Updated posted by Gregory Djlazyboy Sherrell 2 months ago
Dr. Anthony Lieu has donated his...
Created by Gregory Djlazyboy Sherrell on February 6, 2013
My name is Gregory, and at 14 years of age I took on stage IV Squamous Cell Carcinoma originating in my nasal pharynx, and I won. I was treated with extensive radiation to my head and neck, experimentally combined with chemo… an experimental treatment that saved my life! THANK YOU Dr. Quivey, Dr. Alan Mitchell Kramer and everyone at UCSF. It was a tough fight, but I was too young to give up. I wanted to live and it showed every day as I kept pushing through the side effects of the treatment. That was 16 years ago (so happy to have put it behind me).
However, as a result of the life saving treatment, I now face severe dental health issues that have left me with 9 partial, and barely usable teeth, along with constant infections that swell up my face and cause throbbing pain. Eating is a chore, and I no longer look forward to it. I too often go without eating at all, for I have little desire to endure the pain. To better explain it, eating with this condition can be compared to walking with rocks in your shoes.
When my mouth is at ease enough to eat, I worry about breaking the teeth that are left. When the infections are bad, I will take a Vicodin, apply Orajel, and do my best to sleep it off.
I have come to enjoy pasta, mashed potatoes, really soft squash, some sushi, soup, yogurt, rice, beans, and shakes. Pasta is about to be taken off of that list and my once favorite sandwich grilled cheese can only be eaten with dipping soup. I accept it, but oh how I long for Doritos, big juicy avocado burgers, french fries, roast beef, shrimp that crunches with juices every bite (I am drooling right now), celery with peanut butter, apples, crackers (I can do crackers now, but I put one in my mouth and then take a swig of water to let it get soft enough to chew, you see where I'm coming from?)... and man... when I was a kid I used to LOVE Corn nuts, something I wouldn't even dare dream about eating anymore.
Over the years, I have seen dentists/oral surgeons, and had some work done. But in the last 6 years my condition has taken a turn for the worse. I’ve gone from being able to smile and eat semi-normally, to grinning mouth closed and watching my weight drop to as low as 106 lbs. Aside from the dramatic weight loss, the worst part is, people judge me all of the time. Many assume I smoke meth do to my appearance. Really, I don't blame them, because judgment is mostly based on experience, and I can admit that I judge people all the time as well... I suppose it's natural. In my opinion, judgment is there to protect me when my instinct says there is something to be aware and cautious of. That being said, in my case, others judgment of me is wrong.
I have been DJ’ing for 13 years, and I must admit I am AMAZING at it. I've always been around musical instruments and music. It is my passion, and that passion can be seen when I perform. My work load is directly and negatively affected by my appearance. Let's be honest, who wants the wedding DJ to have no teeth? lol. I understand, and accept that… Not the end of the world, I factor it in. Every picture I take is close mouthed. My girlfriend tells me how much she loves how I am comfortable enough to smile around her. She is GREAT and has helped encourage me to make this public step forward to a get my health back
Okay, enough of the pity party though... Here's what is current with solving this issue.
I have gotten multiple medical opinions and have found a couple of oral surgeons who are willing to perform a risky procedure. With the level of radiation my face and mouth have had, I am prone to a condition called “Osteoradionecrosis” (you might need to google it). Basically, it is when bone has died as a result of insufficient blood supply, and it will not heal. So there is a HUGE risk, worst case scenario I lose my whole jaw... Nonetheless I am willing to take the risk. The only way out is through! After speaking to the head of oral surgery at UCSF, and getting a “yes” to the operation from him, he broke down the cost and it is steep. $45k is what I am looking at. It’s $4,500 for the extractions, and the remaining $39,500 is for anesthesia & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, operating room use, general care, etc. Simply put, I don’t have $45,000. I don’t have any savings at all. I need your help raising the money to get the procedure I so greatly need.
The procedure consists of:
1. 20 Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Dives (begins March 18th)
2. Extracting all of the teeth
3. Grinding down the bone
4. Sewing up the skin
5. Getting dentures (done courtesy of Dr. Anthony Lieu)
6. 10 more Hyperbaric Oxygen Dives7. Healing and adjustments
The surgeon at UCSF I plan on being worked on by is:
M. Anthony Pogrel, DDS, MD
I know raising that much money is a lot to ask, but I also know I have a lot of people who stand in my corner. I believe in POWER BY NUMBERS. I believe in the POWER OF LOVE. And most of all, I believe in my dedication and commitment to myself. I have made it this far... when I could have given up the day I was diagnosed. I was born to LiVE. And that's what I am committed to.
