When I met Amanda, she was always a very happy person to be around. I didn't realize that she had an incredibly sick mother until I had known her for several months. Her mother, Michaelle, had been fighting colon cancer for 2 years. Originally, the doctors thought she had ovarian cancer, but they found out that she actually had stage 4 colon cancer, and the cancer had probably already been in her body for 10 years at this point. Michaelle began to fight the cancer diagnosis, and spent numerous months in and out of hospitals in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Cleveland, Ohio. She had multiple surgeries and endless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. During this time, Michaelle continued to fight the cancer and advocate for her children. Michaelle had 4 children: my friend Amanda (27); 2 daughters, Kyerra (21) and Sierra (passed away at birth); and 1 son, Cody (17). Kyerra was born with cerebral palsy, and Michaelle quit her job to care for her after her birth. She was always advocating for Kyerra to receive the best education, therapy, or other needed services. She always showed up for her children's academic activities and sports. She lit up whenever she got to spend time with her grandson, Emerson, who is now 1 year old.
Over the past several months, my friend Amanda would pack up her son Emerson almost every weekend and drive the almost 5 hours to Cleveland, Ohio, to see her mother, who was being treated at the Cleveland Clinic. In August of 2013, Michaelle had a tumor removed from her body that was the size of a man's head, and the doctors thought that she was cancer free. Unfortunately, a few days after the surgery, Michaelle was placed on life support after getting an infection in her blood stream. She lost use of both feet and her left hand. Her fingers and toes turned black from the lack of blood flow. She was no longer able to walk or sit up on her own. She gained back control of her right hand, but her incisions were not healing. She was lethargic and in a lot of pain. She was unable to go home. Her grandson, Emerson, turned one in October, and Michaelle was still fighting for her life in Cleveland. She was unable to attend her grandson's first birthday party due to her illness. But she continued to fight.
On Thursday, November 14, the family was informed that the lumps that had been forming all over Michaelle's body were cancer that had spread throughout her entire body. The decision was made that Michaelle would go home. On Tuesday, November 19th, Michaelle made her final trip home to spend her remaining days in hospice in the comfort of her own home. My friend Amanda took a leave of absence from work in order to spend her mother's final days with her. On Tuesday, November 26th, Michaelle passed away in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by her loved ones.
I couldn't even imagine going through something like this if it were my own mother, and I wished there were something I could do to help. So I began to plan for a way to help raise some money to help Amanda and her family pay for her mother's astronomical medical bills. I have some really great friends who were willing to pitch in and help right away! I came up with this fundraiser to raise money to help out Amanda and her family.
There are 29 amazing items in this bundle. The value is approximately $120. Each item in this bundle is a "tried and true" from the classroom item that can be used throughout the year. And every penny raised from the sale of this bundle will go directly to the family of Michaelle Drake. By purchasing, you are not only receiving some amazing resources for your classroom, but you are also benefiting a family who has recently lost a loved one around the holidays.
Thank you to Danielle Westvang of Crayonbox Learning for the awesome promo image, and Lidia Barbosa Clip Art for the image of the little girl.
If you are interested in checking out this awesome bundle, you can find it here!