Aaron's Fight with Brain Cancer

$55,885 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 537 people in 3 months
Created November 11, 2017
This page is dedicated to my best friend and brother, Aaron Klamut who has been diagnosed with Grade 4 Glioblastoma/Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM ) Brain Cancer.

This rare form of malignant brain cancer is not only aggressive, but incurable and it is terminal.

The prognosis is grim, however with the proper care and the right plan of treatment, we can maximize the time he has with us. With the advancement in medicine and new GBM treatments and procedures (inlcuding clinical trials) we are hoping and praying for the best possible scenario. 

Aaron needs to defy the statistics and survive this. 

The odds are against us all in this battle, the obstacle is an immovable however we are determined to look at it in the face and yell to this evil, that if it must take Aaron down this path, we will not allow him to go quietly and without a fight. 

We are looking to raise funds to support this battle and to help in this tragic battle that has been forced upon Aaron.  The goal is to get the very treatment available, no matter what or where. 

All donations and funds will be used to help cover all related medical treatment and support that is not covered by insurance. Aaron is a self-employed craftsman and is now unable to work; donations will also assist in covering basic necessities and living expenses.  All excess funds will be donated to brain cancer funds and research.

Who is Aaron?

I want to tell you about Aaron. He is a son, friend, brother and overall an amazing person.  Aaron is a warm soul who brings light and smiles to those he touches and uniquely is someone you will never forget. He is a selfless, caring indivdual who loves life and one thing anyone would ever tell you about him is, he does life with kindness and heart.  

Well versed in the arts, this amazing man has traveled the world in nearly every continent, speaks three different languages (trained linguist with multipe degrees from Ohio State), can play multiple instruments, and has even toured with bands across the  county, and in Europe. As a humble man and kind soul, he would be the first to offer a stranger assistance or help anyone in need if he had the means to do so. 

By trade Aaron is a expert custom craftsman who can create magic with his hands and a hammer. Well known for restoring Victorian homes, he also crafts amazing pieces from restored wood, many of which can be found in the Columbus area.  You've most likely enjoyed a beer on a bar he built, sat on a chair he made, and looked at something he made somewhere and said "man, that is awesome."

He also is a tournament pinball player, yes really.  

If you ever met Aaron, you'd instantly smile. He is humble, kind, and a caring individual who warms the world and those he touches.  The type of person that you'd want to know and love, a genuine heart that is a rare find. 

As only children, we grew up together, doing everything and anything since the day we met in afterschool programs at 6 years old in Lakewood, Ohio. We were inseaperable, having each other growing up; both only children raised by single mothers (he having his dad and me my grandmother). As children and into our teens, we most likely spent half the time with each other. Our days were spent playing with Transformers, watching MTV, riding skateboards, and our nights playing video games and "raiding the fridge" for snacks. Polar opposites in personality we balanced each other out, however somehow were the same - Yin and Yang.  As adults, I moved to California to chase dreams and he moved to Columbus, Ohio for college.

Aaron is my very best friend, the god-father of my son, and someone who helped shape who I am as a person. Our families considered each other brothers growing up, and we always had each other.  When my wife became pregnant, he came and visited - when my son was born - he came to meet this new addition in my life and his godson. On vacations Aaron would come with us and is part of my family now as he always has been in the past. 

When I found out of this situation and then heard he was going in for a biopsy, I jumped on a plane flew from California to Columbus.  However the night before I was scheduled to fly out, they pushed up his biopsy and surgery. I knew he would be alright but I needed to see it with my eyes. 

Upon landing, I drove straight to the hopsital and they were in the process of changing Aaron into a new room. In that new room is where I waited to surprise him as they did the transfer...shorts and t-shirt in an empty room waiting for my best friend to be brought in. It was shocking to see what he was going through and even more painful as this is now a reality, but also relieved when I saw him.

With a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, I am starting this page on behalf of my brother.

Unbalanced Weakness.

In Septmeber, Aaron began to have a sense of unexplained weakness in the legs. In mid October, the sense of weakness had increased to the point that while on a job at work, he had to stop working and went home immediately for rest.

The pain had reached the point where it was unbearable, Ianna (Aaron's deloved) took him to the  Affordable Care Health Clinic for a blood test to see if he was deficient in anything and evaluation.  Blood tests came back normal, but his walking became worse so a MRI was ordered.

Thank you to the staff at Affordable Care Health Clinic for being amazing for getting this process expedited, a special tthank you to Diann Nelson-Houser, CNP and Becky for being so incredibly empathetic and helpful.

MRI and Discovery

On October 21st he began experiencing severe headaches and his balance became even worse.

The MRI was conducted on the 31st and the doctor who read the MRI immediately called the clinic which called Aaron in for an emergency consultation. Aaron was told to go to the Riverside Methodist Emergency room immediately.

The doctor who read the scans said that there were several masses in the brain that might be multiple sclerosis and tumors. The MRI showed multiple masses with one prominent mass in the center of the brain (specifically located in the center of the Corpus Collosum), between the two halves of the brain. Heartbreaking and shocking, the image below is the actual MRI taken.

A second, more detailed MRI discarded the possibility of MS but couldn't tell much about the state of the tumors, so a biopsy was ordered for November 6th.

Confirmed Cancer.

