In just two days, an online fundraiser to help a Franklin Square mother with her cancer treatment had surpassed its goal of $100,000.
“It has been such an emotional rollercoaster, and these two days really took me back to every person I’ve crossed paths with — in basketball, life, elementary school — and I was in awe at the countless messages that began with ‘You don’t know me, but,’” Margaret Elenis posted as an update on her GoFundMe on Oct. 28, adding that it is “such a beautiful feeling to know I have an army behind me.”
At the age of 28, with a new husband and a new baby, Elenis was diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer. Her family spent thousands of dollars covering integrative medicine treatment, and by her 29th birthday, she was in remission.
She then decided to dedicate her life to teaching, educating and spreading awareness about healthy lifestyles, and opened a wellness and holistic center in Garden City in February 2020, after quitting her job as a teacher in New York City. Unfortunately, only three weeks later, she had to close it down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Then, in April, Elenis found out she was pregnant with her second child. Shortly thereafter, she began to experience severe pains, and at five-and-a-half months pregnant, a doctor told her that he had found cancerous lumps in her bones, lungs and liver.
That same week, Elenis also contracted Covid and a staph infection that would not allow her wounds to hear, and would destroy her immune system. Due to the severity of her cancer, she had to give birth to her son at just 30 weeks.
He has since gained a pound in the newborn intensive care unit, where he remains to this day, while his mother tries to recover.
Elenis said she is “so impressed” by her son, but her treatments cost an average of three to four thousand dollars a week. Insurance does not cover it, which is why she needs help financially.
But still, she said, she remains positive that she will get better, as Franklin Square community members had raised $122,000 for her medical bills.