Friends and Family,
On 7/13/22, our dear Susan Benner was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer. On August 30th, while getting a second opinion regarding treatment options for her Thyroid Cancer, a small mass was discovered on her soft palate resulting in a second primary cancer diagnosis of Epidermoid Carcinoma, a very rare cancer of the salivary glands which will require a complex surgery due to its location. Her medical team has agreed that treatment for her Thyroid Cancer must be “put on the back burner” while the Epidermoid Carcinoma is addressed.
Susan’s doctors are cautiously optimistic regarding her prognosis and she is scheduled for surgery on October 24 at Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale Cancer Center in New Haven. However, there are several outcomes which cannot be known until the surgery commences and is completed (how much of the palate will need to be removed, how extensive the reconstruction will be, how functions like swallowing and speech will be impacted, whether or not radiation will be needed, etc.). These variables make it very difficult to predict not just how extensive the surgery will be but also, how prolonged and challenging the recovery will be. Susan obtained a second opinion from Memorial Sloan Kettering where her diagnosis, initial treatment plan, and potential outcomes were confirmed.
As you know, Susan is a self-employed, single Mom. Fortunately, she is insured, but when she can’t work, she also doesn’t earn. As you can imagine, the timeline’s uncertainty creates a lot of additional stress, which isn’t healthy for her or helpful for her family.
So many of you have asked how you can help. First and foremost, Susan and George need our love and prayers but the harsh reality is that they also need financial help, which is difficult for Susan to accept and request. Thus, we, her friends, have set up this website through The Bone Marrow and Cancer Foundation in NYC, to raise funds to help cover Susan’s medical expenses (deductibles, co-pays, etc.) as well as recovery-related and living expenses while she is unable to work. ALL donations through this website are tax deductible for you and tax-free for Susan!
Beyond donations, the website also will be used to identify tasks (such as meals, pet care, driving to/from school and appointments, etc.) for which help is needed. You can volunteer
through the website to help in ways – big or small – that will be most helpful for Susan and George and doable for you.
The website also will be used for communications. Regular posts about Susan’s condition, from surgery through recovery, will keep you apprised of her progress. Your messages of support and encouragement will be delivered to Susan too. It’s an easy way to stay connected during a time when she may be incapable of individual contact with her wide circle of friends and family.
Thank you for your support, friendship and prayers.