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Eric's European Excursion

$15,677 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 91 people in 5 months
Created November 12, 2018
One of my oldest friends, Eric Schuttler, was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer metastasized to the liver in late September 2015. He started chemo right away and is lucky to have good health insurance that mostly covered his treatment. He completed 12 rounds of chemo six months post diagnosis.  There were some positive results and some setbacks. He then tried alternatives including radioembolization, which also provided some positive results as well as some less than stellar results. 

His friends and family have rallied around him to provide him all the support possible. I was his first off-campus roommate for two years at VA Tech many years ago and a large group of friends from that collegiate experience came together to show Eric our support and unity at Thanksgiving 2015. We came from France, Wyoming, Seattle, Washington D.C. as well as many from the Raleigh, N.C. area where Eric and his family live. 34444298_1542022127971785_r.jpeg
Eric isn't giving up. Neither are we. We are resolute, we are one. But, after three years unrelenting battle, when asked what the prospects are, his oncologist responded "not years." Of course, Eric doesn't believe his doctor and is ready to prove him wrong. But he also knows how difficult it is these days to bounce back from chemo, as opposed to 3 years ago. Soon he won't be able to handle what little chemo he's currently taking, and then he's 'walking the tightrope without a net', allowing the tumors to do what they will in time. So while his days aren't necessarily numbered yet, he realizes if he wants to do something that requires some exertion, it's time to address it now.

So he contacted me and asked if he and his wife Christine could organise a trip to my residence here in France for a restorative visit. Of course! I've been wanting him to visit for years. Eric explained, "It's been too long since we've been able to spend some real time together and I'd like to see you in your natural habitat." 

Why we're raising funds : To offset costs for round-trip  travel for Eric and Christine from Raleigh, NC to Marseille, France. Due to the wear and tear on his body from all the chemo and associated ascites, a cheap seat in economy isn't an option so they are shooting for business class seating.

When :We've targeted March 2019 for the trip, as the holiday craziness will be gone and the weather improves. There's nothing like Springtime in France.

What your support means : To me and to Eric and all our friends, that he will be able to enjoy an exciting vacation and get away for a couple weeks or so. To focus on things other than the ever-continuing battle with cancer will mean the world to us during his visit. 

How can we thank you ? If you know Eric, you are probably aware he's a talented artist. For those contributing $500 or more, he's offering an original piece of art, using either pastels, watercolor, charcoal or whatever strikes his creative spirit as I take him to visit local attractions, hopefully including a day trip to Italy. He'll have access to French art supplies and the finished pieces will be ready to matte and frame at standard matte sizes (5x7", 8x10", etc). For those of us who don't have the means to contribute quite so much, you'll have our never-ending gratitude and access to a Facebook page where we'll be sharing photos, videos and stories leading up to and during the trip as well as after the trip.

Whatever you can do to help is greatly appreciated. If you are not in the best situation financially, sharing this GoFundMe link with your friends and family and getting the word out will be also very welcome support. Whether it's in the form of a contribution or just keeping Eric in your thoughts, thank you for helping in any way that you can. 

Much love.

Chris
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Hello everyone, I'm afraid I have to announce that Eric has shuffled off this mortal coil. He died the morning of the 13th East Coast time. I have some updates from BethAnne and Christine :

From BethAnne: The GoFundMe was Eric's friends way of a make a wish for him and a way for us all to show him how much we love. What is so wonderful for me is to know that he has been able to have this trip in his heart whether or not he ever gets on a plane. He has been able to feel this love outpouring from every aspect of his life.

From Christine: When the Go Fund Me went live, we spent that whole first day just watching it grow with every donation. Sometimes I was the one watching it and sometimes he would say for me to look at it and all throughout the day we just could not get over the outpouring of love and generosity that was shown for us. And then right before midnight that night we hit the goal! Every donation brought joy to his heart.

The very next day he was sitting at his computer - he booked the tickets, he picked out our seats we talked about small day trips we might take when we’re there, seeing his wonderful friends in France. He did all of that himself, not me. We went the next day and got the photos taken for our passports and mailed them off without hesitation.

And like BethAnne said, short of going on the trip he got to enjoy every single part of watching the go fund me grow. seeing the names of all the friends and family that made those donations warmed his heart. And after we met the goal, he kept converting the extra amount into euros because he intended to spend every penny on that trip whether it was buying the meals for all of us, paying for tickets to do something together - we were going to just use every bit of the money on that trip and that was his wish. (He said “don’t use this money to pay bills! Keep it separate from the other stuff”) and that’s what I did.
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Hello everyone ! I toured the Catamaran that I think we should rent for Eric and Christine's visit. What do you think ?
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November 23rd update from Eric!
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$15,677 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 91 people in 5 months
Created November 12, 2018
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ER
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Erika Rosenthal
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