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Help Darcie To Be Free to Breathe

Darcie Pena is battling stage 4 lung cancer!  It all started in 2013 when Darcie, a 24-year-old non-smoker, following up on a chronic cough, received the shocking diagnosis of lung cancer!  She was a patient at Sansum at the time and thankfully still on her parent’s insurance (thank you Affordable Care Act!).  Along the way, she has had to change insurance and so doctors, treatment centers and hospitals. She has been fighting with all that she has including 5 surgeries, numerous chemo, radiation, and immunotherapy treatments.  The doctors have not been able to specifically identify her cancer, making it more difficult to treat. Darcie has spent half of her twenties battling cancer and being her own best patient advocate.

Darcie says now, "After recently having multiple scans and blood work done at UCSF, it has been found that my Chemo treatments are no longer working. Although the Cancer growth isn’t very significant and there are no new tumors, the Chemo is still not doing the job we all hoped it would and the side effects this time around have been causing other health issues which make continuing not a good option. The next step is either more/ new/ different chemo, immunotherapy, chemo/immunotherapy combo or a clinical trial.  I have been told that at this time there are no later phase clinical trials at UCSF that I qualify for. My doctors at UCSF have let me know that I am a great candidate for a phase 1 clinical trial combined with immunotherapy. I will get more details next week.  From here on out I will be receiving treatment at UCSF. And I was told that soon they will likely do a biopsy so they can send the new tissue for genetic testing again. Hopefully, we will gain more information from this. I am happy that I still have options but also can’t help but feel like my body has betrayed me once again. It has been a long and hard past five years, but I am appreciative because I have realized how strong I am by having gone through all of this."

Darcie can’t work at the school right now as her doctors want her to avoid the little kids that she loves while her immune system is struggling to regain strength. She has an increase in expenses because she is traveling to San Francisco to see the oncologist and for treatments and scans.  Darcie has an incredible, positive outlook even on those days when she has pain, fatigue, chemo side effects and is unsure of the next step in the battle!  Let’s support Darcie in all the ways that we can!  We love you, Darc!



Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for Puerto Rico

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance remains committed to our siblings in Puerto Rico through Hurricane Maria recovery in addition to the January 2020 earthquakes. More than $2.48 million in grants have gone to Puerto Rico, and more than 3,000 PDA volunteers have worked towards rebuilding the island since 2017.

Disaster Relief-USA Disasters & Emergencies (DR000015)