I was recently diagnosed with squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC or SqCC). This is a form of cancer of a kind of epithelial cell, the squamous cell. These cells are the main part of the epidermis of the skin, and this cancer is one of the major forms of skin cancer. However, squamous cells also occur in the lining of the digestive tract, lungs, and other areas of the body, and SCC occurs as a form of cancer in diverse tissues, including the lips, mouth, esophagus, urinary bladder, prostate, and lung, among others. I noticed a painful ulcer developing on my tongue during my second combat tour in Basra, Iraq. At first glance, this was of no importance to me because I had experienced ulcers periodically throughout my childhood and felt no need to be alarmed. But the ulcer never went away. I was falsley diagnosed and treated for what my Army doctor had ruled a yeast infection. Upon completion of my planned medication, the ulcer disappeared but reappeared approximately six months later after I returned home from war. After transitioning back to Fort Hood, Texas, and eight years in the Army, I had completed my time in service and was honorably discharged from the military. Soon after, I was seen again at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Booneville, Mississippi for the ulcer where the doctor told me I was simply having nightmares and biting my tongue in my sleep, therefore causing the lesion to bleed and be very painful. I was then prescribed liquid Lidocaine and released. I then spent the next several weeks in excruciating pain, uncertain if the last two doctors had diagnosed me correctly. The pain grew so unbearable on the left side of my head that I scheduled an appointment with Dr. James McAuley at the Ear, Nose, Throat Physicians of Tupelo, Mississippi, where a biopsy was taken of the ulcer and sent to the lab for testing. One week later on April 22, 2014, I received a call back from Dr. McAuley with the final ruling of cancer. On April 24, a CT scan of my neck was performed to determine the severity of my condition and to learn if the cancer had spread throughout my body. I require immediate surgical attention and have already done my pre-op on April 29, 2014 to prepare for the three hour long procedure which will remove a large portion of the left side of my tongue, as well as my lymph nodes on May 12, 2014. In most cases of SCC of the tongue, patients who undergo this operation will lose their ability to speak words normally and may develop a lisp. Recovery is extremely lengthy, painful, and the chances of cancer returning to the infected area will always be high. I have lost two jobs and am currently unemployed and I'm enrolled at Miami University of Art and Design full time majoring in Music Production. Since transitioning back to civilian life, I have struggled to find work but did graduate from The Recording Conservatory of Austin, Texas with honors in Audio Engineering. I have health coverage through The Department of Veterans Affairs, but due to the fact the VA does not have the capabilities to treat my cancer in a timely manner, this procedure will have to be performed by a NON-VA doctor and I will pay all expenses out of pocket until the VA comes to a decision on whether or not to cover the costs. This includes co-pays, prescription medications, and travel. I am currently awaiting disability from the VA but it may take several more months to be approved. I want to go to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for a second opinion and that is one of the biggest reasons I am asking for help from you guys. I am desperate to pay my bills during this time of need and am already at risk of losing my car due to non-payment. If I in fact do lose mine and Danielle's only source of transportation, it will be merely impossible for us to find work upon recovery from this illness. Danielle is consistently searching for a job but is having no luck so far. Me and my family will greatly appreciate any and all donations made, whether small or large. If you want to help me we ask you to please leave your name and a message (optional) so we can reach out and personally thank each of you. Everybody will be contacted unless you choose to remain anonymous, and we understand. Thank you so much and God Bless You All!