Those of you that know me, know that I hate asking for money, but at this point I no longer feel like I have much of an option outside of trying to secure a large personal loan that I may more may not be able to pay off. What follows will be the story of my holidays, and something I've told to very few people.
In late November I finally decided it was time to get set up with a Primary Care Dr here in Florida and to have some routine tests to ensure that my health was still OK. We did the normal height, weight, blood pressure, and some routine bloodwork. Following the results of the blood work my Dr told me that he wanted to have an ultrasound down just to check on some of the blood results.
On December 22 I went to a follow up appointment and heard news that isn't easy to hear, especially not when your whole family is in town for the holidays and you just want to enjoy yourself. The ultrasound had located a tumor on my left testicle and he felt that I needed to follow up with a urologist. End of appointment.
January 5th was the soonest I was able to see a Uro as they were not taking new patients because of the holidays. I arrived early and got in to see the Dr in relatively good time. We talked while waiting for my ultrasound results to get transferred to his computer. "It's extremely unlikely that its anything. You're not the right age. You would have noticed". He became quiet as he looked over my ultrasound results before telling me that he felt it best that I follow up with Dr. Sexton at Moffitt Cancer Center. End of appointment.
I will give credit to both Dr. Sexton, after speaking with my uro he made time in between two surgeries the following Monday to see me because there was not an open appointment until March.
By now, I'm sure that you already know where this story is going and you're not wrong. Seeing Dr. Sexton was a relatively short appointment as well but it didn't feel like he was treating me with kid gloves on at least. He explained to me what was going on: It is extremely unlikely that the tumor is benign, and that since it is 40% of my total testicular mass on the left side and it is extremely unlikely that we will be able to save the testicle through a partial orchiectomy.
Uniball is a much better brand name for a pen than it is a nickname for me, but I digress.
While it was certainly concerning news, we rallied and set to moving forward with treatment. He explained that our best course of action was to store sperm if we wanted kids in the future, because while i certainly might not lose fertility there is no guarantee. If I end up needing chemo the odds of loss of fertility go up more. We certainly do want kid(s) so this seemed like the obvious choice. I was to set up my surgery after this was completed.
My wife, Erica, contacted our insurance to see if sperm storage in the case of Cancer is covered and she was initially told yes as well as storage for up to a year at which point we needed to use it or take over paying for the storage. Great news. Lets do this.
Erica arrived at work with a message the next day with a voicemail from the insurance rep telling her to call her because she had some news. It turns out the rep looked at the wrong plan, and regardless of diagnosis, sperm storage was NOT covered on our plan.
From all research we've been able to do, we are looking at $2[phone redacted] for sperm freezing and the first year's storage and it is due up front for intitial consult, washing, blood work and freezing. The price range varies based on number of visits I will need to store the 6 samples they recommend to guarantee a single pregnancy.
Further, the surgery I need will be coming with a $1500 deductible and then 10% of the surgery cost and after care. Google tells me to expect the surgery to cost between $4000 and $6000 putting our part at $2100 for the surgery and deductible and no idea for aftercare.
We've got some savings and some key players in our family have come out to send us what they can. I'm hoping I've got a few more people that like me so much they'd like to see a mini me running around one day. I'm asking for $2000 because this will let me get my sperm stored and get moving on with the rest of my treatment.
You're certainly under no obligation to contribute. But if you're able, I would really appreciate it. If you can't, It would be great if you'd share the campaign on your page. And if you don't want to do either, that's OK too.
Thank you for taking the time to read my sob story.
- Ron Hilston
- Denese Jarman
- Thomas Giunta
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