Over about a two week period in early July my dad’s skin and eyes turned a deep yellow, he developed a severe itchiness sensation across his entire body, and he lost all of his energy to do basic daily tasks. He could not go to work, and he ended up being hospitalized due to a severe case of jaundice. Over the next several days and weeks, he went through a variety of tests and procedures to determine the root of these problems.
What we learned was that he had a large mass on the head of his pancreas that was compressing his bile duct, which caused his liver enzymes to skyrocket, and his body to become jaundiced. Shortly after that he had a procedure to place a stent within his bile duct, so that his liver enzymes could flow properly, and the jaundice would subside.
During his hospitalization, a variety of MRIs, CT scans, biopsies, etc. were performed, and what we learned was that, along with the large mass on the head of his pancreas, he had stage 4 cancer within his bile duct/gallbladder, and lesions on his liver.
When consulting with his gastrointestinal doctors and his oncologist, a myriad of treatment options including chemotherapy and surgery to remove portions of his pancreas, gallbladder, liver, and bile duct were discussed. Unfortunately, due to his jaundice, his body did not have the strength to begin any treatment immediately. He was essentially bedridden for the next several weeks, and he eventually developed a bed sore while at home resting.
I’m happy to say that within the last week or so, he has regained some strength, and he will begin chemotherapy sessions soon; however, as of right now, the mass/lesions are too large to remove surgically. The hope is that the chemo will shrink the mass on his pancreas, as well as the lesions elsewhere, so that surgical removal will eventually be an option. Initial reports from the oncologist placed my dad’s life expectancy at 3-9 months, but with the treatment he will receive we are hoping for a longer timeline than that.
Over the last two months my dad has been unable to work due to his condition, which has put a financial strain on the family as a whole. My parents are separated, but they co-parent my 18-year-old, autistic, non-verbal brother together. Although my dad could barely muster the strength to walk from one room of the house to another, he continued to shoulder the responsibility of caring for my brother throughout this whole ordeal. Caring for a child with special needs is no easy task when you’re completely healthy, let alone when you’re in the condition that my dad was/is in, but he never backed down from it.
I would be remiss not to mention my mom’s role in this whole process as well. While my parents are separated, my mom would do anything for my family, including my dad. She has been working 50+ hours a week over the past two decades to help support my dad and brother financially, with her only hiatus being when she had to have neck surgery due to a work injury. Not quite the American dream she was chasing when she moved here from Brasil, but she has never complained about it even once. I know that in her mind she is planning on working even more, and even harder, to help support my dad in his current state. She is easily the hardest working person I know, and I admire her greatly for that. While she and I can help carry the financial burden during these trying times, she really doesn’t need any additional stress in her life, as she has already done so much for this family.
Hopefully, reading a little bit about my family will encourage you to donate to us should you have the means to do so. If not, that’s okay too. We’ll take support in any form that we can get. Anybody that knows me well, knows that I hate asking for help regarding anything, big or small, but this is one situation in which I felt compelled to do so. Even with the treatment that my dad is set to begin soon, the reality is that we don’t know how much longer he will be with us. We are hopeful, but we’re also pretty sure that he doesn’t have much time left. Over the last 18 years, my dad has handled most of the responsibilities when it came to making sure that my brother gets his disability benefits, medical care, etc., and ultimately those responsibilities will fall on my shoulders one day. My hope is that, when that day comes, I can continue to provide for my brother like my dad and mom have for so long. One thing I do know, is that they have prepared me as well as they possibly could have to do so.
At this point, we aren’t really sure what the next chapter holds for the lives’ of our family. Any help that you can provide would ease at least one aspect of our lives’ as the medical bills pile in. My dad has not lived a perfect life, and he has flaws like the rest of us; however, he is deserving of help as we try to rid his body of cancer as best as we can.
I would like to thank all of those who have donated thus far, as well as all of those who are considering supporting us in the future. Your support, consideration, and donations mean the world to our family.
God bless you all.
Thank you again Leroy for creating this campaign. Here are Leroy’s words regarding how he feels about my dad:
“My name is Leroy Lowery and I am asking anyone who reads this message for your prayers and your donations for my dear friend for 53 years Marc Marchant. Marc has cancer of the bile duct and some has possibly spread to the pancreas. The doctors informed him that he needs to build up his strength to be eligible for chemotherapy treatment. Due to cancer Marc is unable to work and support his autistic son. Words cannot describe how great of a guy Marc is, so please, if you are in a position to help, your donation will help immensely.”
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