By Tia Lynn Ivey
The Brandy Angel Foundation, a non-profit organization that uses photography to raise awareness for families in crisis, is helping a local mother of two who is battling a rare and aggressive cancer, raise funds to help cover her medical expenses. Right now, the goal on Deanna’s Gofundme Campaign is set at $10,000.
Deanna Raymond, 32, is the daughter of Gigi and Hal Gerhardt, owners of the popular downtown hair salon, Gigi’s Salon & Day Spa. Deanna was first diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer, a rare condition, about four years ago at age 29. She went into remission but the cancer came back in January of 2018. As of November, Deanna’s condition worsened after a severe seizure, which led to the discovery that her cancer has spread to her brain, with tumors also detected in her lungs, liver, and spine.
Deanna’s husband Shawn Raymond is now her full-time caregiver, while the family continues seeking treatment. Deanna has two children, Jaida Simmons, 16, and Camden Raymond, 4. “Deanna is one of the strongest, sweetest people I have known and is still very upbeat and positive and is very hopeful in her treatment!” said Angel. “We are asking for all prayer warriors to come together and pray really hard for her and her family as she fights for her life. If you can donate payments will go directly to her pharmacy and rent, gas to and from treatments and groceries! We are trying to ease this financial burden as much as possible so this sweet family can focus on her fighting this cancer! Please join me in supporting this family. Your kindness and generosity will contribute to the success of Deanna’s treatment, providing the best care and lifting the spirits of this sweet family.
Angel is hoping the community will rally around this local family who have been long-time community members.
“This family has played a prominent role in the Morgan County community by opening Gigi’s Salon & Day Spa, located in the heart of downtown Madison, servicing the community for over 14-plus years,” said Angel. “Understandably, Deanna has had a hard time juggling her diagnosis, treatment, caring for her 4-year-old-son, and working hard in the salon to provide for their family. I hope by sharing her story and her photos with you we can help raise funds that will allow Deanna to receive Chemo treatments, help with travel expenses to and from those treatments, assist with additional medical expenses, and anything else that may be helpful during this time.”
According to Angel, the family is hoping to send Deanna to the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
“This National Cancer Institute actively participates in new drug development and strongly focuses on aggressive treatments for all major cancers. The family hopes that enrolling Deanna in this program would open new avenues for her treatment ultimately saving her life,” said Angel.
To donate, visit the Raymonds’ GoFundMe Campaign: www.gofundme.com/please-help-deanna.
You can also give directly to Deanna’s mother, Gigi at Gigi’s Hair Salon, located at 132 West Jefferson Street in Madison, Ga.
“Please keep this beautiful family in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this very difficult time!” said Angel.