Due to the condition Aaron was in, his surgery and biopsy was moved up in date to the 3rd. Brain surgery was conducted, the surgery was successful and biposy was completed. We waited for results patiently and on Novemeber 7th, the doctors came in to tell us that indeed it was a malignant tumor and Stage 4 Glioblastoma. Surrounded by family, the news crushed all of us, we had received the only news we feared.  The doctors detailed to us the condition and the gravity of the situation informing us that we must act quickly as it is an aggressive cancer. 

Round 1 - FIGHT! The battle begins. 

With the love of his beloved Ianna, parents, the hundreds of AMAZING friends and those he touched through the years, Aaron is finding strength for the battle. Our dear friend, just days after surgery and receiving the news, was undeterred and stood up on his own and slowly walked to the restroom.

On the day I flew back to California, we had some time to talk and I told him, this is THE FIGHT.  You must fight for those you love, fight for time and fight for your life, "you aren't going anywhere and better fight for everyone who cares about you."

This page is a call to arms to support for Aaron, the financial support will be used for necessities and all other costs that insurance doesn't cover. The costs to travel to hospitals, for opinions, and any related medical treatment.  Any excess amount will be donated to brain cancer funds and research.

If you do not have the means to donate, please show your support by sending best wishes and prayers, we are reaching for miracles and praying with eveyrthing we have...please join us, someone, somewhere may just hear you as well.

Thank you to everyone involved over these past few weeks, your support is greatly appreciated. A HUGE thank you for all the kind care for Aaron to the entire staff and doctors at OhioHealth and Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. We are lucky to have your kind care, empathy, and attention. 

More than anything Aaron needs your love and support. 

The power of love is something that medicine cannot gauge and measure. The power of belief and hope is something that can't be explained, the word miracle itself exists in the dictionary for reason. The fighting spirit is within all of us and we need to tap into this for Aaron and give him all the love and strenth we can for this battle.

We need to believe and need your strenth, whoever you are please send prayers and wishes for our dear friend as this fight begins.

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Aaron had his MRI taken this past Wednesday and an appointment with the neuro-oncologist yesterday. It appears radiation was doing a relatively good job stopping the center mass tumor but didn't deter one of the smaller ones from growing rapidly. The neuro-oncologist decided to start the next course of action right away, so this coming Monday he'll start a new round of a type of drug that is similar to chemotherapy
and it'll be administered thru an IV at the chemo clinic every two weeks. Then once every six weeks he'll be taking a pill that works well in tandem with that IV drug. This is definitely not the news we were hoping for, but I can't say we weren't surprised, given his latest symptoms. We have a lot of hope that this next round will take good care of him. We were hoping he would start immunotherapy but the doctors want to do this first and see how it goes. We love you all very much! - Ianna
Before RIGHT - After (Current) LEFT
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Pictures of Aaron's final day of radiation treatment at The James last week. He is feeling stronger and the headaches are less intense :) A big thank you to mom, dad, and all the friends for helping/coordinating trips and getting Aaron to his appointments, last picture is of him ringing that bell...done with radiation!
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From Aaron's Beloved Ianna Kristiansen - "Well hello, it's been a while! I hope you all had a beautiful holiday filled with lots of love and good food! I suppose a lot has happened since my last update. Our friend Scott Williams built us a ramp in the back yard a few weeks ago, with the help of a precious gang of friends. My amazing beautiful talented fabulous coworkers organized a Meal Train for us when we were too exhausted to even open a tin of peaches. Aaron's best friend Jim and his fabulous wife Niki came for a visit from California and took Aaron on his first outing since the diagnosis. A magical group of people organized a beautiful fundraising music show at the Rumba Cafe. Our dear friend Arrow Grey spent a few days with us and shared many of his incredibly tasty and healthy vegan recipes with us. So many friends have come for visits and given incredible donations (WE ARE FRIKKEN FLABBERGASTED!!!!!) and sent care packages and have offered rides and dog walks, everyone has been so helpful and we are supremely grateful!!!

We are slowly coming to a new normal, carving a new routine, and life is getting easier. We're more than halfway done with radiation and he's doing rather well! We have his headaches mostly under control and he's starting to walk more. He's still in his wheelchair most of the day, but with the aid of a walker is able to shuffle about the house. He finds it very difficult to concentrate on walking while carrying something, so he'll be starting physical therapy next week to try to work on those connections.

One of the photos below is of the custom artisanal locally crafted (haha) mask he wears while getting radiation. It started out as a plastic disc that was heated up and molded to his face. He gets snapped into place on the table so the radiation blasts precise parts of his brain each session. He started losing his hair two weeks ago and now has a rather badass coif going on. Think Mr. T or Robert DeNiro's character in Taxi Driver : )

On Christmas day, Aaron went into his garage workshop and turned on his radial arm saw for the first time since his diagnosis! He only cut a little piece of wood, but that little cut is hopefully the first of many more to come.

We have a possible clinical trial treatment to follow the radiation (still waiting to hear more about it), so with the most brilliant of hopes we are excited for the future! Luckily Aaron has harbored a core of positivity within, inspired by all the love and care he has absorbed from everyone around us. We can never say enough "thank you"s! We call Thanks out from the highest turret on the highest mountain where a delicious perfumed wind shall carry our Thanks to all of your hearts! <3 <3 <3 Ianna
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Pictures of the brand new wheelchair ramp in the backyard which was hand built for Aaron. Moving in and out of the house for appointments is much easier and progress is being made so that Aaron can get access to the garage. Thank you to Scott Williams, Mark VanFleet, Joe Pipia, Doug Johnston, and Grant LaValley for making this all happen!
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$55,885 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 537 people in 3 months
Created November 11, 2017
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