Category Archives: Help Requests

A Final Update

IMG_5657 IMG_9917As our community approaches the size of our hometown of Sacramento, I have a final update to share: Mikaela has been transitioned to hospice care & I’ve decided to table the campaign to remove any distractions during this time. These are difficult words to type, but it’s the clear choice at this point.

While we were not successful with getting the drug, your support has been essential in providing a boost of hope to get us through the past couple months — THANK YOU! If you’re able, here are 3 ways you can help us in the coming days:

1) THOUGHTS: As we enjoy our final days together, your thoughts/prayers/vibes for a smooth and pain-free transition are much appreciated. The hospice team has been doing a great job of keeping Mikaela comfortable, and we’re doing everything we can to keep it that way. It’s an unavoidably precarious situation, so your thoughts are much appreciated!
2) MONEY: Having never been through a situation like this before, I’m nervous about the costs of everything in the coming weeks. If you’re able, we’d greatly appreciate any financial assistance you’re able to provide. You were all extremely generous during our campaign to cover the cost of genetic testing, and we’ll be receiving those results shortly. In lieu of setting up a whole new fundraising page, we’re just going to keep the page for that campaign open for the time being. Thanks to those who are able, and we completely understand if you’re not!
3) SUPPORTING OTHERS: Please do not allow the outcome of our campaign stop you from supporting others. Even though we were unsuccessful, the fight brought great joy to Mikaela during these rough times and anyone in her position will benefit from a similar experience. You’ll be able to find other compassionate use petitions & I want to highlight the petition for 10 year-old Joey Xu as he faces the same subtype of kidney cancer.

Nothing I can say will make up for the half-million who’ve lent their support, but I hope I’ll be able to repay the favor someday to as many of you as possible. Just let me know! If her story has provided you even a fraction of the inspiration it’s given me, then I’m proud to know that she made the world a better place.

Holding Mikaela’s hand & prepared for the coming days,

Keith Knapp

ps: I hope you enjoy these final pictures of Mikaela’s unfailing positivity. These were taken just a few days ago, with Mikaela making funny faces while wearing her friend’s glasses.

Saturday Update #1

I’m going to start doing an update every Saturday morning, with news about Mikaela’s health, progress on the #WEGOTTHIS campaign, and a list of help requests for the week. I will share it to our Facebook page, but you can also subscribe to updates to our blog by clicking the “Follow She Got This” button at the bottom-left of this page.  – Keith

First, a health update: the discharge paperwork has been filed, and Mikaela is slated to come back home today! I can’t tell you how excited I am to wake up next to her tomorrow morning.

You might not see many posts from me over the weekend, as I’m going to be focusing on getting Mikaela settled back in to home life & a restorative diet, so I want to fill you in on the plans for next week & how you can help out.

First of all, thanks to your suggestions we’ve identified a couple more anti-PD-1 Phase I clinical trials to explore. We’re targeting firm responses on each of them by Friday, and we’ll definitely keep you posted.

We are choosing to be optimistic about these new trials, but our continued rejections from every clinical trial we contact make it clear that we need to keep forging ahead on the compassionate use front. Further, Mikaela’s health is in such a state that we don’t have time to put compassionate use on the back-burner.

To that end, we’ll be working with change.org to plan a day in the near future to personally deliver our massive number of petitions directly to the pharmaceutical companies. This is where YOU come in: Over the next week, while we are exploring these clinical trials, we need our community to grow significantly. A quarter-million signatures is very strong, but I want so many petitions that we need other people to help us carry the boxes full of them when we drop them off.

Request: Expanding the #WEGOTTHIS Community
I know most of you have pushed this to your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and that’s helped us get to this point; however, Mikaela & I need you to find some time in the next week to get this story in front of the eyes of everyone in your local community. Push our media kit to your local media; ask your school, church, office, professional sports team, student group, etc. for the opportunity to speak and share our story and the link to the petition (change.org/savemywife); make sure every member of your family has signed; and reach out to celebrities/athletes on Twitter to get them involved. I don’t have a firm number that we need to reach to consider this week a success, but 500,000 by next Friday would leave us in a very strong position if we were to be rejected from all these Phase I trials. I am available for any and all media opportunities, so please put any contacts you have or make in touch with me — contact info available on the media page.

Next week, we’ll have more details about the petition deliveries, including an invite for you to participate. The HQs of these pharmaceutical companies are in NYC/NJ & South San Francisco, so if you’re in the area we’d love to have you join us for this significant day. But that’s next week…for now, let’s ramp up the recruitment effort, and drive our numbers further!

#WEGOTTHIS

With love from Keith & Mikaela in rainy Folsom, CA.

 

 

Update: Congressman Ami Bera

Neil & Tristen showed some gratefulness. Have you? Send Congressman Bera a thanks for Mikaela & I, if you have the time!

Be a Part of Our Video

Hey #wegotthis family:

We’re putting together a video to spread the word about our community to various national media outlets, and we need YOU to make it whole! Here’s how you can join in:

Step 1: Go somewhere beautiful nearby.
Step 2: Shoot a short video of you (& fellow #wegotthis peeps) saying SHOUTING, “We Got This!!” (NOTE: If you’re using a smart phone, please shoot in landscape orientation — phone laying on the side — so it looks good on TV.)
Step 3: Send me the video before this Thursday, March 27th: keithknappjr@gmail.com
Step 4: See yourself on our video collage when we share it this weekend!

Let me know if you have any questions. Looking forward to showing off our new family!

Love,
Keith

PS: Here’s an example: http://youtu.be/mCU1sI8Nads. And here’s another example for a larger group: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO5evxY_XQs.

