This is my big brother, Jason Peterson. Tackling cancer at the young age of 43 like a BOSS.
Jason has been diagnosed with stage IV blood cancer Peripheral T-cell lymphoma
(PTCL-NOS [not otherwise specifed]), a rare, aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. There are few forums out there, and treatment options/combinations are still only somewhat experimental.
Except, he's been here before - when he was only 19. Then, it was Hodgkin's Lymphoma stage II, a more treatable blood cancer, which they treated aggressively, including the removal of his spleen. It was largely a success - almost 25 years without regression. However, having a prior history of undergoing chemo and radiation have led to limited choices in his current treatment, AND he is disqualified from participating in any hopeful clinical trials.
This past Thanksgiving 2016, it was confirmed that the pain he'd been experiencing in his back was not a slipped disc, but large tumors, spread around his abdomen, and compressing his bladder and kidneys. They started immediately with surgery, but were unable to remove the tumor that was causing the pain. His first 2 sessions with the first chemo therapy combination proved to be ineffective, while the cancer had spread to his pelvic bone and bone marrow. He also developed blood clots in his leg and pulmonary emboli, causing him to take blood thinners for life, and further complicating his treatment and just plain movement. It's easy to feel depressed as a side effect of being forced to be immobile, or from just being unable to move, and therefore unable to participate in normal family life.
He has since undergone targeted radiation, and started a new chemo regimen we hope will be effective. The goal is to get the cancer into partial remission, so that he will be able to undergo a stem cell transplant
, the only treatment that has been shown to have a more lasting impact on the disease. Without this option, the chance of recurrence is extrememly high. Our initial goal of this fundraiser is to help cover the out of pocket costs he will expect to have to pay for the stem cell transplant, as well as ease some of the financial burden of not working.
In order to receive the best treatment option, Jason will have to travel an hour away to a center out of his network. Jason is currently on short-term disability (60% pay) in a single-income family, where he cares for 5 amazing kids and an amazing wife, Allison. The normal day-to-day challenges of supporting a large family are now strained on top of trying to manage through treatment.
We lost our father at his ripe age of 57, having succumbed to a third fight against blood cancer, and are still feeling that pain. We know the challenges still ahead. But I also know that Jason will fight to stay with his family, to see his kids grow up, graduate, and have kids of their own.
This family does so much for each other, in the sweetest manner, and are doing their best to stay positive during this time. It's not always easy to know what to do to help in these situations; nor is it easy to ask for help.
My wish is that by helping with this fund raiser, it will help ease the worry of costs as an immediate need, and let them focus on health and recovery.
Thank you so much for helping this amazing family - absolutely every little bit will be used and so helpful!!