Chuck Gerst support fund

I'm sure most of you know me and my family. What you may not know is that my brother Chuck, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. This may come as a shock to you all as it has to all of us, after all he's only 27. This all started in December 2013, Chuck had what he thought was the flu but it was not getting better. After some urging from us he finally went to the emergency room. It was there they had discovered his bilirubin levels were really high and that this was not simply the flu. After some testing, they found a gallstone had lodged itself in his main bile duct and was causing all of these problems. No biggie. Chuck was scheduled to have that removed the next day. After surgery, Chuck was told that they had successfully removed the stone and placed a stent to keep the bile duct patent or open, unfortunately when they did this, they found a tumor on the head of his pancreas, they were skeptical of it's nature, but ultimately optimistic. After all, he's a healthy young guy! Regardless they scheduled him for a biopsy. Those results were inconclusive. So he had another biopsy. Negative. So he had a endoscopy. Again no solid answers. One Dr thought this was simply an inflammatory or autoimmune process and suggested steroids. Another Dr wanted him to have surgery ASAP to remove the tumor. After battling pancreatitis from having so many procedures, further testing and scans and talks of putting Chuck in a trial group, the decision was made to do the Whipple procedure in order to remove the tumor and give Chuck the best chance at recovery as possible. Chuck was finally scheduled at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to have the Whipple procedure done. This removed the tumor, the head of his pancreas, gall bladder, part of his duodenum and re-routed everything so it could share the same blood supply. During surgery there were some complications, when they opened him up, they found that the tumor had began to grow and take over part of the Mesenteric vein.  Because of this, they had to remove part of this vein and stretch the remaining pieces together, without doing this, the surgery would not have been possible or successful.  Chuck did well initially post op.  However about 4 days after surgery, he got the news that would change his life forever.  It was Cancer.  Cancer.  This healthy, 27 year old, active Air Force member who was JUST mountain climbing in Peru was diagnosed with Cancer, and not just any cancer, Metastatic Carcinoma that was present in 7 out of 17 lymphnodes tested, as well as the tumor and it was slowly creeping to his liver.  Chuck ended up staying in Johns Hopkins for a total of two weeks due to complications after surgery, his blood counts dropped to critical levels, he became so nauseated he could not eat, he had to be started on peripheral nutrition and was fighting incredible pain daily.  He eventually became strong enough to come home.  He has received 3-4 months of chemo and has had multiple set backs. As you can imagine this has been life changing for Chuck.  A once strong and extremely independent man is now relying on his family and friends for help, both physically, emotionally and financially.  Any amount your able to donate helps.  The ongoing cost of Chucks treatments are substantial and insurance only covers so much.  Please donate anything you can so we can help Chuck as much as possible!!
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Organizer

Jessica Gerst 
Organizer
Morrisdale, PA
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