Since we do not know what the future holds, we have established this page for anyone who would like to contribute towards Brad’s care and needs over the next year (and beyond) until we can declare Brad a cancer survivor. Brad and Dana know well the significance of being a cancer survivor: Dana just celebrated 4 years cancer free after successfully fighting back Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We stand in awe of Brad and Dana’s passion, strength, and example to everyone who knows this amazing couple.
The money raised here will go directly to Brad’s healthcare and related expenses, including travel costs over the course of treatment and all the healthful choices Brad can make to support his treatment. Additionally, because of treatment and recovery, Brad has taken short term disability leave from work and may be on long term disability for an undetermined amount of time. We hope to raise enough money here to help with Brad and Dana's living expenses while Brad is unable to work.
Brad selected the Cleveland Clinic to perform the kidney removal surgery and will be applying for a variety of clinical trials and/or treatment programs at some of the country’s best cancer hospitals. The bad news is that Brad’s particular type of RCC is extremely rare; if this were a standardized test, Brad would be in the 99th percentile (as usual). The good news is that there is a good chance that he will have his choice of doctors, trials, and treatment plans; as a result, we don’t yet know how far Brad and Dana will travel, or for how long, over the course of treatment. We want to make sure not only that Brad will be able to seek the best treatment, no matter where it is, but also that he will have his support system and teammate by his side.
We know that, no matter where his treatment plan takes him, Brad will have a large network of support that literally spans the globe and bursts out with love on a daily basis. We know other friends have also started fundraisers, and others have made contributions in person. We are already amazed by the generosity and selflessness emerging all around Brad and Dana, and we hope to let it continue here. We will continue to provide updates about his progress both here and on all the usual social media channels. Thank you for your consideration and support.
Jeremy and Meredith Potter
His pain management remains a difficult balancing act but it is unintended side effects and not the site itself that continue to be tough. For example, Brad developed double vision that can be treated with rest but continues to distract and make recovery more bothersome. Brad's recovery has also been interrupted by nerve pain around the lower back that radiates far beyond into his leg. It limits movement which is critical to being able to walk and rest. These struggles created delays in gearing up for the healthy boost prior to the next phase of treatment. Brad has been calling it "the montage" because we reached the point where it is supposed to be the training for the big fight. Unfortunately given the recent issues with pain in his back, the montage is yet to begin. Brad and Dana are seeking to address those issues today and we look forward to kicking off his Rocky-esque montage next week.
There has also been good news. Brad's specific type of renal cell carcinoma is known as clear cell and has been treated successfully in some cases with IL2. IL2 is an immunization therapy that uses the body's immune system to attack the cancer. It is physically taxing and takes the body to the brink of what it can handle. In fact, the success of the treatment depends on how many doses one can handle each treatment. The treatments are administered in ICU-like conditions in a hospital for 5 days at a time.
The long term goal at this point is the selection of a clinical treatment plan. It seems clear that several options involve IL2. In some cases, IL2 is given in conjunction with experimental drug treatment and in other case IL2 treatment with a healthy diet. We are evaluating all options and as the post surgery recovery continues, Brad has another few weeks before a final decision is needed. At the same time, we expect to finalize a decision soon. One option would take Brad and Dana to Texas for a clinical trial. The IL2 only option can be administered close to home in Ann Arbor, MI. We continue to research other options as well.
Brad is focused on selecting the best option for his holistic health. He continues to focus on the podcast, Defending Your Life, and writing. He was just published in The Guardian for a series about facing fear.
Brad remains positive and committed. Our offer stands for anyone that would like to visit Detroit. All are welcome. If you can't make it, the texts and emails are welcome but please understand if you do not receive an immediate reply. We are thankful for overwhelming support. Keep the donations coming as all the money will be used to help Brad and Dana with travel, lodging and medical care in the next stage of treatment - whether that's a clinical trial, in-patient care or residential facility. We want Brad to have as much flexibility in selecting a treatment facility and that could include flights to Texas, California, Germany or elsewhere.
Our goal is to post updates with more regularity now. Many of you have enjoyed the podcast and thanks to Dana's hard work, we have a new website. We'll continue to update the medical care, treatment plan and options as well. Much love, Jeremy & Meredith