Cancer Faith Journey

$7,895 of $50k goal

Raised by 43 people in 34 months
Wes Ehler  TUCSON, AZ
Our family Faith Journey, for Wes & Renee & our 3 kids – Jonathan (12), Hope (10), & Jenna (8), started in Illinois. However, genetic mold issues led us to relocate to Arizona in December 2012 for treatment by one of the few Mold Specialists in the country.

Then in July 2013 everything changed - the focus on battling mold & chemical sensitivity, became a fight against cancer as I was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer with only a 3% chance of surviving 5 years with this cancer.

My younger brother was diagnosed with this same cancer & lived less than 2 years before passing away in January 2014. He used traditional cancer treatment with surgery removing his esophagus & some of his stomach along with months of chemotherapy, living with a feeding tube & enduring a lot of nausea, weakness & pain.

My battle against cancer was greatly complicated in that surgery was ruled out due to the cancer’s spread & using chemotherapy was not a good alternative since my genetic issues prevent me from getting rid of toxins like chemo from my body.

God helped us find a Naturopathic Oncologist, Dr. Michael Uzick NMD, FABNO of Genesis Natural Medicine Center who is the only naturopath in the Tucson area who is board-certified in Naturopathic Oncology (see genesisnmc.com.). He teamed up with Dr. Donald J. Brooks MD of Arizona Oncology Associates who is board-certified in Oncology to provide me with a systematic approach to fighting the cancer including diet change, exercise, IV treatments & supplements along with tracking the progress with MRI’s – basically building up my body’s immune system & then helping it fight the cancer.

The initial results have amazed everyone as I have lost 50 pounds with the healthy diet, I am biking 4-5 miles a day, getting IV’s three times a week, taking many cancer supplements & doing coffee enemas every day. The first MRI after 3 months showed no growth or progression of the cancer & the second MRI after 6 months showed a slight reduction of the cancer. The third MRI showed a slight increase in the cancer, but the overall results after 9 months with esophageal cancer were called “close to a miracle”!

Now we stand at a cross-roads as most of the alternative cancer treatment is not covered by insurance & along with other related expenses, we have now accumulated more than $43,000 of credit card debt since my cancer diagnosis & we have reached our limit in our ability to pay the minimum balances on our multiple credit cards.  God has also continued to help us tithe on all our income. However, we cannot continue the cancer treatment without some major financial help.

We appreciate your friendship & prayers through these challenging times as well as your involvement in our lives! Please pray for God’s leading on partnering with us as we continue to trust God for His provision! (Philippians 4:19)
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Update 4
Posted by Wes Ehler
22 months ago
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Wes’ Cancer Update – June 2015


Thanks for everyone’s prayers, encouragement & gifts in our battle against cancer!

Thanks to your generosity along with the Dream Foundation – we were able to make a trip back to Illinois in early April to see family & friends one more time! We had a great time getting together with folks we hadn’t seen in a long time & spend quality time with everyone!

In addition, we were able to attend a CUBS-CARDS baseball game at Wrigley Field, got our pictures taken on the field, the kids were given baseballs actually used in the game & we were able to sing the GO CUBS GO song at the end because the CUBS won!

Wes’ cancer situation has changed dramatically over the last couple of months:

• In April, Wes was still biking everyday & by mid-June has had to give up biking because the Oncologist thought the risk of having a dizzy spell & accident outweighed the benefits – so Wes is walking about a mile with Renee in the early morning & again in the evening!

• During a 3-week period in May, Wes lost almost 20 pounds – going from about 180 to 160 pounds – the good news is that his weight has stabilized since then! His energy level has also taken a major hit – so Wes has cut back on a lot of routine activities.

• Finally, just this past week – Wes has been battling major reflux – the stent that allows him to swallow both solids & liquids – also allows the free-flow of acid in & out of his stomach – even though he sleeps sitting up in a recliner, he has been waking up with his throat burned raw…

• The Oncologist gives Wes a couple of months more to live – but we’re praying that God will extend that from August to at least Julie’s birthday on November 2nd as a milestone – which would be a miracle!

Renee has been great at helping Wes through all these changes & is terrific with the kids! They have been involved in a couple of week-long programs & camps this summer & are currently attending a camp sponsored by Pantano Christian Church in Prescott, Arizona this week. Renee & the kids have also been volunteering at some of these programs & camps too!

We’ve been blessed so much this past year with special visits from family & friends to Arizona:

• October – Julie (Wes’ oldest daughter) & Josh (youngest grandson) shared a vacation to Grand Canyon, Las Vegas & Sea World!
• January – Julie & Emily/Anna (Wes’ other granddaughters) & Scott (Wes’ oldest son from Dallas) were here!
• February – Julie & Cindy (Renee’s sister) were here!
• March - Chris & Kristen Kopinski (great friends from Illinois) were here!
• April – our family back to Illinois!
• June – Julie & Domonique (Renee’s niece) were here!

