Help Jeff Pagé - Fight Brain Tumor!
Dear Family and Friends,
I am reaching out with some very sad and tragic news, but sadly find myself in a moment of complete helplessness. I am asking for support for my brother Jeff, and his family.
Our story began in the small town of Timmins, Ontario Canada. Our parents Roger and Darlene were high school sweethearts, who fell in love, married and created their own family of two children at a very young age. Our life was wonderful, until our young mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. My brother Jeff and I suffered much sorrow witnessing her decline. Darlene valiantly lost her battle at 42. She was a wonderful giving mother who proudly served as a Police Officer for 18 years. In spite of this tragedy, our, now family of 3, picked up the pieces and moved on with our lives. But the storms weren’t over. We suddenly lost our father Roger when he unexpectedly passed away from a massive seizure at the age of 50. This, of course, shocked us to pieces, as he was relatively young and full of life and ambition. Once again, despite the loss of both parents, Jeff and I continued to live on in an effort to make our parents proud. We have both married and started families of our own. Jeff chose to follow our mom’s example of public service and has pursued a career as a Paramedic.
Then a few months ago, tragedy struck yet again. Jeff, at the young age of 39, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. While his prognosis remains unknown, Jeff may quite likely be left with deficits, which will inevitably lead to the end of his career as a Paramedic. His wife Shawna, also a Paramedic will be working as they attempt to juggle the care of their 3 children. The fear of no longer having the ability to provide for his family is in Jeff’s thoughts daily.
Family and Friends, I am reaching out because I want to share Jeff’s story. It’s unfair and unimaginable, that at 39 years of age, he will be facing the battle of his life and struggling to make ends meet with his young family by his side. Jeff and I have always stuck together and have remained close over the years. My heart is broken and my empathy for him is endless. I feel completely helpless, and want to do more. Those close to Jeff, know, that he is the most kind, humble, and warm hearted person. He adores Shawna and his kids, and will do whatever it takes to provide for them. I also know that Jeff is the type of person who won’t ask for help in times of need and will no doubt play down his physical and emotional suffering. As a proud Paramedic for over 15 years, Jeff has served and helped others in times of need, and now needs help of his own.
There is no cure for this terrible disease, but my hope is that we can all come together, alleviate some of the financial burden, and support Jeff and Shawna while they face this journey.
Thanks for taking the time to listen.
Jeff’s little sister,
We hope this update finds everyone happy and healthy. It has been quite a while since the last post, and much has happened with Jeff’s treatment and his recovery from surgery. Jeff wanted to write this update himself in order to provide his perspective and to thank all those that have provided love and support. We also want to inform everyone that we have decided to officially close down the campaign. Its success has exceeded my wildest hopes and your donations will provide much-needed relief and peace of mind for Jeff and his family when the time comes to resume treatment.
I also want to personally thank everyone for their love, support and generosity - I will be forever grateful!
Thank you and be well.
- Jen xox
Jeff’s update follows:
Let me first start off by thanking everyone who's supported me and who continue to support me through this ordeal. Your (DONATIONS!!!), emails, Facebook messages, texts and phone calls have helped me and my family tremendously during my recovery from brain tumor surgery.
It's hard to believe that it's been roughly 15 months since my surgery and almost 2 years since my diagnosis. As you all probably remember, about half of the 'plum-sized' tumor was removed but the other half is located too deep to reach without leaving me with permanent deficits.
Much has changed since I left the hospital. I know, I make it seem like it was a lengthy stay but I was only there a few hours….I still can't believe that brain surgery is most often considered day-surgery these days. THAT'S CRAZY!
Physically, I dealt with the symptoms one would expect following this type of procedure. Headaches, loss of peripheral vision to my right eye, double-vision and Brain-Fog top the list. Although the headaches have subsided, the vision deficits and Brain-Fog although improved, have remained. The original symptom, the phantom smells haven't changed and I've even been experiencing a newer symptom, flashing lights in my right periphery. I'm now on medication and will probably be on them indefinitely.
Something I wasn't anticipating as being an issue was the psychological and emotional toll this whole ordeal has taken on my family and I. It's been a struggle at times but with the love and support of my wife Shawna, family and friends, I've overcome so much! Thank you!
In the near future, my hope is to return to work and hopefully resume my career as a Paramedic.
Immediately following my surgery, my professional life as a medic appeared over. Luckily, my vision improved enough to allow me to maintain my qualifications.
The question I get asked the most and I keep asking is "What's next?"
My doctors have told us my brain tumor will never go away. And as you all know, they rarely ever give definite timelines on life expectancies other than “it will shorten my life quite significantly.”
They've also told us it's not a question of IF but of WHEN my tumor will grow from a Grade II Astrocytoma to a Grade III and IV, better known as a GBM (Glioblastoma).
When this will occur is more or less an educated guess. When my tumor does decide to get nasty again, we will make a decision on the best course of action. It will most definitely involve radiation and chemotherapy and maybe even more surgery.
