Stand by Aaron to beat Glioblastoma brain cancer

37696016_1552408859188873_r.jpegMy brother was diagnosed with Glioblastoma brain cancer in February, 2019.  This was absolutely devastating news for our family and his close friends.  Unfortunately, this is the most aggressive type of cancer, and the prognosis is poor:  The average survival is 12-18 months, with only 25% of people surviving more than one year, and only 5% surviving more than 5 years.  It is the same type of cancer that took John McCain’s life.  Although we are trying to accept this diagnosis, we are not ready to lose Aaron.  If you know him, you know he has already beat many odds in his lifetime.  Why should this be any different?  Someone has to be in the percentage of survivors, why not him!?  There are some promising clinical trials out there which give us hope for a better long-term prognosis, as long as he is able to complete traditional therapies, such as Chemotherapy and Radiation.

It breaks our hearts to face Aaron’s medical situation, and we wish we didn’t have to do this, but our family humbly asks for your help.  We need a tribe to beat this!

We would greatly appreciate any donation you feel in your hearts to give, in order to lessen the burden of medical treatment costs, medication costs, and the time my 18-year-old niece, Macey, has to take off of work in order to get her Dad to radiation and chemotherapy every day (while she simultaneously tries to finish her senior year and graduate).  She would move mountains for her Dad, and she is, but the financial burden of what is not covered by insurance is already becoming unbearable, and he has only completed one full week of treatment, following a hospital stay.  Aaron has always worked hard to support his family; unfortunately, he is unable to do so now, which is very difficult for him.  He recently told me he didn’t want to do this, knowing the financial toll it would take on his loved ones, especially Macey.  I told him he needs to focus on beating this, and I would take care of his financial worries, so he didn’t have to.  Of course, I didn’t have a plan at the time, but I didn’t want him to make decisions on his life, based on finances.  He has since been fighting the fight!  Fundraising on behalf of Aaron is the only answer I could come up with, and I assure you we will be forever grateful for any and every penny.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who have already donated privately, and have offered prayers and words of encouragement.  Love is medicine, and Aaron is feeling loved!

Update as of March 2019:

The horrible news about Aaron came to us on 1/31/2019, just 3 days before his 43rd Birthday.  With a craniotomy scheduled the following week, Mom and I jumped on a plane and headed to CO to celebrate his Birthday and support him, his Daughter, and Andrea in the days leading up to his surgery.  The surgery was as successful as it could be, and the surgeon was able to remove the majority of the tumor.  Unfortunately, GBM tumors are very aggressive, and intertwine in the brain.  In Aaron’s case the majority of the tumor was in the left side of his brain behind his ear, and spread “its fingers” to the right side.  The surgeon was unable to remove the “fingers,” which is what the radiation and chemotherapy is targeting.  I have included some pictures of the before/ after MRI’s, which show just how much of the tumor the surgeon was able to remove (see comments).  When I pray for my brother, I envision the MRI showing what is remaining, and imagine the chemo/ radiation kicking its @$$!, so I thought it might be helpful for you all to see as well.  

 
Since the surgery, Aaron has had his ups and downs, but overall is doing quite well despite everything, which is very encouraging for us.  Because of where the tumor is located, he as “expressive” aphasia, which means that he understands what is said to him, but he isn’t always able to communicate what he wants to say in return.  This is frustrating for him, because he is very well aware of his deficit.  He also has issues with long and short term memory, so we often repeat things to him, and remind him of what he needs to do each day, like taking his medications, completing daily routines/tasks, and going to treatments, etc.  Despite his challenges, he enjoys talking on the phone to the best of his ability, when he feels up to it, and appreciates every call he gets from family and friends.
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Organizer

Kelly Kay 
Organizer
Highland Township, MI
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