Monica Thibaudier-Ness Fund
Supporting young sarcoma patients
Young cancer patients with sarcoma can face many challenges over and above the physical ones related to the disease. Important developmental milestones, such as completing their education, pursuing the career of their dreams and living independently, are a struggle and often create a secondary effect of financial hardship.
The Monica Thibaudier-Ness Sarcoma Humanitarian Fund at the Cedars Cancer Foundation was created to ease the journey of 18 to 39 year-olds with sarcoma and, on a case-by-case basis, that of individuals who fall outside that age bracket.
In providing humanitarian assistance, the Fund minimizes the negative impact of financial hardship, reducing the stress associated with life’s basic necessities such as shelter, groceries, utilities, and transportation costs. An oncology social worker, who assesses patients' needs, acts as an intermediary between the oncology department and the Cedars Cancer Foundation so that beneficiaries have access to the financial assistance they require.
By contributing to this fund, donors bring not only financial relief to affected persons, but also hope and joy that aspirations need not be cut short by disease.
Until she became ill, Monica Thibaudier-Ness was a well-rounded athlete and a brilliant student. She was a sincere friend and a loving daughter. Between the short time she finished her bachelor's degree and prepared herself for her future studies, she became paralyzed of the right arm in the fall of 2010 and was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in February 2011. She was twenty-three. By that time, Monica had already endured two operations in the neck and spine areas that severely affected her mobility, activity and life in general.
Determined to face the disease upfront, Monica followed her doctors' advice without flinching and underwent courageously fourteen sessions of aggressive chemotherapy and thirty rounds of radiotherapy prescribed between March 2011 and February 2012. During her months of treatment, she did her utmost to keep on working and remain active in spite of the harsh medication assaulting her system and the constant anxiety shaking her confidence. In May of the same year, she learned she was in remission and started her life anew.
Notwithstanding all her efforts to regain a normal life, go back to school, and keep a part-time job, the disease came back in new places in the summer of 2012 . Once again, Monica submitted to new protocols of chemotherapy, trial treatments, radiotherapy and more chemotherapy. By that time, she had had to give up two more jobs because of sickness and an erratic schedule.
The countless months of therapy never broke Monica's spirit but made her life a living nightmare. Isolated by her medical condition and a fragile income, she remained preoccupied with the hope of developing a career and becoming independent; being normal was what was driving her. Monica stayed resourceful and because after her surgeries and through her many treatments she could no longer be an athlete or a student, she worked at developing her talent as a writer and trained herself to be a skillful graphic artist. Having regained part of the use of her arm, Monica became determined to live her life through art, drawing portraits and commenting pop-culture in her blogs. By this means, Monica reached her goal and was able to touch the lives of many in a very short period of time, coaching friends who had been diagnosed with cancer, providing support to those who needed it, sharing jokes with her loved ones, nurses and doctors until her very last day with us on April 16, 2015. Monica remained true to herself and her beliefs, generous, respectful, dedicated, and wonderfully funny.
Despite her determination at remaining active, Monica barely made enough money to support herself and was grateful for some financial aid she received from the Wilfrid Howick Humanitarian Fund through the Cedar Cancer Foundation.
In honor of this inspiring and generous young woman who loved life and had a gift to bring people together for the general good, please support the Monica Thibaudier-Ness Sarcoma Humanitarian Fund. Your kind donations will be divided equally to alleviate the financial burden of young sarcoma patients who want to live their lives as normal human-beings.