It will also mean that more time off work will be required and that will mean YOUR generous donations will help us cope with the financial burden of being on an extended leave once again. My hope is that day will come much later than sooner…
Once again, thank you all for your support and your kind donations! Many of you are close family and friends but a good portion of you I've never even met before and that blows my mind! I know I'll never be able to properly repay your kindness and generosity and I don't mean to sound cliché but the best thing we can do is to help others in need whenever we can by 'paying it forward'.
Thank you all and if you'd like to keep in contact, here's my email address:
Jeff Pagé and family
Jeff’s initial post-surgery MRI was taken on April 2nd and showed no change to the tumor compared to January. That MRI now serves as the baseline moving forward, as each subsequent MRI will be compared to this baseline to determine the rate of tumor growth.
On June 29th, Jeff went in for another MRI. We are pleased to report that there has been no change from the last images. His next MRI is scheduled in 6 months.
In the meantime, his team of medical professionals are requesting that he perform periodic comprehensive cognitive (CF) assessments to monitor memory loss. To help overcome his vision deficits, Jeff has been prescribed eye glasses with a prism to help his eyes work together. He is also undergoing weekly vision therapy sessions with the goal of improving his eye movement and coordination. These sessions are costly, and unfortunately aren’t covered by Jeff’s healthcare insurance.
I am THRILLED to report, however, that funds generated from THIS CAMPAIGN are being put to good use and are paying for Jeff’s therapy sessions. THANK YOU!
Jeff is still experiencing headaches, phantom smells, and dizziness; his energy levels are still low, but he is trying to do more.
Once again, I can’t thank everyone enough for their ongoing love and support. Over six months have passed, and we are still receiving donations and support.
Until the next update, I wish everyone an enjoyable Summer!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came out to the charity ride last night. I realize we all have busy schedules; juggling work, family, and, life. But, it meant the world knowing that you carved out some time to ride along-side me and support this cause!
For those familiar with our family story, understand that it hasn’t been an easy ride. But you see, I’ve learned that when life throws another curve ball your way, or even another hill to climb; surrounding yourself with POSITIVE ENERGY and GOOD PEOPLE, is ever so important… so, WELCOME TO CYCLE SCENE!!
A HUGE thank you goes out to Jenn and Clay – owners of Cycle Scene for supporting and sponsoring the ride.
Lastly, I would like to thank our AMAZING instructor Mike! You did a fantastic job!
Thanks again everyone!!
I hope this update finds everyone well…
It’s been 6 weeks since the surgery and Jeff continues to heal. He is still coping with fatigue, disorientation, headaches and nausea. While his vision deficit continues, Jeff remains optimistic that it will improve.
The goal of Jeff’s surgery was to remove as much of the tumor as possible without causing significant neurological problems. Unfortunately, they were able to remove only 50% of the tumor since it was intertwined with healthy brain tissue. The surgeon also collected a sample of the tumor on which to perform a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and establish a treatment plan.
Last week, Jeff and Shawna met with specialists to discuss the pathology report. They explained that brain cancer does not behave in the same way as other cancers in that tumors may migrate within the brain, but it is very rare for primary brain tumors to spread outside of the brain, or away from the central nervous system. Therefore, brain cancer is usually graded rather than staged. Once a tumor is graded, the doctors are able to match brain cancer treatment to a patient’s needs.
As of today, Jeff is diagnosed with a “Grade II Astrocytoma”. Astrocytomas are tumors that arise from astrocytes, cells in the brain that support and insulate nerve cells. Right now his tumor is considered to be stable and slow growing, but is expected to eventually progress to a higher grade over time. The Neuro-Oncologist who diagnosed the tumor stated that a combination of radiation and chemotherapy is the preferred method of treatment. He explained that radiation treatment of the brain may typically only be performed once, therefore timing becomes crucial – performing the treatment too soon usually results in a limited benefit, so it is better to delay it until the tumor becomes more aggressive. At this time, the doctors recommend that the tumor be monitored every couple of months to watch for tumor growth or progression to a higher grade; in which case treatment will follow.
Once again, there are no words to describe the gratitude Jeff and Shawna feel towards everyone. This campaign has been a wonderful way for us to come together and support them as they face this journey.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank those who have reached out to me personally. It warms my heart knowing that our family is in your thoughts and prayers. Please continue to share our story with your circle of friends and family and don’t hesitate to reach out to me for questions or comments.
Best wishes everyone!
I knew you mom --a beautiful person. god bless and I will keep Jeff in my prayers.
I worked with Jeff in the small town of Chapleau early in our careers. My thoughts, prayers and energy go out to you as you fight this.
God bless you all! Keep strong and fight it!
Cannabis oil i heard helps!
we are keeping jeff and u and the family in our thoughts that he fights hard and beats it!!! x anything we can do please let us know