Konstantin's Medical Fund
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for visiting this page and reading about Konstantin's story! Konstantin is a bright 16-years old young man who was recently diagnosed with cancer. No one in his family has ever battled cancer, so this news was even more shocking to Konstantin’s parents, Dale and Tatyana Zaremski.
The symptoms began appearing in the July of 2016. Konstantin complained that the sores on his palate were bothering him more and more. His parents took Konstantin to several doctors, oral surgeons, emergency rooms, but it wasn’t until his 4th biopsy that the doctors made the final diagnosis - lymphoma cancer. This is a cancer of the blood. Within the next 2 days after the diagnosis, Konstantin went through 3 surgeries and his first round of chemotherapy treatments.
Konstantin is unable to eat on his own – the sores in his mouth have turned into holes as the tissue dies away. He will be needing chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow transplant, and after all the treatments, reconstructive palate surgery. Did you know that cancer drugs cost an average of $10,000/month and therapies topping $30,000/month? This is excluding the cost of surgeries, hospital stay, and provider fees – these will not be in 5-digit numbers! This page was created for Konstantin to help his family cover the astronomical expenses for cancer treatment. We are kindly asking for your donations – every bit helps! Also, please keep Konstantin in your prayers!
Thank you for reading Konstantin’s story. If you’d like to receive more information, please do not hesitate to contact us. God bless!
Earlier this year Konstantin received his GED. He also attended his high school graduation ceremony with his classmates and received special recognition by his acting principal.
Soon after turning 18, Konstantin received his drivers license, and even has been helping his family pick up his younger brother from school.
He was accepted to community college, ready to attend this fall, but then received his doctor's approval to proceed with his surgery. He and his family had much difficulty trying to find a surgeon with the skills necessary to perform the very complex reconstructive palate surgery. The procedure involved harvesting skin along with connected artery and vein blood supply from his arm to be used for his new soft palate that they would create. Then they would harvest a very thin top layer of skin from his leg to cover the area on his arm.
After Konstantin and family meeting with several potential surgeons, they found one over an hour's drive away. His surgery happened a couple of weeks ago. Konstantin was in hospital for a grueling six days after surgery. The surgery lasted more than 13 hours!
He has been at home for about a week now, doing some more hyperbaric oxygen treatments again and on the way to a speedy recovery! As always, he really enjoys having visitors. I will let you know when I learn more. Please continue to keep Konstantin in your prayers, God Bless!
As I mentioned before, this is to help his body develop new blood vessels and tissue to heal over the bone. According to the doctor, the process has been working and he has seen improvement in skin color inside his mouth. The dead bone must be removed so the tissue can continue the process of covering over live healthy bone. If they don't remove the bone, he's more at risk to infections. All of this is in preparation for reconstructive palate surgery some time next year.
The helmet Konstantin wears is a plastic flexible clear bubble that attaches to a ring. He was fitted with his own ring with rubber gasket that fits securely around his neck to keep the oxygen in. One tube connected to the helmet delivers pure oxygen to Konstantin. Another tube connected to the helmet removes the carbon dioxide. The chamber can treat several people at a time. The number of people needing treatment changes on a daily basis.
The hyperbaric technicians begin to pressurize the chamber to the equivalent of 40 feet below sea level. Once pressurized to that level, the technicians pump oxygen into the helmets. The process of breathing pure oxygen under pressure is what allows the body to recognize dead or dying areas and begin to grow new blood vessels to these areas.
As the chamber is being pressurized (the decending process), the air becomes very dense and the molecules bump into each other more, which causes the temperature in the chamber to rise. During the two hour procedure of being under pressure, they are allowed two five minute breaks to drink water if they wish. After two hours, they begin the surfacing process, which releases pressure, causing the air to become less dense, which causes the temperature in the chamber to become very cool.
Here are a few pictures of the process that Konstantin has shared. I'll continue to keep you informed of his progress. As always please keep Konstantin in your prayers!
The past few weeks have been relatively quiet for Konstantin given all of the events to date. So the good news is that the doctors are going to try and stop his nightly IV infusions this week that he's been doing for about a couple of months now. We'll know for sure later this week. Also, he's been on a 6 week weaning process for the other GVHD med, and that should be ending in a couple of weeks, since his labs have been gradually improving.
The doctors have diagnosed Konstantin with osteonecrosis of his palate, also called avascular necrosis. This is when you have death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. They believe it is most likely due to the radiation treatments that he received. To combat the progression of this condition and to help rejuvenate his body, doctors have recommended that Konstantin undergo hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatments to help stimulate the growth of tissue and bone again. This treatment is designed to permanently improve the delivery of oxygen to the hard-to-reach part of the body like the palate, and to stop bone deteriation. Before he can begin this process Konstantin will need to have very small tubes surgically placed in his ears to help him with the equalization of pressure of his middle ear while he's undergoing the HBO treatment.
The HBO treatment will be for two hours a day, five days a week, for a duration of 6 weeks! The hope is that this treatment will help his bone and tissue to better survive the eventual reconstructive palate surgery tentatively scheduled for some time next year.
As I mentioned before, this will be a long road to recovery. Please keep Konstantin in your prayers. God Bless.
Hey Konstantin, we miss you at school and hope for a fast recovery so that we can see that great smile back in the hallways. I'm thankful for the opportunity to go to elementary school with you and to get to know what a great person you are. My favorite memory is when we went to the rockies game in 6th grade. I will pray that you get many more opportunities to spend with friends. I know that you have the strength to kick cancer's butt! Love and Prayers, Sarah Yingling
Hey. You probably dont temember me sinve i only know you in middle school but I hope you get better thats so crazy and sad what happened.
So glad that your getting some fun in between all the medical stuff. Can't wait until your life is back to normal and you can get back to school and life after this detour. Still praying for you K.
Keep hanging in there Konstantin, you're still in a lot of folks' prayers for a complete recovery. Look how far you've come! Keep up with the positive thoughts and let us know how you continue to improve. You've got your mom's DNA helping out so you should be good in no time.
Congratulations on finishing this part of your treatment! Good luck with the next step. You can do this!!!!
Stay strong Konstantin; you have a lot of people in the community pulling for you and you are in my prayers for healing every night. One day at a time and soon you'll be back and TR with your friends. You are not alone!