As some of you know, my dad, Edward Brens, was recently diagnosed with advanced stage multiple myeloma, a blood cancer affecting his plasma cells and bone marrow. The road to this diagnosis has been long and painful. It began in June 2013, when my dad fell at work and injured his back. Though we thought it was a routine back injury that would improve over time, over the next several months, his health severely deteriorated. He lost 30 pounds, suffered from debilitating pain, became unable to walk, and lost the ability to do simple activities like showering and clothing himself. We didn't understand how what seemed like a routine back injury could cause such a severe decline.
The day after Christmas, my dad developed severe flu-like symptoms and stopped eating or sleeping. After his symptoms worsened, we took him to the hospital, where they diagnosed him with pneumonia and anemia so severe that he required a transfusion of 2 units of blood. On January 15, 2014, after numerous tests, a bone marrow biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of multiple myeloma. Due to multiple bone fractures (he has a spinal fracture and a chest fracture), anemia, hemoglobin levels, loss of weight, and infections, doctors informed us that it was Stage 3--the most advanced stage for this type of cancer.
While we are grateful to finally have a diagnosis so that we can now effectively treat the cancer, my dad was laid off from his job in November 2013 after exhausting all his leave. When he lost his job, he also lost his health insurance. My mom, who received her health insurance through my dad's job, lost her coverage at the same time. My dad, who has been the primary breadwinner for my family, is now unemployed and with mounting medical bills, we need help paying for his medical care. He has a long road to recovery that will include radiation treatment, 6-month combination drug therapy to strengthen his bones, and a bone marrow transplant. We are working on getting him healthcare to cover the major expenses, but we expect many treatment and care-related expenses not to be covered, and to add up quickly.
My dad is an amazing man who even through these difficult times had held on to his generous, loving spirit and his positive attitude. He has always provided for his family and now I want to help provide for him. Anything you would like to donate to help me do this is gratefully received. If all you can do is share this page with your friends and family who may be able to donate, that will be plenty. I will provide updates from time to time. Many thanks in advance for your thoughts and prayers. I am deeply grateful for your support.
- Diana Jauregui
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