Fighting Cancer for the 4th Time

A few months ago we found out that our hero, and inspiration was going to be fighting probably his biggest challenge yet. After battling a rare form of rhabdomyosarcoma for the past 6 years, exhausting all the "studied" options (and some non-studied ones) and beating the odds 3 times, Rich got the horrifying news the cancer was back.  Being faced with very few options that really only included clinical trials that involved therapy with little knowledge about side effects that he would experience or even the efficacy of the therapy and/or radiation that is extremely expensive, we wanted to help raise money to help support his medical expenses and the Sarcoma Foundation to continue furthering their incredible research. In case you need a little inspiration, an update on Rich's story or are learning of his story for the first place, we strongly encourage to keep reading this post as well as his blog. We thank you so very much in advance for any and all help that you provide for our hero and inspiration. 

Hey everybody, my name is Richard Westin, you might remember me from the last GoFundMe fishing tournament we hosted last year in my name. You don't? Well, keep reading and I'll bring you up to speed. Also, check out the blog I'm writing to stay updated in my daily struggle.

I'm in a literal fight for survival. You wake up to go to work and make money. Tomorrow isn't a guarantee for me so how can I focus on a job. Imagine being alone on an island. What are your priorities? Making money and a retirement account? Or staying alive. That's basically where I'm at. Fighting for survival with no assistance from work. Cancer isn't an easy fight. Certainly isn't cheap either (Go Socialized healthcare!!!), and when your job basically abandons you; no more paychecks, no more insurance reimbursement, things get even tougher. You see, just because cancer stops you from living your life does not mean it stops your expenses too. Sure as hell would at least take that off my mind, and yet, here we are. 

Take for example the thousands of dollars I've spent on parking at UNC, $1.50/hr and I've spent countless hours there. Gas because I have to drive roughly 2 hours for every visit, sometimes multiple times a day because they forgot some test to do. See where I'm coming from? I'm only 26 years old, my working life combined with my fight with cancer hadn't exactly allowed me the financial buffer I'd hoped for. 

And here's the big one. Proton Beam Radiation at Mass General Hospital in Boston, MA. That option is still on the table, somehow, don't ask me how. But when speaking with my radiation oncologist up there, she hinted at the insurance company not covering it. They did it last time, but they could claim that it didn't work and I'll be taking for the bill by myself. Now, I don't know how much that would cost, so I asked my oncologist here at UNC. Her response? At a minimum, 6-figures. Minimum. And if insurance gives me the finger, I'd be on the hook for that. Good thing I have this great, high paying job at a medical device company promising to care for me... /s So this is where I need help. Hate asking for it, but it is what it is.

The plan is to be prepared so when I'm staring down the barrel of a gun; I've got a bulletproof helmet ready to take it on. And if I'm lucky enough to not need it, Sarcoma Foundation of America, you've got something coming your way to help fight this disease.

On top of this, just like last fight, there will be a benefit fishing tournament on June 9th, plus some other fun events we will be putting together to help raise as much money as we can! Dates and events will be posted shortly!! 

While I might be the one having to deal with all the treatment and side effects on my own, it means the world to know that you're all cheering me on from the sideline. MY sideline, that is Let's show cancer what it got itself into. Thanks again everybody!
  • David & Karen Gadwah 
    • 100 $ 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 100 $ 
    • 44 mos
  • Robin Minott 
    • 10 $ 
    • 45 mos
  • Kathy O'Brien 
    • 100 $ 
    • 45 mos
  • Michael Green 
    • 100 $ 
    • 46 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Dream Team (3)

Kristen Castro 
Raised 2,300 $ from 12 donations
Wake Forest, NC
Richard Westin