Also, I want it to be known, this is NOT my only effort to solve this issue. I am also looking for support from other outlets. For example, my girlfriend wrote Dr. Phil (lol, hey if it helps in any way I am interested). Most importantly I am working as much as I can and trying to save, but it’s been a very difficult task to save anything and make ends meet. Overall, my quality of life is what is important. I deserve to smile, I want to smile proudly and without fear of judgment. I deserve to feel confident. And I deserve to EAT ALL of the yummy treats this beautiful life has to offer!
THANK YOU ALL FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ MY STORY. EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS...
LiVE LOVE EVERYDAY. <3
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posted by Julia Brigden 1 month ago
Such a brave man. God bless him.
posted by Cynthia Chidester 2 months ago
Your amazing && so strong!
posted by Jenna Bumpus 2 months ago
Greg is the real deal people, no joke
posted by Alec Amaton 2 months ago
This is a wonderful venue to help people and get their stories out, I have met Greg and he is a warm hearted, sweet man, who needs everyone's help...promote, donate, support....LiVE LOVE!
posted by Genessa Stone 3 months ago
It was good meeting you the other night at Christy's. I looked up your story and want to help. Hit me on my FB and I'll share your story. I want to help you raise some of that money you need. Keep your head up.
posted by Jc Bautista 3 months ago
Greg is definitely funny and really talented. He and I have been friends and Djing together since we were 15; we were also room mates for a while down in Santa Barba and have had many good times over the years. Something to know about Greg is he has a fearless heart even though Greg's a smaller sized guy he never took $#! from anyone. One time back in the day a kid was messing with him at the teen center and Greg sprayed him in the face with spray paint!! Lol, I think this fits into his comedy side because he's the only one I've ever know who used a can of spray paint for selfdefense. Love you bro!!! Keep on living!!!
posted by Mengesha DjMendoja 3 months ago
I have known Greg since he and my son became close friends around the age of six or seven and he was just as talented and funny then as he is today and between the two of them I know there was a teacher or two that couldnt keep them busy enough. I was happy to chip in, and I hope you are able to get your surgery this is quite a feat you pulled off Greg, and I think it has inspired all of us. You dont have to thank me young man, I want to thank you.......
posted by Laurel Faulk 3 months ago
I hope you're able to get the funding you need to get yourself a new set of teeth! Your story is incredibly brave and I hope that it gets across to as many people needed in order to help you make your goal! Congrats to you on being so strong and tough enough to be able to fight this battle and also to ask for help, which I bet can be just as hard to do!
posted by April Lofgren 3 months ago
Ask and you shall receive
posted by Sarah Hinds 3 months ago
Your story gave me chills...... your realistic outlook and positive strength are encouraging. I wish you the best. Your talent and hardwork will pay off. Prayers and best wishes...... Everyone deserves a smile. Maybe your girlfriend should write Obama and ask why Dental care is not a priority....and share your story. Who knows what could happen. I am 100% sure you will raise your funds, and look forward to seeing a big ass smile on your face in the next year!
posted by - Michelle Sepulveda 3 months ago
AMAZING!!!!!!!!! to witness this!! and humbling to be a part of it. You will reach your goal....NO DOUBT!!
posted by Xtina Ford 3 months ago
Angelique!!! It has been a long time... Please don't be saddened at all... be happy that you are able to be a part of this support group... the choice is there for you to cradle... and remember. I am so grateful for all of this support. Thank you. ps I hope you added me... we should do lunch sometime. :)
posted by Gregory Sherrell 3 months ago
Alec, THANK YOU my friend. Your support means a lot to me, and is a contribution not only to my health, well being of society, and our friendship, it is a contribution that has supported the LOVE we share for life... Thank you Mr. Cre-8!!! you rock.
posted by Gregory Sherrell 3 months ago
I just figured out how to comment on here... lol... (it only took one click smh) Dennis thank you... your support is accounted for and is equal to any monetary support that I have received. In most that I have experienced in life "IT" depends on "who" you/I know more than anything that can create some of the most impacting results... AND beyond that it's support in ANY shape of form that fuels the engine to push ahead and thru the fog. So I thank you for your support/contribution/LOVE.
posted by Gregory Sherrell 3 months ago
Wow Greg, been way too long but you are so right about power in numbers and I'm glad our small world brought me across this post on FB. I know you're not looking for pity and that's far from what I feel, just shock and sadness that you've endured so much. I wish money wasn't a factor and that I could help more, but I will definitely be keeping you in my prayers and sharing your story. Wishing you strength and comfort on the journey ahead.
posted by Angelique Maxwell 3 months ago
Got ya bud!
posted by Alec Amaton 3 months ago
First off I wanna say this is Gregory is one of the nicest people I have ever met. His D.J skills are off the charts. If anybody deserves this it is him. I would love to donate but at the time I am unable to. If you guys could please help him out that would be great. Thank you.
posted by Dennis Fanucchi 3 months ago
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