On the early morning of July 1st, 2015, Julie Ann Paranal, after three hard fought years of battling cancer, passed away. Her death, and more so the cause of her death, came as a surprise to many of her friends, and even to some family. It was only in light of her death that many of us learned of her courageous battle with breast cancer.
Julie was a truly beautiful person and a free spirit. She was fearless in living her life despite all its inherent challenges and disappointments. She was the friend that enthusiastically celebrated your life accomplishments, as well as the friend that would readily volunteer to do whatever it took to guide others out of their own moments of darkness. Julie could turn the most pessimistic of pessimists into an optimist. She had a penchant thirst for all things goofy and silly. It would not be a stretch to say that a two-hour conversation with her would consist of an hour and a half of giggles and laughter. She was also a very girly girl. One of Julies final requests before her passing, was for her brother to help her put on her eyelashes while she lay on the hospital bed. She was also vibrant, kind, warm, and loving to all that knew her. Most of all, she was a wonderful mother. If she were to be remembered for no other reason, it would be how much she loved her kids. Her children, including fighting so hard to stay alive for them, defined every aspect of her life.
On April of 2012, at the age of 30, Julie was diagnosed with Breast Angiosarcoma. Breast Angiosarcoma is an extremely rare form of Cancer, and carries with it a very grim prognosis. Nonetheless, Julie, being an avid fan of life, a single mother of two beautiful children, and a genuine beacon of positivity, committed herself to doing everything humanly possible to overcome this disease. After undergoing multiple bouts of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, Julie was able to send her cancer into remission. Unfortunately, at the beginning of 2015, it was discovered that Julies Angiosarcoma had returned. This time more aggressively, classified as a stage 4, and present in her lungs. Despite this, you would never have known Julie was ill. She was as loving, positive, and happy in living life as she was fierce and defiant in battling cancer.
Julie did not want her life to be defined by an illness, and as a supremely independent woman, did not seek assistance or pity from others. It was for this reason that she kept her condition a secret from almost everyone with the exception of her brother Jason. We also learned that her illness brought on other misfortunes. Due to prolonged absenteeism at work, she was released from employment. As a result she lost her benefits forcing her to burn through her life savings. As a devoted single mother of two, and the sole provider for her younger brother, not to mention being solely responsible for other financial obligations, including a mortgage, the first course of action that Julie took when her cancer went into remission was to seek employment. A job that would offer the flexibility to allow her the time to deal with her illness should it, as well as provides both health and life insurance. She found the perfect position as a consultant, which allowed her to work at home and provided her the benefits that she needed. Unfortunately, the pay wasnt nearly enough for a mortgage, utilities, accrued medical expenses, raising two children, and supporting her younger brother. She had no choice but to seek employment working in a hospital setting again, which was much more physically taxing. Unfortunately, the only position that would provide her with the income to meet her financial obligations was in a county almost two hours away. She would have access to healthcare benefits but due to her recent medical history, Julie had to secure life insurance on her own, which turned out to be outrageously cost prohibitive. Being the overtly optimistic person that she was, and understanding that her first priority was her family and their current needs, she accepted the job as a traveling nurse, a position that she held until her second bout against cancer made it impossible to continue to work.
A Plea for Help
The outpouring of love, support, and prayers has truly been amazing, and while Julie would probably be the last person in the world to ask others for help, we know that many of you, like us, would like to find a way to alleviate some of the financial burdens of her passing. It is with this in mind that we have set up this donation page for her and her family. Contributions will go directly to paying for funeral arrangements/services, casket, and plot, and to provide support for her two children, Chloe who is seven and Casey who is 4 years old.
To send a donation, visit link: http://www.youcaring.com/julie-ann-paranal-yap-385848#.VZ2LEdNkVso.facebook
Or call Jason Tamayo Paranal at: 619.547.9864