Ashley's DFSP Rare Cancer Medical Bills

Campaign Created by: Paul Van Drie

The funds from this campaign will be received by Ashley Van Drie.

Goal: USD $100,000
Raised: USD $ 2,025

We know everything is in God's hands, but we need your HELP! Ashley is being attacked by evil, and the evil that Ashley faces is Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans(DFSP), a very RARE type of skin cancer. https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/9569/dermatofibrosarcoma-protuberans. #GivingTuesday

Ashley, as many of you know, is an AMAZING woman. She is not only the love of my life, but she hands down, saved me from MY darkest days. Ashley helps everyone she can, every chance she gets. Without ever taking concern for herself. She has kept her aunt sober for 4 1/2 years now and deals with her alcohol induced dementia every day, caring for her. All she wants to do is have a nice garden where she can help feed others and provide us with organic foods, start our nonprofit to help other veteran families and provide a safe space for Veteran's in crisis, and live life to the fullest with me, her children and grands, and the rest of her family and friends. She wants to start a wedding and event company, with a great friend, to help fund the nonprofit. Now, not only is this all being put on hold, she faces a battle we could not see coming. She has already started fighting this by changing her diet to an extremely healthy, raw, cancer-killing diet and using every natural item we can find to try to fight this naturally, but the softball sized lump on her shoulder is causing a lot of discomfort and pain, not to mention affecting her in other ways.

Ashley is uninsured, due to the Army improperly skipping the Medboard process in my discharge (we are still fighting this but would give her Tricare) and the Veterans Administration(VA) messing up her ChampVA coverage (pays up to 80%). She is now in a waiting period for her application to even be reviewed. They are currently looking at March applications, so we are looking at not having any type coverage until next April. We have just spoken to an insurance broker to attempt to get any type of insurance and what will cover her we can't afford to get. We have been paying for everything out of pocket since this appeared. Already the bills are becoming overwhelming, and match that with the waiting for any type of plan or information, like when she will have the surgery, is added stress that is definitly not needed. So, please allow me to tell you about how this came to be and ALL that Ashley has had to endure throughout the past couple of months. 

At the end of May, Ashley noticed something new on the back of her right shoulder, a raised lump. She thinks smaller than a golf ball size. This lump appeared in the same area that a "cyst" was most of her life (numerous doctors looked at it and called it a cyst, since she was 12). While she was surprised by it, she basically wrote it off as a cyst. Ashley is very HOLISTIC and has tried to change her diet (even prior to finding the lump) and wanted to try some homeopathic treatments to try and make it shrink/go away. After a month or so of these treatments, the lump was not shrinking, so she was convinced that she was ready to have it looked at. Off to St. Mary's ER we go (Mid July). When we get back into the ER, The Dr (Nurse Practioner) Said, "WOW, that's big"(everyone does), and asked to take a photo to show his collegues. We agreed and off he went to discuss with his peers. He came back in a short bit, saying "OK! Let's Try to open it up". He then injects local anestisia (Lidocaine) into the lump. Ashley began complaining that her face was going numb, then she continued until it was full body numbness. It really freaked her out.They did not seem too concerned, and then they checked to see if she was having paralasyis, which she did not. The Dr. opened it up, only to put immediate pressure on it, looking around, as what I call, "frantically" and asked the nurse to go get the ER Doctor in charge. The doctor poked in, looked at it, told the NP to close it up, it was a lipomoma, and we needed to see a surgeon. They then released us with a halfway done suture job, and without even checking her chronically low blood pressure! The next day, the surgeon's administrator said we couldn't  see the surgeon without a Primary Care physician referral, not the ER's, I guess. Ashley, doesnt have a primary care, so we called Medlink, because they accept CHAMPVA. Well, they couldnt find her number for the insurance, so we paid on a sliding scale. We saw a PA, and she said "WOW!", but she thought that a dermotoligist should be able to take care of it. She sent us to the Dermatologist. Let me add in here that Ashley had zero pain, just a lump, until we went to the ER. Then, it began growing rapidly and started causing pain after they cut it open. We finally get to see the dermatologist, who looks at it, says "WOW", and then says we need an Ultrasound to see if there is blood flow. We find and set up Ultrasound in Seneca, SC (Aug). The cheapest rate. We get the Ultrasound done, and the Dermatologist says there is blood flow, but you need a surgeon, she can't do it. So NOW, we are headed to General Surgery, where they see us, say "WOW" (by this time it's the size of a softball), and then state we need a CT scan to see if it is connected to muscle or anything. The next thing that happened, weirded us out at best, as our General surgeon said "We are moving you to a diffrent doctor here in the building", but wouldnt say why, give us a name, or anything. We only recieved a phone call 30 min later from "Dr. Griffin's office", to set up an appt. We then searched Piedmont Hospital to find out he is a "Oncologist Surgeon". SO, now worry has crept in fairly strong. We still had no idea what it was. We knew it wasn't a cyst, a lipoma, and the last description was a "mass". Dr. Griffin threw out a bunch of medical terms and different sarcomas, that just freaked us out even more. There are over 70 different sarcomas and most are rare. Ashley has a rare kind and hers is extremely rare. Since seeing the Oncologist, we have had an MRI, CT biopsy, and blood work done, in which they have now sent to the MAYO clinic, after finding that it is DFSP and how rare it is. DFSP, from what we understand, is a sarcoma (cancer) but it isn't something that she ate, didn't eat, took, or could have prevented (although she believes the period of her life that she wasn't so healthy aided in it developing). There is a change in the genes, either chromosome 17 or 22, that happens sometime after conception. Basically, Ashley has had this her whole life and didn't know it. I guess her body was strong enough to fight it off or something. They really haven't given us much information, which is really nerve racking!

