Just when she arrived at our father's house, Brian called and said that he felt numbness in his lower body, but that he was sure it was due to being in the fishing boat. My sister was a little worried, but hoped it would get better in the morning. Unfortunately it didn't get better, and Brian went to the hospital Monday morning. While my sister was in with her young children, Brian was going through many medical tests to find out what exactly was the cause of this numbness.
That night, Brian and Gigi learned that the numbness had been caused by a tumor on Brian's vertebrae in his neck and that it had eaten away 70% of the bone at the T1 vertebrae. My sister was told Brian was being moved to another hospital in where a neurosurgeon was on staff so a biopsy could be taken and emergency surgery could be performed to stabilize his vertebrae to avoid further spinal cord damage. Gigi immediately made plans to return home and meet Brian at Tampa General.
Upon Gigi's arrival in , both Brian and Gigi were told that the tumor was most likely cancerous but further tests would be completed once the biopsy was taken. This was absolutely terrifying news for the entire family, especially for Gigi, who was still nursing their three month old baby. With no family in the immediate area, their church family took them into their arms and provided Brian and Gigi with a hotel room for Gigi and the children to stay in close to the hospital. Our mom drove down from to help take care of the children while Gigi and Brian's mom stayed with Brian in the hospital.
Brian had to endure a 12 hour surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. He was diagnosed with a Plasmacytoma (Solitary Myeloma) and he would need radiation treatment to kill the remaining tumor surgery was not able to remove. While he was in the hospital Brian received a blood transfusion and was kept 2 days in ICU and stayed a total of 8 days before he was stable enough to go home.
From March 25th until now Brian and Gigi have relied on their strong faith, church community and family to help them get through this very difficult time. They have been an inspiration to those around them and have shown the meaning of faith and family.
Brian has just completed 25 radiation treatments and is pending a blood test to see if the cancer has been successfully eradicated from his body or has spread. We are hoping for the best possible results. Meanwhile, Brian and Gigi are in need of some financial help to pay the growing medical bills, the added cost of driving to treatment and the daily cost of living.
Anyone who has met my sister and Brian knows that they are the sweetest people on the planet. She is a teacher, he is an insurance adjuster, and they both have regularly given freely of their time and money to help those in need. Now they have come to a time where they are in need, and since she would never ask for herself, I am asking for her. If you can, please consider donating funds to Brian and Gigi to get through this very difficult time in their lives. With your help and their strong faith, I know they will get through this.
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