Last Spring, Samantha LeVan, a senior user experience designer in Minneapolis, went to the doctor with ongoing stomach pain and was diagnosed with Stage III cancer of the large intestine. It needed to be removed immediately and Sam would require chemotherapy.
Just 33 years old at the time, she had given birth to her beautiful daughter Penelope just four months earlier. Luckily she was accepted at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic as a special case due to her age.
While the initial 4.5-hour surgery was a success, Sam had a slew of complications. A clot in her liver intake vein. Chemo delays because her platelet count was too low. Nausea from chemo brought her down to under 100 pounds. But that never diminished her passion for her family and her job, and in between chemo sessions she continued to work 50-hour weeks while at home with her husband and caring for their infant.
By her daughter’s first birthday in November, Samantha was 100% cancer free. In a crazy twist of fate, Sam was offered a position as a Senior User Experience Designer at the Mayo Clinic, the hospital that saved her life.
Sadly, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Samantha since then. Last month she discovered that due to complications from all the surgeries, there was a small tear in her intestine. After an emergency surgery, she was left with 30 staples across her abdomen.
While healing, she caught a respiratory infection where fluid built up around her lungs and caused difficult breathing. She also contracted yet another bout of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) in addition to E. coli. She has been in and out of the hospital for the last six weeks.
Samantha can't fight this alone. She needs emotional support and financial support. There are hospital costs, medications, tons of supplies, gas to and from the hospitals, at least two upcoming surgeries.
Again we're reaching out to the UX Community and beyond to kick cancer's ass. We have a goal of raising $5,000 for Sam and her family. Please give whatever you can to this tremendously courageous and resilient woman. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.
Just ChipIn! You can donate via PayPal using the widget below or through the ChipIn page we've set up at:
Please note: Unfortunately, if you donate using a debit or credit card, PayPal charges a fee of $0.30 + 2.9% for each transaction, so please factor this in when making your donation.
We know you don't need a reason to give, but if we hit our goal of $5,000 by April 30, anyone who has donated $25 or more will be entered into our drawing to receive: