Jeff's Medical Expenses

My name is Matthew Earl. I am the youngest son of Jeff and Cheri Earl. I am sharing my father's story without his knowledge as he is not one to ask for help. But those who know him personally, know he would spare no effort to help someone else in need.

The weekend before Christmas 2015 my father, Jeff, went to the ER complaining of severe abdominal pain. In only a few hours our entire family was reeling after hearing that a CT scan revealed a cantaloupe sized tumor near his pancreas. A later biopsy and PET scan confirmed his diagnosis as stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (a type of white blood cell cancer that forms solid tumors). The cancer was found throughout his body, including his bone marrow. 

Before we knew it a chemo port was placed under his skin, and he began chemotherapy. We did our best to enjoy the holidays, but it was difficult to ignore the heavy feelings in our hearts. The oncologist informed us that 2/3 of patients with this particular cancer are cancer free after 6 months of chemotherapy. The remaining 1/3 who don’t respond will need to undergo additional high intensity chemotherapy and a blood stem cell transplant in hope of a cure. Optimistically, Jeff started chemotherapy. Soon his hair fell out and he began to experience profound fatigue and bone pain. During this process he was also at high risk for infection because the chemo suppressed his immune system.  

Jeff works as a facilities manager for several physician offices. But most of his income stems from his own handyman business. Most of his clients are people he has known for years who have contracted with him again and again for renovations and other specialty jobs because of his integrity and commitment to doing things right the first time. The effects from the cancer, as well as the chemo, have forced him to stop all his handyman work, which has reduced his income by more than half.  My mother started a new job as a technical writer to help, but with my father’s significant reduction in income, new medical bills on top of existing bills, and a mortgage, their financial burden is great with no relief in sight.        

 Sadly, Jeff’s follow-up PET scan, after completing nearly 5 months of chemotherapy, revealed the cancer did not respond as expected and has spread to other areas of his body. This reality has been difficult to grasp over the last week. The next step will be to undergo high dose chemotherapy for 2 months starting May 23rd. The hope is this type of chemo, while destroying Jeff’s entire immune system, will rid his body of the cancerous white blood cells. He will then receive a transfusion of donor stem cells to rebuild his immune system cancer free. The chance of success is 50%. Jeff was told by his caseworker at LDS hospital, where the stem cell transfusion will take place, that many patients opt to not go through with this type of treatment because of the risks and difficulty involved. During this process he will in isolation the hospital for at least 3 weeks, possibly longer, while his immune system regenerates. The risk of complications from even a common cold will be extremely high, and the slightest infection could be fatal.         

There is much we don’t know at this point. Our family is hoping and praying the high dose chemotherapy and transplant are successful. Jeff will be unable to work for many more months as he endures this new therapy and continues onto recovery. My siblings and I want to relieve some of the financial strain placed on my parents from this unforseen illness.  We are only at the start of our careers with young families, and have been unable to alleviate their increasing financial burdens. I am writing to ask for donations to pay for my father’s medical bills, mortgage, and to sustain my parents while he is unable to work as he used to for the next several months. The money is needed as soon as possible. Each day that passes puts my parents farther behind on their financial obligations. My siblings and I are deeply grateful for your generosity. Any donation is helpful. Whether or not you are able to donate, please keep Jeff and Cheri in your prayers during this difficult time and please share this campaign.

Donations

  • Karen Pierotti 
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
  • Alice Spencer 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • DeAnn Campbell 
    • $25 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $2,000 
    • 44 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Matthew Earl 
Organizer
Claremont, CA
Cheri Earl 
Beneficiary
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