Please Help My Wife Live!
Organized by: John for Renee Howes
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
August 09, 2016
We need your help.
While this is a lengthy story, we sincerely hope you will read all of it so you may gain in in-depth understanding of our situation. Starting a fundraiser is the very last thing I ever expected to do and definitely the most humbling. I don't know of any other way at this point to obtain help so that I may give back to my wife who is my best friend and soul mate. I pray you will be moved by our story and help us get back on the road to recovery before it's too late. I truly hope you will read my entire story as I've put it all out there, which is totally against my nature and that of my wife, Renee...
Renee has been through a lot. She suffered from serious neurological Lyme Disease for several years from 2003-2006 and will always experience symptoms. In 2006, she became the caregiver for her mom who was diagnosed with terminal cancer who died 6 months later. I believe we both went above and beyond to do everything we could for her mom and to try and fulfill her wishes after passing. My wife was forced to spend the next several years in the middle of a hostile situation until her mother's matters were settled with no chance to properly grieve.
During my wife's long bout with LD and with her mom, we both worked full time, demanding jobs. We commuted hours multiple times each week for months to visit and tend to personal and medical affairs for her mom. I lost significant income that could never be recovered as I was self-employed (the recession hit at that same time). I would not have been able to run my own business had it not been for the unending support and long hours my wife dedicated to my business, in addition to her own demanding full-time career to keep my business straight. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and the details of business management are not one of my strengths.
Not long after most of the details of her mom's passing were finalized, in 2009 my wife sustained permanent injuries from a vehicle accident that was not her fault. Despite the very best of efforts and great attention to detail, my wife eventually lost her long-term, well-paying job after 2 years (this was her 2nd career). She worked very hard for 40+ years, working her way up the ranks upholding the highest of ethics and integrity only to lose it all at the hands of others. My wife lost much of her future retirement and social security benefits because of this accident and her dreams were absolutely shattered.
While heartbreaking, we stepped up to the plate to deal with the hand we had been dealt and have been repeatedly forced to sell sentimental items to keep going. Renee was forced to deplete her retirement fund, her first pension and far more, never knowing if we would have enough money to pay the bills. Since I had a small business and was self-employed for 43+ years, unfortunately my social security benefits are not great.
Despite Renee's injuries and chronic pain, she has renegotiated every detail of our finances. I can say without a doubt that because of our honesty, diligence and the powers-that-be, we have some how managed to barely squeak by and not lose our home, which is our sanctuary.
Renee paid it forward again and became caregiver in 2011 for her brother who died 6 months later of cancer. Again, we had to travel long distances almost daily to take care of him and to ensure that he passed with dignity as he deserved. He fought an even harder battle with mental illness for 30+ years and was a kind soul. We were truly grateful to be able to fulfill his wishes.
My wife was diagnosed with cancer in late 2014 (from the sustained levels of high stress, the doctors say). Had it not been for this, we would have been on a solid road to at least some level of financial recovery.
The funds we seek will be used for her upcoming cancer treatment as she now has recurrent cancer with localized spreading. My wife's cancer requires swift treatment.
We have never been able to obtain social assistance except for a very small amount last year for Medicare Part D. We remain at poverty level income yet we have not ever qualified for state or federal assistance. We never, ever wanted any type of social assistance in life but when there is such sustained loss of income year-after-year, one is forced to take drastic measures. In any event, we were not successful.
It has been the most humiliating experience for us to even have to seek out financial assistance - I can't begin to adequately express just how difficult it is to go out into the crowdfunding platform for this because we both have always earned and paid our way in life.
We make this plea for help so we can obtain the treatment she needs now. Hopefully, we can have a new beginning in life before we get too old. Renee is only 61 and I am 73. The top priority is to get her whatever treatment she needs for her to heal before the cancer spreads further.
What would your help mean to us?
It would mean the absolute world and then some to us to get my wife cancer-free. My wife is young and has always remained active. She has given so much of herself to others despite her own plate being extremely full and sadly, this has taken a large toll on her. I pray you will find it in your heart to pay-it-forward for her. No donation is too small. If you cannot or prefer not to donate, please share our story with others who may be in a position to donate to our cause.
She has many positive goals for her future, one being able to help spread knowledge and personal experience about those with Gynecological Cancer. Despite her own illness, she's already got her thinking cap on as to what she can do to make a difference for others.
Who knows, just maybe our story will touch readers who will donate to help my wife who is also my best friend and soul mate to get her the cancer treatment she needs now vs later. Her chances for success will be significantly increased if we can stop the cancer from spreading any farther.
While we don't have much to offer in the way of tangible gifts, we're researching this to see what we can come up with.
What is most important is that we will be forever grateful - more than we can ever adequately express in words for the help we receive if we are so fortunate and we will provide updates as she progresses through her journey to healing.
Renee was an avid equestrian and remains an absolute, 120% dedicated horse, dog and animal lover and advocate - she's been that way all of her life. Animals are her life and absolute passion. Anyone who knows her understands her love and devotion for animals. She started a small blog a while back because she loves to write and has found that writing is good therapy. Her goal is to share some of her journey and experiences with her recurrent cancer as the healing process progresses via her blog, which focuses on healtthy approaches for horse and dog care with a strong emphasis on equestrian fitness, health and nutrition, all topics she possesses in-depth knowledge and experience for over 40 years. Unfortunately, her blog does not get high traffic yet since she's been unable to afford to promote it in earnest or how she would like it to be promoted (happyhorseofamerica.com).
Since most of Renee's post-accident was self-administered, she even developed an organic therapeutic topical in an effort to get some relief for her own significant, chronic injuries. Her creation has been really effective. Her goal was to promote and market this 100% organic product; however, due to a total lack of funds and other obvious priorities at this time, she has had to lay that goal aside for now.
One of my wife's goal is to heighten awareness about Gynecological Cancer, in general with an emphasis on Cervical Cancer, a lesser-talked-about yet more silent killer. We were told that her chance of getting this type of cancer was 5%...
Thank you for taking your time to read our story and for your consideration in donating to our life-saving cause. All donations, no matter how large or small will be put to direct use for my wife's cancer treatment.
With Kindest Regards,
John for Renee
I almost forgot! Last year around Father's Day, Renee designed a few t-shirts (some in honor of her deceased father) to try and raise funds. Teespring isn't the best platform since a certain number of tees need to be reserved in order to print and ship. She is researching an alternate platform now that will not require any minimum.
In the meantime, however, you may wish to check out her tees for horse lovers and patriotic tees too at:
Here's a link to a tee specifically for Cervical Cancer:
P.S. I added a few pics - Renee has always been an avid outdoors and sports person. When she was younger, she routinely ran 5-15K races to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and other charitable organizations.
We hope to add a video and more pics soon. Renee is not overly fond of having her picture taken - she prefers to take pictures of others, in particular horses, dogs, nature and other animal friends, but I'll do my best...