Frank Salerno's Medical Expenses

Frank is a 47 yr old male who was diagnosed with high grade bladder cancer (urothelial carcinoma) last March. He had 3 surgeries in 2015 and a 4th in January 2016, with cells going from high grade to low grade and now back to high grade, still appearing to be Stage 1 cancer.  We have been told that this specific cancer is extremely rare for one still in their 40’s and is generally found in men in their 70’s.  In between surgeries to prevent the tumors from returning he has also had six BCG bladder treatments and one chemo treatment, yet it has shown a rapid return/growth rate.  Frank’s urologist recommended that reconstructive (made from the small intestine) bladder surgery be performed to prevent it from inevitably penetrating through the bladder wall and entering/spreading throughout the bladder muscle and later potentially various parts of the body.  Frank was recently referred to the UM Professor of Urology and was sent for CT scan/x-rays/blood work, results showing that this high grade/aggressive cancer has returned again and now progressed from Stage 1 to Stage 2–2 ½ within a short time from the last tumor removal/surgery.  He has surgery scheduled this Saturday, March 26, 2016.

As Frank fortunately does have medical insurance, still the copays, patient expenses and additionally  the unpaid time off/absence from work/income over the last year, finances have become extremely difficult to maintain.  Unfortunately he does not have short/long term disability and of course can’t get/use it until 9 months cancer free.

The surgery Frank will undergo is an extensive process: 6 surgeries in one, over 300 steps, 5-10 hours, he will be in the hospital for a minimum of 7-10 days, and the recovery will be a lengthy process, and he will be unable to work for at least 2 months. At first even his movement will be limited and therapy will be required just for him to empty his replacement bladder and try to urinate, and at times will have to catheterize himself.  Also his every-day activities will be limited for several months being a stressful, painful process, and he will surely get frustrated as Frank has always been active and a self-helping person.  Although he has a positive attitude for dealing with everything, naturally it is becoming overwhelming. 

We do not want Frank to have the additional stress of how everyday living expenses will be covered: is the mortgage, electric, water, phone, etc., going to be paid and how?  The medical bills alone are enough to worry about plus not having any idea what the surgery/hospital/medication/etc. will cost, guesstimating that the co-pay/patient portion would have to be in excess of $20,000.00, which naturally he/we do not have.  Additionally after a few months there is a strong chance that he will have to undergo another surgery depending on the function or lack thereof Mr. Johnson.  

Frank has a very positive attitude about his future and knows he will be fine medically with the continued love/help/support of his family, friends and loved ones, and is unconditionally appreciative.

Anyone who is additionally able to help/offer/afford financial aid would forever be in our deepest gratitude.  Any funds received/contributed will go solely to outstanding medical bills from 2015 and early 2016, simplified living, and then of course the upcoming major unknown expenses. 

The generosity and compassionate donations will forever be greatly appreciated as we do not want him to hinder his recovery process with the additional stress!!!
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Organizer and beneficiary

Janet Blackinton 
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Frank Salerno