Lachlan B's recovery fund
Lachlan is a compassionate, creative, bright young man who embraces life to the fullest. A few weeks ago, he was enjoying his first week of university, planning a 3rd anniversary surprise for his girlfriend Sarah, organising his Dungeons and Dragons mates for their bi-monthly weekend session, and starting edits on the first draft of his YA fantasy novel. Cancer has interrupted his short and long-term plans. His first two weeks of university were spent undergoing a series of medical tests and consultations. Fifteen minutes into his 3rd anniversary date, he became unwell and had to go to Emergency. He has now been diagnosed with osteosarcoma (an aggressive, painful bone cancer), and been forced to defer his university studies in order to receive the treatment he urgently needs.
Lachlan’s osteosarcoma is in his right humerus. His treatment plan starts with 10 weeks of intense chemotherapy to reduce the size of his tumour and allow a limb-saving operation. He will then have surgery to remove the tumour and replace the affected bone with an endoprosthetic. After surgery, he will require another four months of intensive chemotherapy. At this stage, Lachlan has 65 overnight hospital stays already scheduled in the coming months, plus day visits and the likelihood of some unscheduled hospital stay overs.
Lachlan lives with his mother, Kylie, and his younger brothers Marc and Matthew. Their limited finances have already been heavily strained by the costs of hospital trips, parking, medicines and the many extra expenses accrued during his tests and treatment to date. Kylie has drawn on her annual and long service leave to care for Lachlan, but this will run out many months before his treatment ends. While Lachlan has dealt with his diagnosis, pain and early treatments with his characteristic optimism and sense of humour, the financial and emotional pressure his illness has placed on his family is a source of great stress to him.
We'd like to help Lachlan and his family during this tough time by providing financial support during his arm surgery and approximately seven months of chemotherapy as well as helping give him the tools he needs to write even while he can't use his right arm.
We are able to provide anyone wanting proof of illness with the information they require to feel secure they are donating to a worthy cause.
In an absolutely amazing effort, we've *just* short of the stretch fundraising goal of $5000. This helps Kylie pay the rent, gas and electricity while she's looking after Lachlan. I'd really like to get over that $5000 mark and cover a few more weeks of rent, so if you're in Australia and would like print copies of Aliterate/WOTF 28, I'll pack that as a reward for any donation above $10.
Update on Lachlan from Kylie: The first lot of chemo reduced the pain in his arm a lot. It was just beginning to come back when he fell due for more chemo and after today's lot, he feels the pain has reduced again. He's finding this round of chemo (methotrexate) much easier than the last lot (cisplastin and doxorubicin). He's in hospital for the rest of this week, comes home (hopefully) on Friday afternoon, back in next Mon - Friday, then back in Mon -Wed the week after. There are only four doses of actual chemo in all that time - the rest of the days in hospital are monitoring his reactions and administering IV fluids to flush the toxins out of his kidneys after chemo.
Update from Kylie: Just wanted to let you know that L's first chemo session almost completely got rid of his pain! It's really amazing - although the doctors told us how much it would help, we couldn't really comprehend it. But he's gone from high doses of endone etc not giving him much relief to not needing a single pain killer at all after his first treatment. It's so amazing.
He's having a few side-effects from the chemo - unpleasant,but not as bad as feared.
He's a bit anxious about the next cycle (on Monday Australian time), when he has 4 days of chemo, 2 day break, four days of chemo, two day break, two days of chemo) because he found it difficult to deal with the actual process. The chemo is six hours each day followed by 24 hours of fluids to flush out the toxins and maintain his kidneys. The team have been amazing though - his doctor spent ages with Lachlan discussing his anxiety over the next treatment, helping him plan ways to cope as much as possible, organising free wireless for L and unlimited visiting numbers and hours, etc etc. They are brilliant - I can't describe the efforts they put into treating the whole person and not just the cancer. Although you can hear every member of the team's phones buzzing messages through constantly the whole time they are with you, they still manage to act and make you feel as if you are their only patient and their sole concern in the world. Amazing people.
Thanks to everyone's incredible generosity, we have absolutely smashed the initial goal of $1000. Kylie and Lachlan will obviously need significantly more funds than that, so I've increased the funding goal to a more ambitious $5000. We are overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and kindness. Don't forget to contact me If you want one of the e-book or print rewards.