￼Our Cousin and dear friend Gary Gam was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer in August of 2017. He continued to work despite suffering through rounds of chemotherapy and radiation up until his surgery in Dec 2017. At that time doctors removed the cancer along with part of his esophagus. He always maintained a positive outlook but the recovery has been extremely rough with multiple set backs.
To say we have admired Gary our whole lives is an understatement. He has a inner light of enthusiasm for life that has helped shape our own positive outlook. Gary has dedicated his life to helping children and spent the last 35 years working with the toughest behavioral problems. Children no one else could reach, Gary reached and helped to succeed. All children need that one person they can trust, someone who understands them and let’s them know that someone is listening. Gary is that person to so many.
Just as Gary planned to return to full time work for the Broward county school system in August of 2018 he was shocked to learn that the cancer has aggressively returned to the same place. The only hope in this dire situation is that the cancer has not metastasized to other parts of his body and his lymph nodes remain clear. His only chance of survival is the complete removal of his esophagus in a colonic interposition esophageal replacement surgery. His entire Esophagus is removed and his large intestine is grafted in it’s place. It's a radical procedure requiring neck, chest and abdominal surgery all at once.
Here is where we need help and since Gary will not ask, we will ask for him. He and his wife Dawn, who has been his caretaker for the past year, have some money saved but after months of not being able to work it is dwindling. The upcoming surgery is daunting. He will be unable to work again in any capacity for 6 months to a year. He also needs to have the surgery in Jacksonville at the Mayo clinic and will need to reside there for at least 6 months. When his only thoughts should be about how to stay alive, he is consumed with financial worries. Worries that his mortgage payment, electric bills, car insurance … etc. will go unpaid. Worried that he is more of a burden to his family if he tries the surgery rather than allowing the cancer to win without one more fight.
When budgeting for the next year they find themselves short $1500 a month. Please, any amount you can donate today will help immensely to lift the financial choke hold and freeing Gary and Dawn to have hope for a new life after cancer.
Peace, love & thanks
Robin & Family