Helping Lenny

$25,805 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 167 people in 7 months
Created October 10, 2018
Our friend needs our help; it is time to take care of one of our own. I've done my part by lending a helping hand, now I challenge you to do the same .  TT

In August 2008 everything changed, a Cancer diagnosis will do that. In October 2008, Leonard V. Griffiths III underwent his first operation. The Doctors removed 40-50% of his tongue to get the Squamous Cell Carcinoma out of his non-smoking, non-dipping mouth. Then they cut him from ear to ear under his jaw to remove and test over 100 cells to see if they were cancerous as well. Two weeks later, with staples still in his neck, Lenny and Alycia took off for the Appaloosa World Championship in Fort Worth, Texas for work. He ended up 3rd in the Open Poles on a young 4-year-old with staples in his neck and no pain meds in his system. Being self-employed, with two daughters in college, and one in high school, you do what you have to do for your family to eat. This is why he will forever wear a superhero cape in the eyes of his family. 

33634678_1539201899502703_r.jpegAfter the Worlds he went home and began Chemo and Radiation. The after effects of what it does to your body and how it hardens your throat overtime and your swallowing mechanism goes to crap. But it is part of it, so you put in a feeding tube and go on training horses like it is no big deal. After a while they removed his feeding tube because he could eat pancakes, mashed potatoes and potato soup like a beast… so they thought

Fast forward to November 2013, Lenny felt terrible and couldn’t regulate his body temperature. He went for chest x-ray after chest x-ray and so many Emergency Room Visits because he couldn’t breath and no one could tell him what was going on or would treat him aggressively enough until one night he codes in the E.R. and spends the next eight days in the ICU after a major surgery. They removed 4 liters of infection off of his left lung because a large portion of his food for the last four years had been going to his lung instead of his stomach. So a feeding tube was put back in, a few days rest and back to work he goes. He has been working and eating with a feeding tube for the last five years.

Since then he has dealt with pneumonia every year, dehydration, weight loss, the return of cancer more than once, more ICU visits, Staph, Bed Sores, loss of a farm, loss of family members and he continues to reinvent himself. He judged two major horse shows last summer while dealing with some new health issue almost every day.

For him to eat it has been roughly $500 per month for 4-5 years, not covered by insurance until earlier this year when he was finally approved for certain aid and assistance. We tell you all of this to finally say our cancer is back. On Monday, October 8, 2018, he had a major surgery where they removed and replaced a portion of his jaw bone. This will be a lengthy and difficult road to recovery. Probably 7-8 days in ICU, plus a possible 18-20 day stay in a rehab facility and then a bone graft from his leg and another hospital stay. Then he start Chemo and Radiation all over for the third time. Insurance is a great thing, but there is roughly a $10,000 hole in our coverage that won’t be covered, plus miscellaneous fees that we can’t even begin to predict.

It has taken us 10 years to do something like this and to truly ask for our peers and loved ones to help this family out. However, we come now knowing this 10 year journey they have been on is nowhere near over and for that they are forever grateful!

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Update from Rachel...

Monday, October 29th, dad was scheduled for his second surgery, where they would use bone from his leg to place in his jaw area to help support the titanium. He had an appointment with his surgeon in Dallas this past Saturday where his surgeon and a radiation specialist decided they would post pone surgery until after he had had 5-7 weeks of protron radiation; they both feel strongly about this decision. Next week he will begin radiation, 5 days a week, for 5-7 weeks. He and mom will drive 2.5 hours one way 5 days a week...I’ll let you guys do the math.

Dad is doing physical therapy with home heath and will begin speech therapy soon. He will likely keep his trach until all surgeries are complete and then we pray we can chuck that thing for good. He is learning to talk some with the speaking valve but the frustration is still there, as you can imagine. His spirits are growing and he is so thankful for the doctors, friends, and family that are fighting WITH him.

Mom is quite the nurse these days. From tube feedings, trach care, medication administration, to laundry, PUPPY DUTIES, and arguing with the insurance companies; she is also a champ.

I’m assuming dad and Terry Thompson will work on spelling next time. Lol
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Update from Lenny's girls:

If you know our dad you know that most everything he said was on a positive note. So as we update our friends and family naturally we want to be able to say “everything’s great.” But for now, and the past few days, it’s been tough. The past 72 hours dad has maintained a persistent headache that at times keeps him from opening his eyes. His doctor expects this to get better as he continues to heal. We ask that you pray specifically for this headache to leave his body today.

On a better note, Monday evening dad was discharged home with home health set up. This happened sooner than any of us thought. His doctor’s said because he’s so “with it” and knows how to operate his feeding tube that he could head home. He went home with his trach and 2 drain tubes. The drain tubes will likely come out early next week. We are unsure when the trach will come out but do know that is still the plan.

Our hearts are overwhelmed with joy knowing that people all across the nation are praying for our dad. That truly speaks volumes about who he is and who he has chosen to surround him self with. Thank you will never be enough.

Sarah, Kate, and Rachel
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Update on Lenny...

He's a Super Star! Lenny has been moved to the step down unit of ICU but still has a long road ahead. Your generosity is still needed and greatly appreciated.
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$25,805 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 167 people in 7 months
Created October 10, 2018
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Garrett Ryder
2 months ago
Lisa Hedge
3 months ago
Ron Renner
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Bonnie Miller
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Amber Morgan
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Stacy Miller Cjf
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6 months ago
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7 months ago
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