My sister's boyfriend of 7 years was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in August 2012. Advanced and extremely aggressive cancer requires extremely aggressive treatment. The way his oncologist described it was, "We are going to hit this with all we've got - at maximum doses. We are going to have to push your body to the very edge." It was Ricks health going into this that kept him alive. An avid bike rider, he rode 100 miles on any given week.
So after battling it out for nearly 6 months, scans showed him cancer free! Rick had lost 50 lbs during treatment and he was determined to gain back weight and get healthy again. Although his recovery was very slow at first he still managed to get his weight up to 160 and was back on his bike in no time.
Cancer is a sneaky disease and while Rick was recovering and feeling better each day, so was his cancer. On September 6th, 2013 just 2 days after his 49th birthday, they found a small lump behind his ear. His cancer has returned, stronger and more aggressive than before. The cancer is wrapped around his carotid artery, his jugular and is already making its way up towards his brain. We had hoped surgery was an option but recently learned that removing this overwhelming tumor is impossible. He is getting weekly chemo again but it is only to try to slow the growth of the tumor and buy him a little extra time. We were devastated to learn at his last appointment that Rick has 4-6 months to live. That was nearly 2 months ago.
In order to maximize the time they have left, Heather and Rick have decided to go on a road trip or two. Because neither has been able to work this past year, their funds are running extremely low. I have thus set up this online fund to help raise money for Rick and Heather and to support their last adventures together. Being avid trekkers, campers, and practically forest rangers, Heather and Rick plan to cover all of beautiful California! They will hit up their favorite places, like Sequoia National Forest, Carrizo Plains and Mammoth. There is not an exact date set for when they will leave due to the current chemo Rick is receiving. Although we know it will be by January 1st.
Funds will go directly towards gas, food, and general living expenses for the next 2-3 months. Anything left over will be donated to SPOHNC, which is a program of support for people with oral and head and neck cancer.
With your help, they will have the financial means to enjoy their time together. They will surely feel your love and positive ju-ju vibes throughout their trip! Heather and Rick have both been through a lot in this life, and their situation is truly heartbreaking. Your support, love and prayers are greatly appreciated.
- Darin Folkestad
- Mike and Michelle Barrera
- staci fan
- Mike Tine
- Andy DelProposto
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