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Community comes together to support Tucson cancer patient

Holiday wish for new CPAP machine comes true
Doctor taking pulse
Posted at 2:05 PM, Dec 19, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It's been an interesting month for Donna Seals. The wife, mother and leukemia cancer patient, was in desperate need of a new CPAP machine, after her Philips DreamStation CPAP machine became part of a recall over the summer.

RELATED: Cancer patient facing challenges to get replacement of recalled machine

Donna's Medicare won’t cover a replacement. She's only had her machine for over a year and Medicare will only help pay for a new CPAP machine every five years.

“I don’t even know how to express how grateful I am. I understand that they have three million machines to fix, but there are people like me that don’t have the Christmas angels that I had and don’t have the voice to get out there,” Seals said.

KGUN 9 went to Philips to find out about a solution, and the company responded saying it could take up to a year to send out a new machine. It turns out that after our story aired Donna says she has been blessed in more ways than one.

“There are a lot of caring people that wanted to help, they had a lot of used machines, but because of my chemotherapy and it taking my immune system out, I needed to use a new one,” Seals said.

The family put up a GoFundMe page and started to raise money, then days later someone donated two new machines to help Donna get by.

“People I didn’t even know were donating to it and when I heard about the two other machines, I refunded everybody back their money,” Seals said.

Unfortunately, a new problem popped up, causing the family to go back to square one in their quest for a new machine.

“They were brought to me and ended up being recalled units,” Seals said.

Then family, friends and strangers joined forces to make Donna’s holiday wish come true. She was finally able to get a new CPAP machine with no recall. The two new recalled machines that were donated to Donna were also sent back to Philips to be replaced.

“My sister-in-law and two of my nieces and their friends got together and got the money. They bought my machine for me they got it on Black Friday. It was about $300 to $400 less than what it would’ve been,” Seals said.

On top of that Donna’s church gave her a donation to cover travel expenses during her chemotherapy trips to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Phoenix.

"They’re amazing the “Church of Christ” on South Country Club they got together and put some money together, a couple thousand dollars,” Seals said.

When it comes to her health Donna says her blood work is getting better. Nowadays, she can breathe a lot easier knowing she has a new machine and all of the support she could ever need to make it through one of the toughest times of her life.

“It has been a blessing I have a lot more energy. I can breathe easier, I can sleep at night. I have the most grateful heart with the times we’re going through right now. I get cards and such through the mail along with prayers and kind words, that just keeps you going,” Seals said.