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Drews GBM treatment fund

$10,205 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 102 people in 12 months
Created August 6, 2018
Hello,   My name is Drew Kauffman and I am a 15-year brain tumor  survivor and a very proud father of 2 little boys Finley and Sawyer. Unfortunately, I was-rediagnosed with stage 4 Glioblastoma (GBM). I am now undergoing bi-weekly infusions at Dartmouth Hitchock which means I get to go to the cancer center quite often and it has gotten too be too much of a financial burden after 15 years for me to bear. So, anything that is donated will be used to pay for my trips and any costs associated with going to get treatment.   In 2004, I was diagnosed with a GBM, which is the most aggressive cancer that begins within the brain. Never one to give up, I have undergone 7 craniotomies, five rounds of chemotherapy a clinical trial at Dana Farber and a blast of external beam radiation to try and kill the cancer over the years. The surgeries have twice left me paralyzed down my left side.. and my left hand (3 times) using my refusal to give up over the years, I have regained some limited use but its been a hell of a fight to get this far!  On July 4th, my family and I traveled to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.  At DF, I started the  process of being accepted into clinical trials for what's proven to be extremely hard to treat stage 4 GBM brain cancer. Unfortunately, if I want to get the best possible trial match and provide myself with the most opportunities I can through the clinical trials at DF, I will  need to undergo a 7th surgery  to get new tissue samples that will allow the pathologists to the discover the exact mutation of my tumor cells.  Pending on the outcome of the new tumor sample test results there are currently  2 trials with a spot for me on them and several others that are possibilites but the one that holds the most promise to me o f them is  one using  a Targeted Immunotherapy  vaccinne  VBI-1901  is a vacinne that  is designed to stimulate my immune systems anti-tumor response and kick it into overdrive.  Participating in the trial would mean trips to Boston every 3 weeks for treatments and all follow-up tests and appointments for at least a year or longer depending on the tumors progression.  Getting through this is will be physically and emotionally  difficult to say the least.  With the financial part being the biggest issue right now because we don't have the funds to pay  for a few months worth of trips to Boston, let alone a year of trips that can easily add up to thousands of dollars. In the past, I have done my best to sell some of my photography to help cover the expenses involved with having had so many surgeries and follow-up treatments over the years however, that just wont work this time.  I have done my best to not set-up a Gofundme  account ...i just do not see any other way of making this work financially. Just to take the family to have the surguery is 3- 4 days of hotels and that will pretty  much wipe me out.  It is not possible for me to cover all the expenses involved with me taking bus trips to Boston for treatment every 3 weeks especially if I can not just hop on the bus and return home  each time. I would greatly appreciate any help you can offer. I have survived for 14 years now and have no intentions of give up now or missing my boys first days of school! I have absolutely no desire to miss any more than necessary and, with your help, I can still be around to see my kids off to school as much as possible by being able to afford the trips...without it I will be looking into ways to stay in Boston for my treatments and doing  everything there  while my family stays in Vermont and keeps as normal a routine as possible for the kids .  Thank you for your support during these difficult times!                                                *Drew
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hey everyone i want to give you a update on the amazing journey we have been traveling together... this week I will be getting a MRI and start planning for the second round of radiation....I have to make a new mask to wear during treament and using the new MRI,we will be able to Target my tumor cells and hopefully slow the progression down and I continue doing Avastin infusions to help me keep up the fight and maybe the one two punch will do the trick this time.... it looks like I will be doing 10 rounds of radiation over several weeks ago andmost likely i will be pretty wiped out during this but with your continued love and support ...it has been so much easier to stay strong.. I truly could not have gotten this far without the love you have given me over the years and more importantly...the donations have taken a enormous amount of stress off my shoulders and I can never say thank-you enough ... it's almost unbelievable ...to have received so much love from all of you ! it's gonna be a rough few weeks and months as I go through this again but if you learned anything about me by now....it is that I am a fighter and and will keep it up as long as possible, I am definitely not done yet... and i will stay strong and keep all of your love and support in my heart just in case I need a extra boost of strength.... it's only been possible because of all of you. thanks again for everything.
* your favorite GBM survivor
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Happy world cancer day everyone!
I figured this is a great time to give a update on my battle....so, the Avastin infusions are not slowing the tumors progression as we all hoped which means I have to look at what other treatment options are available at this time. I'm alittle disheartened about this but I won't give up and let cancer win ! if you know me.....I am a fighter and I just made it to my 15th year since i was diagnosed with cancer and I have every intention of making it to 20 ! So next week I have a radiologist appointment to discuss the possibility of doing a second round of radiation and talk about what issues that may arise from doing it and I am also reading through the clinical trial research database to see if there is anything else I can try to finally beat this Cancer... for good. if nothin looks like it will work out for me then I will probably be starting to wear a device called optune until there is a cure for me. thanks for your support over the years.....I could never have gotten this far without it ! thank you,
*Drew
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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I have some good news to share with you..... today, I got a new MRI and it shows that the Avastin infusions seem to be working and there has been a significant change in the tumors growth/progression!
In the image below you can see a comparison of the tumor before I started Avastin infusions and where I am now....2 months later.

The tumor is still there but this is a significant improvement.
So, I will be continue to do bi-weekly infusions for the next few months at Dartmouth Hitchock as long as I can physically tolerate them and sometime around mid-January I will do another MRI to see if there has been any further improvement.

This is the first time I've ever seen any signs of improvement and it's almost unbelievable! I am not out of the woods but there's definitely a lot to be thankful for this year and I want to be sure that you know how much I appreciate the love and support over the years, we're not done yet but I am feeling more optimistic about the future !
MRI comparison
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I just thought I'd put today's big day in perspective with a brief look at some of the things I have done/been through just to get this far ... Today we entered a New world and a completely different direction in my battle to defeat cancers resilince 14 years ago.I never would have believed that we would get this far.....and without all of the love and support of you over this incredible journey it could never have happened..
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$10,205 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 102 people in 12 months
Created August 6, 2018
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