For the Givers

We’re nearing 100,000 signatures on our petition! We want to say welcome to all of the new members of the #wegotthis team who joined today — amazing! We heard from our state assemblywoman’s office today, and they’ll be discussing how they can help us during their staff meeting tomorrow!

Since we launched this campaign last Friday, we’ve been receiving hundreds of requests for us to get a PO Box so that people can send money to help us with expenses. It’s great living in such a giving world, but Mikaela’s insurance has been great and we’re staying with my parents so we don’t really need any help right now with day-to-day expenses.

Today, we received a very wise recommendation: testing the genetics of Mikaela’s cancer so that we can explore therapies targeted specifically to her. Our insurance does not cover this, and it is quite expensive, so I’m thinking that this would be the best way for the givers out there to help us to give Mikaela a chance against cancer.

I set up a fundraising page which can be accessed here: http://gfwd.at/1hTL25D.

We appreciate any size donation, and we in no way require a donation to be part of the #wegotthis team. We love you guys, and we’re excited to be able to get this genetic testing done ASAP with your help!

With appreciation on an amazingly lazy Sunday,
Keith

Drive Our Story through the Weekend

First off, Mikaela wanted me to be sure to share her thank you video to all of you #wegotthis folks. Sorry for the poor quality, but it’s an iPhone vid.

For our local news piece from Friday to lead to coverage on a larger scale, there needs to be a great deal of visible interest. With almost 3,000 likes, 1,000 shares, and 200 comments on the FB post associated with our piece on the News 10 Facebook page, I would say we are well on the way!

To put the icing on the cake, we need to drive the story through the weekend. Please do the following 2 things to help us do just that:

1. View and SHARE the story here. Please note that there are 2 different reports at this link. The banner video that plays upon opening the page is, in my opinion, not as strong as the 2nd report which you’ll find at the end of the article. I’m working on getting a copy of the 2nd video so that we can share directly to our network.

2. If you’re on Twitter, RT & respond to these 2 tweets. For your response, please consider thanking News 10/Patrick Walker for covering our story.

That’s all for today! Hope everyone had a great day. Mikaela is nearing a return home from the hospital!

Time to Get Mikaela’s Congressman Involved

**Before you read this, be sure that you’ve read the media kit.**

Ami Bera is in his first term as our local House representative here in Sacramento. Congressman Bera could be a great asset for us to work with to rally support for the cause; however, to make this happen we need to make it clear that many of his constituents demand this action.

Please call Ami Bera’s district office at (916) 635-0505, and ask to speak with his District Director, Faith Whitmore. If she’s not available, leave a message.

If you’re too busy to call, please consider contacting via Facebook or Twitter.

Talking points:

  • Mikaela Knapp is a 25 y/o lifelong Sacramento-area resident fighting a rare type of kidney cancer and has exhausted all FDA-approved options for treatment.
  • Mikaela is seeking access to Merck’s lambrolizumab, a breakthrough anti-PD-1 immunotherapy that is currently only available in clinical trials. In previous trials, lambrolizumab has demonstrated unprecedented success at treating kidney cancer, completely curing several individuals who would have been doomed to die otherwise.
  • Mikaela has sought a place in many clinical trials offering lambrolizumab or similar anti-PD-1 drugs, but has been deemed ineligible each time. Because the exclusionary criteria for clinical trials of this immunotherapy seem to be the same across all trials, Mikaela is losing hope in finding a clinical trial that will accept her and needs help urgently to find a way to be treated with this immunotherapy.
  • Ask that Congressman Bera work on our behalf with Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, or Genentech to firm up a single patient access compassionate use agreement ASAP. As a former physician, Congreesman Bera is especially capable of handling this.
  • Ask that Congressman Bera’s office help spread our petition locally and request that they arrange a meeting with Mikaela’s husband (Keith) as soon as possible, because the cancer continues to spread while Mikaela isn’t receiving any treatment.

Keith
keithknappjr@gmail.com
916 6738274

Spread the Word

[Update: The Media Kit is now live.]

[Update 2: Please get in touch with your local media today! Contact Karen Blondell (karen.blondell@gmail.com) for a template and resources for finding the contact information you need. Do it ASAP so we can get more press interested in advance of our debut on local news here in Sacramento tonight! I’ll be sharing the footage from that interview once it’s posted online. If you’re local, tune in to Channel 10 News at 5, 6, 11, or tomorrow morning when we’ll be the featured story. Thanks so much!]

We have crafted a media plan with the help of many of our followers from Mikaela’s PR days. We launch tomorrow with an interview on News 10 here in Sacramento, and from that interview we’ll be culling a great deal of content to make a massive nationwide push for Mikaela to receive single patient access to these immunotherapies. (If you haven’t signed & shared our petition yet, please do so now!)

We need YOU to volunteer to push the message to local news stations in your city. [Update: We have a great number of sign-ups on both coasts, so if you’re based there please consider taking on another city in Middle America or the South in addition to your local contacts. They need to be a part of this as well!] Please sign up below & leave a comment with your name, email, Twitter handle, and target city/cities to receive our media kit. I will keep the comments private so your information will not be shared.   I’ll be sending out the media kits this evening via email & I’ll put together a list on Twitter as well.

[Update: I’ve received several inquiries from our new friends in other countries, so I’m adding some global cities outside the US as well. I added an “other” option if yours isn’t listed.]

Thank you for your help. This is our most significant request yet. Mikaela is still in the hospital, but excited about the outlook.

Please consider sharing the link to this page via Facebook or Twitter to help us reach more allies! Here’s a link to my tweet about it — just hit the RT button!

Doing well today!

Doing well today!

Thanks for being a part of #mikaelasarmy — all you’ve done, continue to do, and will do in the coming week to give her a chance at living beyond 25.

Keith