Expectant Father Facing Cancer

$3,315 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 74 people in 10 days
Created March 12, 2019
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Michael Paul Schaffer
No one wants to hear the news that they have cancer. It never comes at the "right" time or under the "right" circumstances. That being said, I can think of few worse times to hear those awful words, than when your wife is 8 months pregnant with your first child and you've just begun to start your young family. That is what my brother and his wife heard last Friday when they were informed that he has a Choroidal Melanoma in his left eye. This is considered to be an aggressive cancer although thankfully it has been caught in stage 1. Quickly removing the cancer can result in a good long term outcome. Unfortunately the nearest treatment center for this type of cancer is in NYC, therefore my brother and his wife face travel expenses they hadn't anticipated, along with the potential cost of non-covered treatments.

Due to longstanding financial hardship, my brother has gone without health insurance since the age of 18 until recently at the age of 35. Thankfully, he finally has insurance and was able to catch the cancer before it became terminal. He needs urgent treatment, which most likely necessitates the removal of his left eye due to the size of the tumor and proximity to the optic nerve, because this cancer can rapidly become fatal. With the costs of starting a new family especially with a little girl on her way he's now left wondering how to cover the added expenses suddenly thrust upon him. I hope this GoFundMe campaign will help make this painful process a little less burdensome and ease some of the stress on his mind as he faces the removal of his eye and an uncertain future as a cancer victim. Every little bit helps especially everyone's thoughts and prayers.

Please help us spread the word and share this with your friends <3


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More stuff happening! My faith in humanity has been bolstered. Our love and thanks goes out to all of those who've been so supportive and helpful with this complicated matter. Here's what's happening now:

We've been doing the usual full-time phone call jobs that seem to take the bulk of our days now. We've contacted Angel Flight North East and they've requested information about our situation. Acquiescing to their requests we've contacted Tea's OBGYN and my doctors to get clearance for her and myself to fly. They've gave us the go ahead and we've relayed that information to Angel Flight North East(AFNE). They should be adding us to a list and have private flights with volunteer pilots who fly cancer patients to their cancer treatments. These are unsung heroes and we would like to give a shout out to AFNE for all they do. We'll keep you guys posted if we manage to get a flight booked either with Corporate Angel Network or AFNE.

We've contacted the Hope Lodge which is a cancer patient hotel and tried our best to get a place to stay for a couple weeks(at least) that we'll be down there, but it looks like at least until we have our consultation and get a treatment plan scheduled we'll be unable to stay there as they have requirements that we can't meet until the treatment plan is set in stone. We're ruling-out the Hope Lodge for now, but all hope is not lost because we've contacted the American Cancer Society and they've been absolutely fantastic with helping us understand how their process works. We've given them all the information they need to get us registered and now we're expecting a call back tomorrow or by Friday with a follow-up interview in order to help us find free or reduced cost lodging for the two-weeks+ stay that we anticipate. This is a huge help if they can manage to find us a free or reduced cost place to stay for this trip. They've even brought to our attention some other places we can look for additional assistance with being shuttled around the city from Medicaid. We look forward to hearing from them tomorrow or Friday to finish up the process and we have high hopes that this is a huge step in the right direction for us at this moment. I can anticipate doing livestreams in the future to raise money for this organization and bring awareness to eye cancers in the future.

You guys continue to amaze us with the well-wishes, prayers, donations and stories about how my small youtube channel has been helpful and inspirational. It makes me feel really good to hear these things and I trully appreciate all of the positive feedback that we're receiving on this GoFundMe and on our public discord channel. You can also keep in touch with us through-out the day by joining the Discord server: https://discord.gg/YcxySsj Thank you again and we'll keep you all up to date with what we're doing and if you have any questions about what to expect if you or a loved one has to go through something like this feel free to ask us on the discord. <3
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Great news! The ball is rolling and things are happening. As always big shout out to all of the awesome people who've been showing their support with kind words, prayers and donations. Here's what's happening:

Yesterday we received a call back from the NYC Hospital to confirm that the status of 'prior-authorization' for the consultation has been changed from pending to approved. That let us call the ocular oncologist specialist doctor's office to schedule an appointment. This has been setup for next week. We have called back today to see if we can get in earlier but this is as soon as we're able to be seen for consultation.

