Winter is a quiet season. Snow blankets the ground with sparkling pure white. Silver icicles glisten on branches. Frost glitters on rooftops. The oblique rays of the sun reflect on the ice. The air is hushed, punctuated only by small birds and the wind in the trees.
But when someone is suffering from cancer, the peace of winter contorts into a battleground. It’s hard to get a footing on slippery terrain. Resources run out. Victory seems far away – or sometimes even impossible.
Mary was trapped on one such battleground.
Stuck in the Snows
Not too long ago, Mary contracted “a debilitating illness, from which I never fully recovered.” This illness caused her resources to plummet. Her only source of income is a small amount from Social Security.
On top of the first illness, Mary contracted colon cancer. It rapidly got worse, sliding to Stage 4 within a short period of time. Her last hope was treatment at Cleveland Clinic, but she couldn’t afford the travel. The clinic was more than 700 miles away from her home in Alabama. It was like she was stranded on a snowy road, with no way out.
Luckily, Mercy Medical Angels and American Airlines lifted Mary from her predicament. Mercy Medical Angels and American Airlines found round-trip flights for her. She had to go back and forth through most of 2018 for treatment. She started off with twelve rounds of chemo. Then, a new development occurred in her treatment.
“It turned out that there was a new immunotherapy drug,” said Mary. “My genetics make me the textbook candidate for it.” This new immunotherapy drug is beating back the colon cancer. Most of all, it’s saving Mary’s life. She says, “The flight assistance been essential for my medical care.”
Mary is grateful to Mercy Medical Angels and American Airlines for playing a critical role in saving her life. “Mercy Medical Angels and American Airlines have provided kindness, support, and care that has made a huge difference in my life.”
Battling cancer is not an easy fight. It can make the quiet season of winter into a time of despair. But with help from Mercy Medical Angels and American Airlines, patients like Mary have a chance at winning in winter.