Our baby sister, Emma Betts is 25. She has stage four melanoma and, according to doctors, about six months left to live.
Where do we begin? Emma is still on active treatment (that means her oncologist is still trying to create stability in the tumours, and stability means time), but the palliative care talks have started.
Each day brings a range of emotions. Of course, Emma is terrified, angry, and sad. But she’s also grateful for the ‘extra’ time had with loved ones thanks to clinical trials and new treatments that were accessed. (When Em was diagnosed as terminal back in 2013, she was given three months to live so has done pretty well!) That time gave Emma the chance to:
• marry the love of her life, Serge
• welcome more beautiful nieces and nephews to the world
• cuddle her beloved cavoodle/therapy dog, Ralph
• advocate for sun safety through her website, Dear Melanoma
• launch Love, Emma - small business creating care packages for other people going through hard times, and
• raise more than $100,000 for The Melanoma Institute.
Looking down the barrel of only months left, Emma has told us she is so worried about money to pay for upcoming needs (and wants, such as being able to die peacefully at home). She doesn’t want to be a financial burden on her Serge and our parents, who have already dug so deep over the past three years, and doesn’t ask for help lightly. There has been much soul-searching for her in agreeing for us to create this fundraising page. We can honestly say that if you decide to donate any of your hard-earned money to Emma, you will be gifting her peace of mind in her final months.
Money will be used for:
• Palliative care (in-home) nursing, services, and equipment, including a hospital bed and other medical equipment that may be needed at home
• Household expenses and bills, which means her husband can have time away from his full-time job to spend time together before she passes away,, and also allow Serge time to grieve before returning to work
• Hospital expenses, e.g. car parking costs and meals for family
• Making memories, such as an early Christmas celebration with her family, and buying keepsake gifts for the nieces and nephews she loves to the moon and back, so they always remember ‘Aunty Em’.
We don’t know how long Emma will be here for, or how long any money raised will last. If funds raised are left over after her death, Emma has said she places 100 per cent trust in her husband and our parents to manage remaining funds in her honour. This will include a legacy donation to a nominated charity.
On behalf of Emma, THANK YOU.
Ashlee and Sarah.