I was just a 21 year old kid living a simple life and my only worries were when I would go to the gym and work out, memorizing calculus, and engineering formulas until
2 A.M. Then like a Tsunami, a catacylsmic event have forever changed my life. I was diagnosed with a rare and unusual cancer that only strikes a small percentage of
population: undifferentiated thymic carcinoma. I thought I was immune from deadly
or life-threatening diseases because I am young, athletic, never smoked cigarettes, and deliberately avoid alcohol. Even these personal traits could not shield me from this destructive disease.
Over the last 4 years, I have had 6 surgeries performed on my body. One Of the surgical procedures was performed by as robot under the computer guidance of a
surgeon. This less-invasive procedure was placed to get a definitive diagnosis of my cancer. After this procedure, the biopsy results indicated that the surgeons and
pathologists did not know the type or where the cancer originated from inside my body. However, they did know this was stage IV cancer, so surgery had to be performed very soon.
My family and I were devastated and another surgery was planned, but this time it required the surgeons to perform open heart- like surgery. My chest cavity was open and the cancer was surgically removed under the naked eye of the surgeons. Also, the cancer had invaded my left upper lung, my right upper and middle lung, the anterior of the diaphragm, and the pericardial lining of my heart. Subsequently, these invasive parts were removed. After this huge surgery, the specimen was sent to The Mayo Clinic for a diagnosis. The Mayo Clinic diagnosed my cancer as undifferentiated carcinoma. Once again my family and I were devastated. Reality has finally allowed me to concentrate on the important things, besides my cancer. Today, I focus more on spending time with my family and friends. My religious beliefs have been strengthened due to me being diagnosed with cancer. My mother has been my rock during these critical moments in my life. She is an amazing woman who has missed so many days from work to be with me during this ordeal. I try to show strength (not weakness) when I am spending time with my siblings and friends. As a survivor of cancer, your values change. You begin to prioritize things in the order of importance. When I first, heard news that I had cancer I felt alone. I quickly realized I am not alone. My doctors, nurses, technicians, family, and friends have shown overwhelmingly amount concern, compassion, and love towards me. Cancer has helped me realize that I live in a great country. My feelings towards radiation and chemotherapy are bitter sweet. The significance of these treatments were to eradicate any microscopic cancer. However,
these treatments at times, have sucked the life out of me (literally). The treatments would weaken me to the point I could not do simple things like going to the gym or grappling with math problems. Right now my cancer is in remission and I try to always have a positive outlook on life from this experience. I have confidence to not settle for nothing less than academic excellence. I live with a purpose and I am focus like a laser on my
engineering studies from the University of Illinois in Chicago. I have used cancer as a motivating factor in my life to achieve my career goals.
With all the time spent in radiation treatments. I can see first hand how engineering technology when combined with radiation is helping to save my life and
others around the world whom may have similar circumstances. I have witnessed how engineering in the radiology department has allowed doctors to view different images of cancer via CAT scan xray. I have also had the pleasure of seeing how robotic surgery uses mechanical and computer engineering to help surgeons perform less invasive surgery so patients recovery time is lessened. Now I understand that life can sometimes be unfair and that is up to me to make it fair. I have turned the negative side of cancer
into a positive side of cancer.
Unfortunately, surgeons and pathologists can not pinpoint where this cancer originated from. Therefore, I am more determined than ever to fight this ghost-like disease which can reappear at any time and any place on my body. Emotionally, things have been rough. I feel battered and sometime bruised. However, in the midst of my struggles I feel like I have been born again. Almost, like Jesus Christ.
Erskine pulling toward a good future with outstanding goals
There are success stories and there are stories that may not be successful. I ask you this question; what would you do if you knew that money was the only thing standing between your child and their chance at a full and happy life? What would any parent do?
Well we can't allow this to happen. We refuse to stand by and watch our son lose everything through his already long suffering, unimaginable pain and frustration and ultimately leading to death. What would we tell his siblings in a few years, when the cancer has taken over completely? What would we tell ourselves?
Erskine has suffered with a strange cancer that the doctors can’t even name since the age of 21, now 24. He is a young man who has come a long way in his life helping other young men who were on the streets gang battling, drugs or just angry for whatever reason. He has encouraged so many individuals to continue in school, many in college right now or graduated.
The funds will be used to pay for him to get his Stem Cell Transplant, and support us in paying his hospital bills and bills. After the surgery he will need around the clock nurses to be in the home. His goal is to also get back on his feet and to continue helping others.
Please help support our urgent need and lifesaving mission. Every cent counts, but even if all you can do is forward this link to as many people you know, you will have our eternal gratitude.
Help us. Join us in our quest and then check back often to see how your contribution helped spark a miracle. With your help, we can make a miracle of his case. Together we can make history and save thousands upon thousands of lives, so that never again does a parent have to break down in a doctor's office when they find out that their child has this debilitating disease.
Erskine Boddy IV
- Non Non
- Charnise Williams
- Emily Cambry
- Kiyera garner
- Chataun Kirkman
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