,

My father has been suffering from cancer (multiple myeloma) for the past 8 years and is reaching an end point. He has tumors currently growing on his face and the top of his head, and they are not responding to radiation. The one on his face almost completely broke his jaw recently, and he is in the last stages of his cancer.

This week, my mother was taken to the emergency room, and they discovered two large tumors attached to her liver and multiple tumors inside her colon, one of which was completely blocking her colon. At this point, we are pretty certain that she has colon cancer that has metastasized, and that she is at stage 3 or 4 of the cancer. The mortality rate is very, very high. My mother is 51, and my father is 60.

Right now my younger sister Michelle (she is 22 and just graduated from Florida State University in December) is taking care of both of my parents, as my father is unable to leave the house, because he has basically no immune system after having undergone 10 days straight of aggressive chemotherapy (5 types at the same time) two weeks ago, and is due back for another 10 days next week. Since his immune system is so compromised, he can not leave the house, as even a cold could be fatal at this point.

My mother is still in the hospital and will likely be there for some time. I have a younger sister Meredyth (who is 15), a younger sister Mariah (who is 22) and a younger brother Michael (who is 27). Michelle has had to quit her job to care for my younger sister and both of my parents. I will likely need to fly home from New York to Florida soon and will be out from work for at least a week, likely two. My family desperately needs assistance and support financially as much as possible.

My mother does not have any insurance and this will be the most significant cost over the next few months.

I will update everyone as I receive more information. My dear, dear friend Jessie has offered to donate small custom watercolor paintings to those who contribute over $100.00. Her work can be viewed here: http://jessiemaeart.tumblr.com/

Thank you for helping in any way you can.


Again, I am without words for the way my heart aches for Monica and her siblings. If there is any amount of money you can spare to help out this family, I would be forever grateful. You can donate on the widget below or on Monica’s parents’ ChipIn page.


I know both Kari and Monica appreciate any donation, well wish, prayer, and positive energy being sent their way. They are two incredibly strong women who are facing daunting emotional, spiritual, and physical battles–but I know they will get through this with a little help from their friends.

All my love to you, Kari and Monica.