We are really encouraged by the family & friends that have come along side to share this journey with us as we try to finish strong & glorify God along the way!

Thanks again!
Wes & Renee
Together in January
Cubs game
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Update 3
Posted by Wes Ehler
25 months ago
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March Exercise Challenge - Fundraiser
3/15/15

Hey Everyone,

Latest Cancer Update:

Wes’ latest MRI a couple of weeks ago revealed that his esophageal tumor has grown & surrounded his esophagus & without the stent that was inserted on February 3rd – he would not be able to eat solid foods or drink liquids. The major concern though was the significant growth in the size & spread of the cancer in his liver.

The Oncologist has encouraged us (1) to start hospice for pain management for the stent that is putting pressure on the esophageal tumor, (2) has suspended further MRI’s, as unnecessary at this point & (3) has given Wes a prognosis, depending on the continued aggressive nature of the cancer, that he might live until August.

Trip & Medical Expenses:

Wes, along with Renee & the kids, would like to make a trip back to Illinois to see friends & family one more time while his health is still holding. Wes would also like to make a trip to Dallas to see his oldest son one more time. The Oncologist said Wes could have a couple of good months, followed by a couple of poor months & then ending with a couple of months where he will not do well or be able to get around much.

We also have a lot of medical bills from December that have continued to grow & we are doing our best to pay toward those – but it prevents us from doing any additional alternative cancer treatment for Wes. Also, as mentioned in an earlier update, we have a large vet expense from Cody’s surgery back in December.

March Exercise Fundraiser:

Therefore, we would like to use our March Exercise Challenge as a fundraiser. We have family in Illinois, Texas & Arizona (15 total people) that are helping to reach the goal of 2,000 miles in March. We are 1/2 of the way done & have already reached over 1,000 miles!

Please consider sponsoring us at some amount (see suggestions below) in this challenge:

$0.01 per mile = $20.00
$0.02 per mile = $40.00
$0.03 per mile = $60.00
$0.04 per mile = $80.00
$0.05 per mile = $100.00
$0.10 per mile = $200.00

If you would like to give toward our fundraiser, please personal message Renee on Facebook (as Wes still doesn’t use Facebook) or use our gofundme website at: http://www.gofundme.com/ach5i0.

Blessings Already Received:

Thanks ahead for considering sponsoring us in our March Exercise Challenge! We have already been blessed as today (March 15th) is Wes’ 20-month anniversary since being diagnosed & was only given 6-8 months to live back then! In addition, we have already received $2,500 toward our goal of raising $7,500 for our trip, medical & vet expenses along with on-going cancer treatment!

We appreciate your prayers, friendship & we praise God for His continued faithfulness throughout our battle with Wes’ cancer!

Thanks again!
Wes & Renee
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Update 2
Posted by Wes Ehler
28 months ago
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Cancer Update & Christmas Exercise Challenge


Thanks for everyone’s prayers, encouragement & gifts for our fight against cancer. Your gifts have allowed us to continue the cancer treatment through Thanksgiving this year.

Wes is celebrating his 17-month anniversary since his diagnosis & his regular Oncologist is amazed as he would have initially given Wes 6-8 months to live when first diagnosed. However, Wes’ latest MRI in November showed that his esophageal tumor had grown & it’s now causing swallowing issues at every meal. The cancer is also attacking his liver with new multiple large lesions. Wes is thankful that he is currently pain free & still able to bike everyday!

We are dealing with the following medical issues in our family:

Wes – needs to start new treatment protocols to try to halt the growth of the esophageal tumor & cancer in his liver, but we have no funds to expand his treatment. (The cost of cancer treatment along with family medical expenses this year has been over $25,000 not covered by insurance or Medicare).

Renee – we’re trying to determine the source of Renee’s “off-the-charts” high B-12 levels along with years of body pain, gut issues & constant headaches. Recently, Renee has had an endoscopy, colonoscopy, thermal imaging & we’ve just met with Specialists in Phoenix – but the follow-up blood work, testing & Specialist’s costs are very expensive.

Jonathan – has had a virus that has been hanging on for several weeks & tanked his immune system – so we’ve seen doctors to try to determine the cause – we have scheduled some blood work & testing.

Hope – has also recently had an endoscopy to see what potential damage that years of reflux have caused – the results indicate that she has a hiatal hernia & is lactose intolerant & is on some new medications.

