Krista Giannoukakis, 26, was five and a half months pregnant with her second child when she was diagnosed with Stage 2 cervical cancer in December. Her first treatment began on Dec. 15, and Giannoukakis said she didn't have time to process what was happening.
"At first I was afraid I was having a miscarriage," she said during a phone interview Thursday.
An emergency C-section was scheduled in January, and Giannoukakis gave birth to a healthy baby before she received some heartbreaking news. Her cancer had progressed and spread to her chest, and was considered terminal.
A GoFundMe page was made by a relative to support her and her fiancé for travelling expenses to Halifax hospitals, medical bills and treatment costs. As of Thursday afternoon, they were only $100 away from reaching the $8,500 goal.
Approximately 130 people have donated money on the online fundraising website, leaving supportive, heartfelt messages. Many remained anonymous.
Giannoukakis was overwhelmed that so many strangers would "actually care" about her and her family.
"We're not related. They don't know me. But they're opening up their hearts," Giannoukakis said audibly fighting back tears.
For now, she said doctors are continuing her chemo to help prolong her life, and are hoping for another year.
Giannoukakis hopes to raise awareness about cervical cancer, and a fundraiser is scheduled this weekend to help raise more money to help her and her family with future costs.
"At the end of the day, I have to plan a funeral for myself," she said.
Giannoukakis said her fiance, who left his job to assist at home, will also need help and financial assistance with kids when he has to grieve.
A fundraiser has been planned for this Saturday at the Dooly's in Lower Sackville, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. A silent auction, 50/50 and more are planned for the event, with all proceeds going to directly to Giannoukakis. The family is still looking for donations from local businesses.
For anyone looking to donate, a Facebook page has been created called 'Fundraiser for Krista.' The GoFundMe page is also still available for those unable to attend, and is called 'Krista's Cancer Fight & BabyExpenses.'