Benefit event: Friends pitch in to help Marisa with her fight

HELP FOR MARISA — A benefit auction will be held this Saturday at the Depot Street Tap House in Bridgton for Marisa Hightower-Martin, who is battling two serious illnesses.

HELP FOR MARISA — A benefit Chinese auction will be held this Saturday at the Depot Street Tap House in Bridgton for Marisa Hightower Martin, who is battling two serious illnesses.

Marisa Hightower Martin of Naples, a normally very healthy, active, hardworking mom of five suddenly started feeling ill in early January of 2015.

In February 2015, to everyone’s shock, she was diagnosed with two serious and life-threatening illnesses — Amyloidosis, a rare and incurable blood disorder and Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. If left untreated, those with Amyloidosis alone die within a year. Marisa’s doctors have suggested intense treatment with high-dose chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant. Amyloidosis complicates the treatment for the cancer, so in order to come up with the safest and most effective treatment plan, she attended the Boston University Amyloidosis Center for evaluation. She is returning there on May 13 for a six- to eight-week period for several rounds of high-dose chemotherapy in order to prepare her for the stem cell transplant. Doctors are hopeful that this will put the cancer and Amyloidosis into remission, and put Marisa on the road to recovery.

In order to get to that point, this requires that Marisa be away from her children for an extended period of time. As a stay-at-home mom, full-time student and homeschool teacher to one of her children, she takes care of everything for them. Not only will her husband, Jon, need to care for his wife during this time, he will also need to travel back and forth from Boston to Maine to check on their children, (who will be staying with family), go to work as time allows, and provide as much emotional and financial support as he can.

The couple just got health insurance coverage. However, before this they have already incurred over $10,000 in medical bills just trying to get a diagnosis. There will be many upcoming expenses not covered by insurance and traveling back and forth to Boston will be costly at a time when money is tight.

Marisa is a selfless wife and mother, who has always put the needs of her family above her own. She is a spiritual woman, who is putting all her faith in God to get her through this. The help of her family, her friends, and this amazing community is keeping her spirits high and her thoughts positive.

Friends hope to make life a little bit easier during this difficult time. They will host a Chinese Auction benefit at the Depot Street Tap House this Saturday, May 9, from 12 to 3 p.m. Show your support, win some prizes, enjoy great food and send Marisa off to treatment in the best way possible!


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