Our oncology surgeon isnt even sure if he can do the surgery, and that could mean lots of travel for us to see specialists.There are still so many unknowns, and the bills from just what we have been through so far, have reached over $10,000 out of pocket. I am a 100% disabled Veteran, Total and Permanent, and unemployable. I am unable to even work to earn more money to pay the medical bills that are going to be laying in our lap. Ashley can't work as she is not sleeping well, always uncomfortable, if not in pain, and has responsibilities here (me, her aunt) that keep her from being able to go get a job now, even though she has already stated she needs to.

Ashley is so strong, and her fight with all of this will be as well. Her FAITH in Jesus Christ is stronger than ever! We know that God is in control, has a plan, and we trust His plan. We are asking for donations, not only because of the monetary problems that are arising from this, but also to make awareness of a Rare Disease. We appreciate all prayers we can get and anything you can give to help is VERY APPRECIATED! God bless each person who reads this.

UPDATES

Update #6
January 17, 2023
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No new news to report really. Going ahead and raising our goal here to $100k. We are almost to 20k in bills to all these drs who haven’t actually done anything yet so we know it’s going to get way higher. Trying to keep it real. Im just searching for that Dr who can help me. Would love to be able to talk to someone who has actually dealt with DFSP FS. That stupid FS makes this cancer a “high grade” vs a low grade tumor. I don’t think that is a good thing but since I don’t really have dr’s telling me anything, idk. I know God has a plan, I just wish He would guide us to the start of that plan. It’s frustrating! Every day is hard, in different ways. Some days I do nothing but cry. Sometimes I know why I’m crying and other times I don’t. Today was a good day. Yesterday was also. I’m very grateful for the good days, even if there is pain. The last surgeon we spoke to stated that when the ER cut my tumor open, it put the cancer cells in my blood. Now, idk if that is true or if the guy was actually a surgeon since he was on the phone, but he wasn’t selling me anything so he didn’t have any reason to scare me. It doesn’t sound good tho. I just wish I could get to a point where there was a plan. The places I want to go for treatment will run approx $80-100k for 6-10 weeks of treatment. Being away from home that long seems impossible. Coming up with that kind of money seems improbable but again we know it’s gonna cost that and more for surgery and all. For quality of life, healing purposes, ability to even have surgery at all because of location and healing, we really feel one of these places in AZ is where I am supposed to go (leaning towards Sedona). Please keep me in your prayers as well as these decisions we will be faced with. Something needs to happen before it gets worse. All I know is “God is good All the time and all the time God is good! 

