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Community Raises Over $50,000 For Fair Lawn Teacher Battling Rare Cancer

Maria Smith
Maria Smith Photo Credit: COURTESY: Teresa Vojack

FAIR LAWN N.J.– An outpouring of help for a Fair Lawn woman battling cancer has produced over $50,000 in donations.

Maria Smith's sister, Teresa Vojack of Hawthorne, created a special account to help pay for treatment.

"This has all come as quite a shock to our family," Vojack wrote on the GoFundMe page she created for her kin. "Our first instinct is to draw upon our family for these things, but we have quickly found that our friends, co-workers, and community members are there and want to help us as well."

Smith suffers from peritoneal mesothelioma but is a candidate for a 10-12 hour surgical procedure which includes chemotherapy, Vojack said.

Smith will have a port – an artificial vein –implanted after the procedure, her sister said.

However, Smith's insurance will not cover the operation, according to Vojack.

Smith, a teacher, lives in Fair Lawn with her husband of two years, Isaac.

The couple planned to adopt a child but are unable due to Smith's diagnosis, according to Vojack.

Smith returned home earlier this week from a rehabilitation center and "is getting stronger every day and she continues to heal," Vojack said.

There will be a two-week break before a "rigorous" chemotherapy regimen, the sister added.

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