New Yorkers have banded together to support two young parents who were both diagnosed with cancer in the same week.
Friends and family of Nathan and Elisa Bond launched a website this week that allows anyone to donate money to help the young couple pay for their medical treatments and provide for their 18-month old daughter, Sadie.
Within 24 hours, people from across New York and the United States donated $25,000.
Many have come to know the couple's story through their detailed blog, which was originally launched as a way to document their family as their daughter grew up.
But when they were diagnosed with cancer, the blog became a way for the Bonds to share their struggles with the world.
“We are at the very beginning of this journey -- a journey we pray we will travel with grace and one we are grateful to be traveling with the support and love of our family, friends and even kind strangers,” said Elisa, 36, in an email to NBC New York, on behalf of her family.
Nathan Bond, 38, an artist who teaches at Parsons, was diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer on Valentine’s Day. Elisa began documenting Nathan’s journey in the family blog, detailing his doctor’s appointments and treatments.
Just days later, on Feb. 27, Elisa had to interrupt her description of Nathan’s treatment to deal with another tragedy.
“I'm sure many of you have been waiting to hear how it went with Nathan's first day of chemo, however, I must deliver some more bad news before we get to that,” she wrote on the blog. “On Wednesday, February 23rd, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Yes, me too. Cancer. That's right, read it again. Nathan AND Elisa have cancer. TOGETHER. LIKE NOW.”
Elisa, a real estate agent, was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to the liver and bone.
Her later blog posts struggle to come to terms with the news.
“How tragic was this! A young couple with a baby at home, both diagnosed with cancer less than 2 weeks apart. Truly tragic. Absurd. Unbelievable. Unfathomable. Un-everything,” wrote Elisa.
Elisa and Nathan were forced to take medical leaves from their jobs in order to undergo chemotherapy.
A group of the couple’s friends banded together to create friendsofnathanandelisa.blogspot.com, a site that collects donations to pay for the Bonds' living expenses, transportation and child care as they concentrate on fighting cancer.
“The family and friends of Elisa and Nathan are extremely grateful for the support we have received. People from across New York and the country have helped,” said Laura Gentles, 36, a public relations executive who has known Elisa since their years at Vanderbilt University.
Gentles and other friends from Vanderbilt helped create the site.
“They are incredibly grateful for the amount of support they have received,” said Lorin Weiner, a close friend and neighbor of the Bonds. “The personal messages sent through the site and the financial support have definitely helped.”