Editor, The Times:
My name is Brandy Elesko and I lived in Clearwater for most of my life. My beautiful children were raised in Clearwater as well. I currently live in Ladysmith, B.C. and love the island. I miss Clearwater a lot of days especially since my fabulous parents Sharon and Garry Ruston still live there as well as my sister Darlene Matusky. I have kept in touch with many friends from Clearwater and have always loved coming back to visit.
On July 21, 2012 I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. Little did I know what a tough and strenuous road the next several months were going to be. Finances were a huge concern as I needed to basically move to Vancouver to have my treatment.
Of course, as the community of Clearwater always has when someone needs help, people stood up and helped me in more ways than I could have imagined.
My first big thank you is to my sister Darlene for staying with me for the majority of my time in Vancouver and to my parents for all that they have done to make this easier. We could not make it without you.
There are so many that donated their hard earned money to help me. I wanted to name everyone but it is impossible to list them all. You all know who you are and so does my family.
Little did you know that your donations were literally saving my life. This is because I acquired aspergillosis from the chemotherapy. With this comes a very expensive drug called VFend. Thanks to my employer, Vancouver Island University, I have 80 per cent coverage for my prescriptions. However this drug is so expensive I was still required to pay $300 dollars per week to stay alive.
I want everyone who donated to my cause to know that you truly helped save my life. Aspergillosis has a 95 per cent mortality rate if untreated and a 10 to 40 per cent mortality rate with treatment. Without this medication I would not have survived.
I am recovering and hoping that within the next few months that I will be able to return to work. I am still required to take the medication as it takes a very long time for this infection to be completely treated
I know my mom has still been raising funds through a donation jar at The Blue Loon, whom I cannot thank enough for allowing her to do that. Every dollar has gone to my medication and I cannot thank you all enough.
So thank you Clearwater for being there for me and my family when we needed you the most. I am in remission and happy to be alive. I was always proud to say I was from Clearwater and this is just one of the many reasons. The generosity, love and support has always made me call Clearwater HOME.