Jenna – is waiting for orthodontic work that we can’t afford that will allow her permanent teeth to come in.

Cody – our older yellow lab has just had surgery to remove obstructions in his intestines & stomach – there is a lot of expense here too. (Proverbs 12:10).

We are in the midst of a Christmas Exercise Challenge fundraiser based on Mary & Joseph’s 75 mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. So (1) Wes, (2) Renee & the kids, (3) Julie & Adam – (Wes’ daughter & son-in-law) & (4) Scott & Bailey (Wes’ son & daughter-in-law) together have set a goal of 300 total miles of exercise during December (75 miles x 4) for a fundraiser.

Please consider sponsoring us at some amount for the 300 miles to help raise funds for Wes’ cancer treatment & family medical-related costs (estimated at around $10,000) to help us through December & January. For example,

$0.10 per mile = $30.00
$0.15 per mile = $45.00
$0.20 per mile = $60.00
$0.25 per mile = $75.00
$0.50 per mile = $150.00
$0.75 per mile = $225.00
$1.00 per mile = $300.00

If you would like to give toward this fundraiser, please personal message us on Facebook or use our gofundme website at: http://gofundme.com/ach5i0.

We continue to be amazed at how God has provided for our needs:

First official family vacation - in October, Wes’ daughter Julie & grandson Josh flew to Arizona & joined us on a trip to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Sea World in San Diego, & then we saw Wes’ older sister in Phoenix, where she was visiting (she lives in Pasadena), on our return trip to Tucson.

God provided in amazing ways including Julie (1) selling the last of our possessions that we couldn’t bring to Arizona because of our mold issues that paid for our part of the hotels with an extra $150 left over, (2) finding us hotel rooms in Las Vegas that started at $39/night (though we upgraded to get connecting rooms) & (3) having a friend who is a dolphin trainer at Sea World that got us into the park & behind the scenes to pet the whales – all for free.

In addition, (4) a friend of ours gave us a gas gift card the day before we left, (5) another friend gave us money toward boarding our dogs, (6) the hotel we stayed at in San Diego did not charge us for our rooms because of the difficulty we had in finding rooms without mold issues & (7) we had many other smaller provisions along the way including military, senior & hotel discounts along with some free meals, etc.

Trip to Dallas - Wes was also able to fly to see his older son Scott & wife Bailey in Dallas in October & God provided for everything including funds for his airline ticket. Wes was able to spend quality time with Scott & shadow him at work, see Bailey & her wonderful parents, see the sights in Dallas, meet & share “spiritual tools” with Scott’s Pastor who has an 8,000 member church with 3 campuses.

October trips - Wes wanted to see his older kids while his health was still holding & he was able to travel.

We are really encouraged that we have so many friends that have partnered with us in so many ways - we have never felt that we are alone in this battle! Thanks ahead for considering to help sponsor us in our Christmas Exercise Challenge.

Thanks again!
Wes & Renee
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Update 1
Posted by Wes Ehler
34 months ago
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Thanks for everyone’s prayers, encouragement & gifts for our fight against cancer. Your gifts have allowed us to continue the cancer treatment into July.

July 15th marks the one year milestone of surviving the stage 3 esophageal cancer. I will also celebrate my 65th birthday in July. In years past I would regularly bike my age in miles on my birthday. Since this is not possible this year, our whole family will try to help me bike the 65 miles (either on July 12th or July 19th depending on weather).

We would like to ask if you would consider sponsoring us at some amount for the 65 miles to help raise funds for my cancer treatment & medical-related costs (about $1950) for the rest of July & August along with an MRI scheduled in August to track the cancer. For example,

$0.25 per mile = $16.25
$0.50 per mile = $32.50
$0.75 per mile = $48.75
$1.00 per mile = $65.00
$2.00 per mile = $130.00

If you would like to give toward this fundraiser, please personal message us on Facebook or use our gofundme website at:

http://gofundme.com/ach5i0

We continue to be amazed at how God has used your prayers & gifts to meet needs in our fight against cancer. A couple of weeks ago, we got a bill from the IRS in the mail for $949 which could have been really devastating, but also received a large gift in the mail that same day that covered the IRS bill plus much more!

We are really encouraged that we have so many friends that have partnered with us in so many ways & we have never felt that we are alone in this battle.

Thanks again.
Wes & Renee
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$7,895 of $50k goal

Raised by 43 people in 34 months
Created June 14, 2014
$50
Lesli Contreras
16 months ago (Monthly Donation)
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Lesli Contreras
17 months ago (Monthly Donation)
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Lesli Contreras
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Lesli Contreras
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Anonymous
20 months ago
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Jeff, Karen, Kyle, Alyssa Simms
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Taylor Family
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