Beating The Odds, My Fight With Esophageal Cancer.

Hello. My name is Phillip Scott Brown. I'm 50 years young and a graphic designer for the marketing department of a wonderful Christian university here in the Midwest.  I was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive esophageal/stomach cancer. It started off as what I and my primary care physician thought was a bad case of Gerd. After treatment offered no relief an upper endoscopy quickly revealed a much more grim story. A 7cm tumor in my esophagus where it meets my stomach. More scans were ordered to determine the stage and if it had spread. I was faced with a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer that has spread slightly to my liver and lung as well as all of the thoracic lymph nodes.  This cancer is very aggressive, inoperable and uncurable. It is however treatable. My only hope is that an immediate start of chemotherapy and simultaneous radiation therapy will shrink the tumor and send my cancer into remission. If it doesn't I have from 6 months to a year left. If it successful I could have 5-7 years left.  I'm a very strong and positive person and intend to fight this with every ounce of my being. Being the person that I am, I worry about others much more than myself and am trying to keep my family strong through this and worry for them the most. I have two teenage sons, Blake (13), and Daniel (15). Both are my entire world and such wonderful boys. They truly make me feel like the proudest father ever. They are so smart, compassionate, and thoughtful. I couldn't be blessed with better children. Both are very musically gifted and honor students at their respective schools.  My wife Amanda is the sweetest most compassionate person I have ever met. She is truly beautiful inside and out. She's a practicing nurse in an infectious disease clinic and touches the hearts and lives of every single patient she interacts with and does everything she can to help them and improve their quality of life. She's an amazing listener and always willing to give even strangers a shoulder to cry on.  I intend to continue working through my treatment. My employer has been very understanding and accommodating with my situation and will allow me to work mostly from home during my treatments. I may however be forced to take some time off using short or long term disability and FMLA or stop working entirely. This will leave my family in dire straights financially. We are definitely going to lose an income at some point.  Medical bills are piling up quickly in addition to our regular monthly bills. We have terrific medical insurance but will be left with 10s of thousands of dollars to pay for on our own as well as $50 per visit co-pays at the rate of 2-4 a week. A single chemo treatment will cost upwards of $20k alone. I will most likely need to endure about 15-20 of these coupled with radiation treatments at the same time. We aren't sure where this is going to come from without help. If I'm unable to continue working matters will quickly grow exponentially. We are very self sufficient people who are not used to asking others for financial help, however we are definitely going to need a lot of help.  We are a strong Christian family and enjoy the prayers and support of our wonderful church and are truly blessed with the outpouring of love we have received. We trust that everything is in God's hands and no matter the outcome, everything will be okay no matter what his will is.  We are humbly asking for your financial help. If you are able to donate any amount our family would be truly grateful for your blessing upon us. All donations will be used frugally to pay medical or monthly bills in the event that I can no longer work. 

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Amanda Gowen 
Saint Charles, MO
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