More than $17,000 has been raised by the friends and family of a Umina woman recently diagnosed with cancer.
Friends and family of Mr and Mrs Janek and Karen Chorazyczewski rallied throughout January to raise the funds after learning that Mrs Chorazyczewski had been diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer.
Upon diagnosis it was also revealed Mrs Chorazyczewski had tumours in her sigmoid colon and liver.
Calling themselves Karen’s Fight Club, the group have set a $20,000 goal to assist the Chorazyczewski’s with medical costs and other associated expenses.
They have raised $17,165 of their goal as of February 6.
Karen’s Fight Club member Ms Katie Marie said: “In January, Karen underwent a mammoth surgery at St George Hospital to remove the tumours (including bowel and liver resection), lymph nodes, and other tissues (peritonectomy) and has commenced intraperitoneal chemotherapy.
“Karen’s surgery went well and she is now undertaking a lengthy recovery which will include several weeks in hospital and many months of recovery at home with additional chemotherapy.
“Understandably, Karen cannot return to work as an emergency department nurse and her husband Janek will require extended periods of leave from his job as an ambulance officer to care for Karen.
“With two infant children to support, the loss of income as well as the requirement for in-home assistance, additional child care, meals, cleaners, travel, utility bills, everyday expenses and so on is expected to have quite a financial impact on their family.
“This is where Karen’s Fight Club can help.
“We have set up this fundraiser to give the community the opportunity to help ease the financial burden.
“From the beginning, Karen has said there is no way she would have been able to stand up to this aggressive cancer without the amazing support of her family and friends,” Ms Marie said.
Mr Chorazyczewski said his family were touched by the generosity of their supporters.
“Truly, you have no idea how much it means to us that so many people care so much.
“We have been moved to tears too many times to count from the messages and love sent to us,” he said.
Mr Chorazyczewski said his wife was currently in recovery and enjoying spending time with their sons.
“One thing we would like people to take away from Karen’s story is just how quickly bowel cancer can take over your life.
“The enduring message that Karen wants passed on is that it can happen to anyone.
“Listen to your body and pay attention to the subtle signs.
“Don’t allow your concerns to be dismissed.
“If you notice any changes to your bowels, gut health or sense of wellbeing insist on getting a colonoscopy regardless of your risk profile or being told it’s ‘unlikely to be cancer’.
“You know your body better than anyone,” he said.
Bowel cancer is one of Australia’s most common cancers with around 17, 000 people diagnosed each year.
Mr Chorazyczewski said younger people should also be aware of their bowel health.
“Bowel cancer can and does happen to young people.
“Karen is 36.
“We have two young children, one of whom is just a baby, and was born right when this madness was discovered.
“Early detection is the key to survival so please everyone regularly get checked,” Mr Chorazyczewski said.
To donate to the campaign, visit the Go Fund Me website and search for Karen’s Fight.
Website, Jan 15
Katie Marie, Umina
Janek Chorazyczewski, Umina