Aten Family Cancer Fund
UPDATE: Dan's most recent PET scan and now biopsy results have confirmed that his cancer is back - he has a very painful lymphnode area on his back that is growing by the minute. He cannot get treatment locally for this next step (more intense chemo and possibly a stem cell transplant) so they need to move to the Philly area for inpatient and outpatient treatment - even when he's out of the hospital, he has to be within 30-45 minutes of the hospital incase anything happens. They will be there for at least 6 months are moving a lot of their things out of our house this weekend so he can start treatment next week.
I’m starting this Go Fund Me account for a work friend and fellow speech therapist that I actually met by covering her maternity leave last school year. In May 2015, Emily was blessed with her first child, a baby boy, Tyler. She and her husband, Dan, were busy taking care of their new baby when unfortunately on Christmas Eve, when Tyler was just 7 months old, Dan was diagnosed with Stage 4 non germinal center diffuse large B-cell lymphoma/cancer. The timing wasn’t ideal, although, it never is when it comes to cancer. While away from work, Emily took care of Tyler but also cared for her sick husband. He got 6 outpatient chemo treatments locally between February and May 2016 and they got good news via a PET scan and blood tests that the cancer had seemed to be resolved! Time to get back to enjoying life. Emily started back to work at the start of the new school year this fall, taking Tyler to daycare for the first time. They had just started to get into a new routine when Dan recently went back to the doctor for some follow up tests and they detected a ‘spot.’ It could’ve been nothing, possibly just a cyst, but they needed to do further testing as it’s better safe than sorry in these types of situations. Unfortunately, the PET scan and biopsy results came back that Dan again has Lymphoma. This time though Dan will have to go through more intense inpatient chemo and stem cell transplants at Penn in Philadelphia. This requires he and Emily, with a toddler in tow, to stay within 30 minutes from the facility and both to take even more time away from work. This family has a lot on their plate with financial burden of medical bills, stay (paying for their current home and their “Philadelphia home” where they will have to pay to stay while Dan goes through treatments), food, travelling, taking care of a little one, and losing income while taking more time off of work. They would be appreciative of any help you can offer whether it be money (any little bit can help) and of course prayers and positive thoughts. If you’re unable to contribute to this fund, please share this Go Fund Me link and pray and/or send positive energy to this family in their very difficult time. Thank you!!!
For those who are interested, donations can me made in memory of Dan to For Pete's Sake Cancer Respite Foundation.
For Pete's Sake provided Dan, Emily and Tyler with a vacation to Disney World and Universal Studios in June 2017--a break from cancer when they needed it most.
Additionally, donations can be sent directly to the Aten family to be directed to Tyler's college fund. Feel free to contact me via GoFundMe for the family's contact information.
Dan's Celebration of Life will be on Saturday, November 17 in State College. More details to come.
If you plan to attend and did not RSVP by way of the Facebook group, please do so here by sending an email to me via GoFundMe. Please also note if you will need a hotel room at the venue (rooms range $100-$150/night).
I carry your heart. I carry your heart in my heart.
Last night, heaven got another angel. Dan was surrounded by his family and his best friend when he passed away. Tyler was at home playing with his friends, how Dan wanted it. I haven’t told him yet. His mom and I held his hands. I sang You Are My Sunshine to him, a song that we always sang to Tyler, and played his favorite music. We told stories. Kissed him all over. He squeezed my hand right to the end. When he passed, the clouds opened and the sun shined through, rays of sunshine raising him to heaven. And after I left, I went on top of the mountain and watched a beautiful pink sunset. A big gust of wind hit me, as if he was saying, love you and miss you. Insurmountable pain. I’ll love him and miss him every second of every day.
We will be having a Celebration of Life for Dan. Lots of beer, tailgate games, and sharing stories. Talking about how he lived. And you have to show up in PSU gear. No black. Dan was never that kind of guy. We’ll be sad, very sad, and mad, but we also need to celebrate him. Celebrate love. Celebrate family and friends.
Dan’s health is declining faster than we anticipated. His balance is way off and needs constant help/supervision walking and doing the stairs, which he hates. We got him a hospital bed for downstairs and may start to need it soon if stairs become an issue. We moved from palliative care to hospice and the nurse has been coming daily. He’s retaining water because his organs are shutting down so he gets to wear some stylish compression socks. If you have messaged him he will not be getting back to you because his focus/cognition is way off. If you messaged me and I didn’t get back to you I’m sorry but I’m very overwhelmed with all of this, but we appreciate your support. Dan sleeps a lot of the day but is still eating and giving me and Ty kisses. Every minute that he is awake and coherent we cherish.
Yesterday our amazing tailgating family brought a tailgate to our front yard, complete with grilled stickies, El Presidentes, music, the cow bell, and pong. Dan and I were only out there for about 45 minutes but I know he loved every minute of it. From the bottom of my heart, thanks so much.
So saddened by the news of Daniel's death. Prayers for the family. Shelly, love you and please let me know if there is anything I can do,
Your words have touched our heart. We will keep your family in our prayers.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I am still praying for all of you every day.
Dan, our family will be praying for you and yours. All the Best, - John Sharrar
Keep strong I am praying for your family you can fight this.
Lenny and I are praying for all of you .
God created a cure lemon grass tea cure without the poison of chemo Aunt told a stage four breast cancer the younglady is now cancer free the family now grows their own lemon grass .