Nate Bushey Memorial Fund
This entire, heartbreaking journey has been a vivid mix of the fiercest pain and uplifting gratitude as we have witnessed Nate's struggle and determination to beat his cancer - down to the very last moments - and the incredible generosity of friends, family, colleagues and indeed strangers to whom we now express our deepest thanks. Sadly, Nate's fight is over but his children and loving wife must fight on without him. Your love and support help ease that burden.
My name is Nancy, and I am Nathaniel James Bushey's mom. Nate is a 26 year old husband and father of three beautiful little boys, aged 5, 3, and not-quite 2 years.
Nate's cancer journey began in 2013 when a skin lesion on his back was diagnosed as malignant melanoma. The large lesion was removed along with nearby lymph nodes and he began a series of PET scans, all of which had been clear.
On June 22, 2015 Nate was in a serious automobile accident, from which he had only minor injuries, but was comprehensively evaluated for head and neck trauma by the incredible staff of CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh, NY. A suspicious head CT lead to an MRI, which revealed 5 brain tumors, 5 lung tumors and the dreaded diagnosis of stage IV metastatic melanoma.
The largest brain lesion is dangerously situated next to the brain stem in the pons and is inoperable. The pons region of the brain controls the body's motor function (movement). Immediately he was started on whole brain radiation to shrink this critical tumor.
Nate had no insurance coverage at the time, and could not continue his job as a FedEx Ground driver. Driving is out of the question as the pons tumor could at any time cause seizures, stroke or paralysis. Needless to say, I dropped everything and was on the next plane to NY from my home and work in California.
In July, Nate had a consultation for a second opinion and treatment plan at the renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City to hopefully give him the best possible chance at seeing his little boys grow up. The prognosis is not encouraging, however. A treatment plan was drawn up and Nate is currently in the first phase of immunotherapy treatment. His doctor at Sloan Kettering is working very closely with Nate's local oncology team in Plattsburgh. We all hope and pray that the strategy will be successful in managing Nate's widespread cancer.
Unable to work and with very little income on state disability, Nate, his wife Rebecca and sons James, Gary and Aedan need significant help with medical and other bills, utilities, food and daily necessities. All funds donated go directly to Nate to help get him and his family through this nightmare. To say your help is immensely appreciated is such an understatement. Every little bit helps, every prayer, every dollar, every positive thought and good wish.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!
Nancy, Nate, Becca, James, Gary, Aedan and every single member of our family. ❤️
Nate had an oncology appointment today and it sounds positive. He was seeing him every week, but now it's every two weeks. His bloodwork was okay, liver function had previously been 'a little wacky' but has improved. Nate's feeling a little stronger and has been using the wheelchair a little less. All the chemo- and immunotherapy is messing with his vision and we're hoping he will be able to see his eye doctor. While we won't know how well the two chemotherapy drugs are working until they do more scans (end of December), it would appear to be having at least some effect. So all positive and hopeful news this time, if even just a little!
Thank you all for your continued prayers, positive thoughts and incredibly generous support!!
Love, Team Nate :)
Nate has been started on a combination chemotherapy to try and control what has become widespread metastasis of this aggressive cancer to many new sites. He had the last of ten rounds of radiation to his spine today to try and control the growth of the spinal metastases. His pain is under control at present and he’s able to move around carefully and by using his wheelchair.
Nate’s fight is more critical than ever and your prayers and support are so very much appreciated at this extremely difficult time.
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the immunotherapy has helped, as Nate's cancer has spread significantly.
He now has a new tumor on his lumbar spine (which is causing a lot of pain, numbness and affecting his ability to walk), a new tumor in his liver and three new, additional tumors in the brain. His oncologist has confirmed it is spreading very fast and has asked if Nate wanted to continue treatment.
They have decided to continue radiation and to change the IV meds from immunotherapy to a chemotherapy. At least that is my understanding.
The tumor on his spine is making it very difficult for Nate to walk and he has fallen several times. Family are trying to help him get around as much as they can, but Nate's a proud young man, as you all know. He is also having intermittent confusion, we assume from the additional tumor growth in the brain. As his mom, my heart is completely broken. My attempts to hold it together are a waste of energy. I continue to pray for a healing miracle for my son and to think positive thoughts for a cure.
We are always incredibly grateful for donations to Nate's GoFundMe campaign. Every dollar you've so generously given is helping make this struggle a little easier for Becca, Nate and their little boys. Thank you all so much.
Nancy, Nate, Becca, and James, Gary and Aedan
Oh, Nancy, I'm so sorry to hear this. Thoughts are with you and your family.
Nate, so sorry to hear this. We were just talking in early June. I wish you the very best. You are a wonderful, funny, family man. Will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. God bless you and ur family.