We've looked into booking a flight and hotel stay and that would cost around $2000-$3000 for a week stay with one-way flight cost. We've registered with a group called "Corporate Angel Network" which is a program that helps cancer patients by flying them if they're already making a flight at that time. They're an awesome group of volunteers that help people get to their cancer consultations and surgeries etc. They have our information and are verifying everything they need on their end to help us get a flight down there. This could save us $400-$600 just for a one way flight. We have no guarantee that this is going to happen but trying for it couldn't hurt our cause. Thank you to Corporate Angel Network for trying to help us get a flight.

Normally we would drive but because Tea has pubic symphysis dysfunction, sitting in a car for 6 to 7 hours would be agonizing pain. She's a driver for her profession which makes it all the more upsetting. This is why we've decided to take an hour flight instead of a 6 hour drive to NYC.

We're still looking for a place to stay that won't completely bankrupt us due to the uncertainty of knowing how long we'll actually have to be down there. We know that we have an appointment at the end of next week, but that's only the consultation. From there we'll have to setup a pre-op visit, and then setup the surgery itself. Depending on the treatment this can be a one day operation or a two-surgery treatment plan that can span over a week. We still have no idea how long this is going to take, what delays requesting prior-authorization will cause us and this is in an area that has very expensive hotel costs. We're looking into the options available that might allow for us to stay for a lower or zero cost. Tea's calling a place called "The Hope House." This is a hotel that let's cancer patients stay for free or reduced costs. Some other hotels also offer reduced prices for cancer patients, although even 'reduced' prices can be $250/night at some of these places. It's really incredible the cost of such a task and this is before looking at any co-pays or hospital bills.

We're going to count yesterday and today as a big win because at least things are happening and we're a step closer to dealing with this ticking time-bomb in my left eye. We love you all and thank you so much for the amazing support you've shown us throughout this ordeal.
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We would like to give our thanks again to all of you who've been so supportive over this time. Here's an update on the current situation.

On March 13th, Wednesday we started the process of obtaining 'prior-authorization' to get a consultation paid for. On Friday March 15th we were told from our doctor's office that it was approved and that we should be hearing from the hospital soon to setup the appointment. We waited till Monday March 18th to call the NYC hospital after not receiving a call from them to setup the consultation appointment. The hospital then says that they did not receive the fax they needed to proceed. We called our doctor's office
back to to re-send (via fax) that reference number for the insurance 'prior-authorization' forms. The hospital called us back saying that the case appears to be 'pending.'

So we've been waiting over the weekend to hear news for the next step only to find out we're actually still on the last step. We asked what should our course of action be and were informed to call the hospital back tomorrow to check on it's status. The request was made that this be an urgent case, but if it has not been set to urgent then it can take 14 days.

We can only hope and pray that things speed up and no more delays are imposed upon us, however realistically this is likely to be how the process works for every step. We tried very hard to get an insurance plan that would be considered 'in-network' to avoid this request for prior-authorization step each and every-time the hospital needs to bill for something, but it is simply out of our reach.

We'll call the hospital back tomorrow to check the status and keep you guys posted on the steps we took just in case you have a loved one that has to go through this, you'll know what to expect.

Thank you to all of you who've been so awesome during this unsettling time. God bless.
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You guys continue to amaze us with the show of support and well wishes, thank you so much. Here's what's going on right now. We've called and checked every available insurance plan I'm eligible for, but unfortunately there are no plans that are considered 'in-network' with the hospital we've been referred to. This is not the end of the road however, there is a process we started on Wednesday called a 'prior-authorization' that will allow the insurance to cover a procedure done in a hospital that is 'out-of-network.' The downside is the delay in-between each step. This is a process that has two speeds, one takes up to 14 days for authorization and the other takes around 3 days for each step. The first is called standard and the second is called 'fast-track.' Our referring hospital has asked that this be urgent and it's looking good that this is going to be considered a 'fast-track' process. Meaning only 3 days to get authorization for insurance to pay for some or all of the procedures.

Today we got a call from our referring doctor's office that notified us that we've obtained 'prior-authorization' from our insurance provider for the first step. This means they've sent all of the information needed to the hospital in NYC. We've been cleared for consultation at this hospital. This is good news because this hospital is widely considered the 5th best cancer treatment center in the world and 2nd best in the United States.
This is no guarantee that everything will be smooth and paid for from here on out, but it's a good start.

We're currently waiting for a call from the NYC hospital to schedule the consultation in which we decide our plan of action and from there we'll schedule pre-op visit and finally the surgery(s). There are many unknown variables in this tricky situation but we have faith that everything is going to work out.

You guys are amazing and we continue to thank you for all of the donations, well-wishes and prayers. <3
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$3,315 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 74 people in 10 days
Created March 12, 2019
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Michael Paul Schaffer
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