Update #5
December 22, 2022
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Been updating on FB but forgot to come here. Sorry about that! 

So, we got the results back from the full body scan! No more cancer spots, so that is a “praise God”!!! Hopefully it won’t ever spread or come back once gone, but so far, we are in the clear.

I hate to complain but I’m going to put it all out here. I don’t like my “team”. It’s nothing personal, really. The surgeon wants to operate, i get that, but you don’t get to compromise my care just so you can operate. Sorry! He told us day 1 after diagnosis that I needed a plastic surgeon to sign off on saying it is ok for me to get radiation, if I chose to get it. He said he wanted the plastic surgeon right beside him working with him and they needed to say the skin would be viable for the graphs after radiation. That all changed when they figured out the plastic surgeon he wanted couldn’t operate on me because I don’t have insurance. I don’t know if it’s just this plastic surgeon, but if so, why can’t another surgeon do it. If he only wants to work with this particular plastic surgeon, then why is my care being compromised? I really don’t understand this but now, he isn’t worried about any of it. I don’t like that at all. I may not be able to pay up front and I may not be able to pay what insurance would, but it’s not my fault I don’t have insurance and I will pay my bill eventually! This is so frustrating! Then, I have a medical oncologist who for some reason cancelled my appointment with him twice now, w/o telling me. They cancelled my genetics test and then ordered it again and now 2 weeks later I’m being asked for financial information for the test that I needed the results of 2 weeks ago. Ugh! I don’t think anyone cares at all and I’m in pain all the time which is really hard for me because I have always had such a high tolerance for pain but this pain is like stabbing electrical nerve shocks to different parts of my shoulder, back, armpit. 

So, we continue to search for the place God wants me to get the care I need. I don’t believe anyone on my current “team” has ever dealt with DFSP either. I would love to find someone who has actually already helped heal someone with DFSP holistically. I know God will send the place and then the funds to make it happen. I trust in Him and He will carry me through this. 

I will say the emotional warfare I’m going through is almost worse than the pain. Some days I can’t stop the tears and I don’t know why they are falling. Other days I’m giddy happy for no reason. Then, I’ll have sad days and again, no explanation for why. I’m tired of not being able to eat what I want! I’m tired of seeing foods and not being able to have them. I think it’s my freedom more than anything that it’s hurting. I just don’t see an end in sight. I don’t see this ever not causing pain. The more I look into it, the more I realize I will have the biggest scar on my back, unless this thing starts shrinking. Please pray! I need these things to happen. I need the right team to be sent to us. I need to feel comfortable with them. I need to have a plan and a place to go at least for a week or so to completely jump my body into healing by being in an stress free environment where they give me treatments and vitamins and proper foods, since I stink at taking care of myself. I’ll go without eating sometimes and I know that isn’t good. So, please just pray God will be done for me and my family through all of this. Thank you for your support, love, and for just listening. I’ll be better about journaling here. ❤️🙏🏻

Update #4
November 30, 2022
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How good is God? Yea, he registered or whatever, but we never expected to be chosen by Give, Send, Go to receive 1 of their donations today!!! Thank you so much for helping us out! That was a lovely surprise, almost as lovely as seeing all the personal donations made. Such amazing humans in this world. It warms my heart to know everyone out there is doing what they can for my family. Easing my hubby’s burdens just a little, is HUGE to me! Y’all have no idea how hard this man is working at keeping this house together, keep me sane and in an understanding of what is going on, getting me to appointments and making sure we can afford them when we get there. No we might not be able to get all the treatments or something, but we know whatever I am meant to have done, God will provide. For someone with PTSD and a TBI, God sure has suddenly gifted my hubby patience, unconditional love, and complete understanding. He is my hero, all over again, because I know he is battling his own medical problems to deal with mine and not allow me to see how he is struggling. He’s my best friend and the most amazing human I know and he’s all mine! Thank you Paul Van Drie for all you have done and will do to take care of me. I’m no good at being the patient and not the caregiver so please pray I become better at it. My frustrations get the best of me but at the end of each day, I know God is in control and He has the ultimate playbook. I may not trust the Dr’s but I definitely trust God! Please keep praying for us! We need them all! God bless each and every one who takes the time to read our story, or any story on these pages. Every person here is in some sort of need. God never intended for this earth to be this way. I pray one day soon we will have peace on earth, good will toward man, and complete equality across the world. It’s time for every human to feel equal to each other. No man is above or below another! We are ALL Children of God! 🙏🏻❤️

