The Helmer Family

We have created this page as our family has been nominated and chosen to participate in "The 12 Days of Christmas", hosted by "Six Sisters Stuff". What a great group of ladies to be able to give back to 12 families that are in need of financial assistance, a pick me up, smiles or simply extra prayers for their family or the ability to spread awareness. Thank you Six Sisters Stuff!!!!!!!!

I am excited because this is a way we can spread awareness for Melanoma. This is a cancer that CAN be prevented or easily managed with yearly routine skin checks with a doctor. This is also one of the deadliest cancers and treatment options are limited outside of general surgical remover of the cancer. If it goes to a place in the body that isn't operable it makes treatment options limited posing an extremely high risk. Melanoma is known to go to the brain first and is a very cranky cancer. Melanoma IS skin Cancer. My husbands started with a mole on his back that just didn't look right. It can also be detected as tumors under the skin as well. PLEASE read about Melanoma and share the awareness to help prevent this horrible cancer.....

A family friend nominated us for this, saying:

I nominated the Helmer family for the 12 days of Christmas giving because I cannot think of anyone who deserves support more than they do. Jason Helmer was my husband's best friend their entire childhood. He is the most generous spirit. In 2004, Jason donated a kidney to his brother, without giving it a second thought. He is so wonderful and giving and loves his family more than anything. His wife Stacy is his absolute soul mate. Her wonderful generous spirit is the perfect match for her husband. I cannot imagine either of them with anyone else. They have spent more of their lives together as a couple than they have without each other. And now Jason is battling Stage 4 metastasized melanoma while his wife is pregnant with their 3rd child. When I was pregnant I could hardly take care of myself. Stacy is taking care of their 2 other children and a husband with cancer. She is a remarkable woman, and that is not a phrase I use lightly.

Jason was pursuing his dream as an owner of his own contracting company and blindsided by this diagnosis. Jason's illness has left him unable to work as well as his wife Stacy as she his full time care taker, mother of 2 with a baby due shortly after Christmas. It is very difficult for Jason to not be able to provide for his family as he always has. Stacy is spread so thin with taking care of everything in life, but I know there's nowhere she would rather be than be her family's side. Before Jason's diagnosis Stacy and Jason were very involved with their local Relay For Life event. Jason's company sponsored all of the survivor shirts, as one survivor to hundreds, and Stacy was the event Co-chair for the event last year. She fundraised over $1500 personally in her spare time. They have instilled the spirit of giving into their children, and their 6 year old daughter Elizabeth even saves her pocket change in a piggy bank to make her own donation to Relay For Life. She wants to help other people like her daddy that are fighting back against cancer. Jason and Stacy have done an amazing job teaching their children about generosity and giving in spite of one's own personal struggles. Jason has always put his family and friends first and would do anything for anyone even today. I can only hope sharing their story will mean more prayers for Jason and the opportunity to lift them up this holiday, the way they have always lifted up others. "“Jessica Johnson

This is our story:

Jason and I met while spending the day at the lake with friends in the summer of 1996, during the summer of our sophomore year of high school. Jason and I knew immediately that we would be the love of each other's life, and even as teenagers we told our friends that we would spend the rest of our lives together. We were married August 2nd, 2003 and just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary this past summer. Our first child, Elizabeth, was born 2007, the next child, Christopher, was born in 2009 and we are currently expecting the third child, a boy named Jackson, who is due right before Christmas. We are so proud of the little family that we have created and have so much love for one another. The past 4 years have been a battle as far as Jason's health is concerned. In 2010, Jason was diagnosed with stage 1 metastatic melanoma. He underwent surgery to have the cancer removed from his back. He followed up with his doctors every 3 months. In May 2011 he was diagnosed with stage 3 Melanoma in the same area. He underwent a larger surgery that included the removal of most lymph nodes in his left arm area. He continued with treatment of Interferon injections at home for a year and seemed to be doing okay. He had P.E.T. scans every 6 months to be sure the cancer had not returned. His last one was April 2013 and showed no signs of cancer. Jason began complaining of headaches in July, and on July 28th I took him to the Emergency Room. They found 10 lesions in his brain as well as 2 in his abdomen, and now has spread to 5 in that area. He started radiation immediately and began aggressively fighting the cancer. One of the tumors was significantly larger and putting pressure and swelling on the portion of his brain that controls motor skills and vision, leaving his short term memory affected as well as a mid-line vision cut in his right eye making it thus far impossible to continue to work. When he began to regain a little bit of function, we were cautiously optimistic that his condition was improving. On August 22nd, Jason suddenly fell into a coma due to the swelling of the lesions in his brain and sodium levels in the body (SIADH syndrome). The swelling of his brain was so large that it was trying to escape through the brain stem, causing a herniated brain. I placed him on life support as my only option and all came to say goodbye including our children. This was the most difficult day of my life. It was clear how many people loved Jason, as his supporters took over the waiting rooms of the hospital. Jason surprised everyone including the medical staff and doctors waking up the next day, making a miraculously comeback. He underwent a craniotomy surgery to remove the largest tumor and started radiation treatments to fight as aggressively as he could. He was treated with Gamma Knife for the 9 lesions that were left in his brain and that has shown to be shrinking the lesions and the swelling has subsided for the moment. Jason experienced his first seizure in the beginning of November and we have had to adjust some medications and adapt to a new routine at home due the seizure. He started a chemo therapy called "Yervoy" which is given by an infusion every 21 days for 4 cycles and is specific to Melanoma. He will have his final infusion December 6th and we will then wait until the middle of January to see if any of the tumors in the abdomen or the brain have shrunk or been eliminated. We are thankful that he is able to be home during this process and that he has tolerated the treatments fairly well. I can't stress enough how grateful we are to have him home with us and able to move on with other treatment options. The Doctors have given the prognosis of 1 year, but I have faith that my husband's will to live for his family will shine through. We are not going to let cancer run our lives and continue to have hope. He is a fighter and we will never lose faith in his ability to prove statistics wrong.
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Stacy Helmer 
Graham, WA
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