I Will Not Go Down Without A Fair Fight

My name is Zackery Ryan, and I have anal cancer...there I said it out loud. I was first diagnosed in 2010, and I had radiation treatment, 5 days a week for 5 weeks. My next diagnosis was in 2011, and I had surgery. My next diagnosis was in 2018, and I had radiation, 5 days a week for 6 weeks, and 2 rounds of chemotherapy with 2 different drugs (mitomyacin C and FU 5 which is aptly names). On March 18, 2019, I had yet another cancerous tumor removed. Needless to say, I am stressed out about my future and my finances. In 2010 my wife and I went $120,000 in debt to fight my cancer. My insurance felt radiation was experimental and would only pay 50 percent. We worked hard and paid that debt off, but it was very stressful for both my wife and me. In 2018 we went $48,000 in debt after we went through our savings. We were still paying off that debt when cancer struck again. I have insurance. This money is my 20 percent! This time around I am facing immunotherapy, which my insurance considers experimental, radiation, and surgery to remove my entire rectum and surrounding tissue. I will be left with a permanent colostomy bag. My surgery will likely be at Mayo Clinic because they have better options for treating margins than UF has. My one tumor is up against my sacrum, and clean margins will be impossible to get without internal radiation during surgery. I don’t do not qualify for funds through ACA because my cancer is rare where it is located, so I’m SOL there. No pun intended. That’s my fight folks. I can’t heal if I am stressed about money, and I won’t be able to work for quite some time. I miss my work in the theatre and the wonderful art we create as a theatre family. I need help...those of you who know me know that I hate to ask for help, but I do need help! I want to watch my daughter develop a family of her own one day, and I want to grow old with my wife.
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Marsheen Pleak Ryan
Hawthorne, FL

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