This cancer patient won the lottery and then found out her treatment is working
You have to count your blessings if you or a family member aren't suffering any major health problems at this time. Not only is this a difficult thing for anyone to deal with, but without the right financial support it can be even harder to deal with. Canadian woman Diane Bishop was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2016, and despite her country having relatively good healthcare, she still found herself struggling to make ends meet as the disease affected her life.
Coming from the town of Mount Pearl in Newfoundland, Diane worked as a manager in a convenience store. She was hoping to retire at an earlier date, but she realised that the government payouts would have barely covered her mortgage payments. Finding out that her cancer had spread from her breast to her lung and pelvic bone, it looked like she was all out of luck. After undergoing three rounds of chemotherapy, she found herself with a weak immune system, headaches, fatigue, joint pain and nausea.
In October this year CBC News published an article about the single mother-of-two, which inspired donations from others that gave her the means to afford clinical trial treatments. That's when she decided to treat herself and buy a lottery ticket, which ended up awarding her $1.5 million Canadian ($1.18 million USD). She can now afford to leave her job and focus on her health.
Speaking to CBC News, Diane said:
"We were all jumping and screaming It was like, 'Oh my God, oh my God, we actually won this and our financial troubles are gone'"
"This money wasn't about going out and buying a new house or taking trips, this was about survival. I can survive now, and my kids can survive"
"It's Stage 4, but I'm not giving up. We are still going to do the fight"
"It's like this big ball of weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The stress is gone, the anxieties of being sick, I know I can't beat Stage 4 because you're a ticking time bomb, but it's given me hope that maybe it can go dormant for a while ... and I can live my life."
She has so far used the money to buy a therapeutic bed, and she's trying to stay positive. "I may not survive if I get pneumonia, so I had to weigh the pros and the cons and say, 'OK, you know what, there's got to be a way to make it, if I don't work.'" she said to the news channel, "My health has to come first."
On top of this stroke of luck, she got some great news from her doctor two weeks after she won the lottery. They told her that the chemotherapy was working and the tumors in her lung had shrunk, the fluid had left her lungs, and a bone injury had partially healed. However, her biggest relief is that she can leave her sons with financial stability.
"I can pay all our debts off and we get a clean slate, if I need to go anywhere, there's still money left over. I can invest the rest for the future, and it makes life a whole lot easier."
"I got everything I wished for. I can go happy, but I'm just not going yet"
Diane has plans to donate some of her money to a non-profit that supports cancer patients, in addition to paying the donations she received from strangers onto another cancer patient. Hopefully Diane's health continues to improve and she fights back against the disease.