Please Consider US
November 29, 2022
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#GivingTuesday

Ashley's week
November 18, 2022
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Good morning all, TODAY IS GOING TO BE A GREAT DAY!!! Not only because I want it to be a great day, but because I am starting the day with my new "coffee", Crio Bru and I strongly recommend it. We shall see if it gives the energy of coffee. It tastes great and is a super food so none of the negatives from coffee. Since, I get no sugar, I had to find something I could have that didn't need sugar. Anyway, I just wnated to give a quick update on whats been going on in my little world. We went to see Dr. Griffin (surgical oncologist) on Wednesday and he gave a plan of action. Namely resulting in surgery, but he wants radiation done first to shrink it, if the plastic surgeon he is sending me to approves it. We were sent to a "medical oncologist" Dr. Nik. yesterday (Thursday) and he pretty much came in talking about taking "a pill" to shrink it, but that is isn't chemo. I immediately recognized the name of it from our research, so we told him we wanted to look up this wonder pill. He said of course. We did and as I suspected, it IS chemo. So, now I feel lied to and/or ignored by all Dr's involved. We have told them numerous times that I am holistic and that I will NOT do radiation or chemo. I believe God will heal me with His tools He has given us and His mighty hand and if I need surgery to remove whatever is left over, then thats what the Dr's can do. What I really believe I need is Vit C IV's but at roughly $700 an injection and needing it twice a week for an indefinite amount of time, I just can't see that happening. Maybe if/when ChampVA kicks in but not now, out of pocket. So, I now have a CT Scan of my entire body set up for Nov 28 and I will also be seeing a plastic surgeon and an oncology radiologist. Please pray for my strength, that my voice is heard by these people. They are ignoring my wishes and I'm not sure how to go about getting it through to them that I don't want their chemicals that destroy our bodies.

On a more personal level, this week has been bad. My emotions are all over the place and I can't seem to regulate them much. Bouts of crying that I can't stop. Not sure if I am just overwhelmed, if it's because of the hashimotos I already deal with, or what. I have worked so hard to control my emotions for the most part, so this is really hard on me and makes me feel like my world is falling apart. I know satan is attacking me because I have put all my faith in Jesus, but stopping it is harder than normal. Please pray for me to be able to allow Jesus to not only heal me, but work through me so I can be more of an example of Him through all of this. I know God has a purpose for me in all of this. Please pray we are able to find specialists that can help me without chemo/radiation. Without getting this tumor to shrink, They would have to remove about a quarter of my back. Pray that God uses what I am doing to help shrink this. I am living on Magic Mineral Broth and raw fresh Carrot/Celery juice.Celery is supposed to kill off the veins that feed the tumor so I have accepted drinking a quart a day of this juice I make every morning. So, just keep me in your prayers, but also, if I may ask, could everyone reading this please keep my husband and family in your prayers as well. I don't know what this is doing to them, but I know it is effecting everyone, so I need them to all be surrounded in God's love and comfort.I am ok with whatever happens to me. I may have a huge scar or there is the possibility of me going to be with Jesus. My family needs support just as much as I do, especially my sweet and amazing husband who has literally tried taking on the world for me. I will never be abble to thank him or all of you for all you have done for us. God bless you all! 

11/14 UPDATE
November 14, 2022
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We received a call from Dr Griffin at Piedmont (Oncologist) to schedule an appointment for the Wednesday morning to discuss steps. They have received the full report from MAYO and we will discuss those while we are there as well. Im doing all i can do on my end using oils, eating raw/clean, taking supplements, resting, etc. It doesn’t seem to be getting smaller but its also not getting bigger, as far as we can tell. Pain isn’t too bad today so far. Pray! Please! We know God will be in the room, at ALL times. He is our strength. We will update once we know more. Thank you. God bless! 

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