For My Brother Troy
I still remember that day when I got the call from my dad, about my brother Troy. It was August 2009. My brother had been previously in and out of the hospital, complaining of major headaches and seeing different Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors and specialists. Doctors repeatedly were telling us, the headaches were due to "Sinus Tension Headaches" and he had blocked nasal passages that needed to be cleared with minor surgeries. But still even after the multiple surgeries, my brothers headaches returned.
Growing more and more frustrated we were referred to another hospital out of state, where they performed more MRIs and Cat scans. But these doctors looked into it a little deeper than the others before. I remember when my dad called and said "Its not good news". I think i was scared to know what it was the doctors had come up with from the sound of my dads voice. But i still asked him anyway "What did they say it is"? After hesitating for a minute he finally said a word that I never thought anyone in my family would ever have to deal with or be affiliated with. A word that, until then never really mattered to me, but always brought a sad aura when mentioned. A word that I knew very little about but from what I did know, usually involved a death sentence. Cancer.
I swear I sat there so numb and in disbelief at first. I swore up and down the doctors didn't know what they were talking about and he was being misdiagnosed AGAIN. How could he have Cancer? he was so young, only 19, there had to be a mistake. But I was wrong, as it turned out he really did have it. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma to be exact, (nasal and throat area) which as we soon found out had also spread to the lymph nodes in the neck and considered to be in stage III.
Walking into that hospital with my other siblings after we all heard the news, was an indescribable feeling. Seeing my brother laying in the hospital bed smiling at us, I really tried to keep it cool, and not be emotional but I immediately started crying. I just didn't understand why him? And how he could be smiling at that moment? But one thing about my brother was he didn't want to see us upset. He wanted to stay brave and seem fearless to us. Can u imagine?:TO US:it should've been the other way around at that moment we should've been the strong ones for him.
Fast forward 5 years later. My brother has undergone chemo, radiation, and surgeries. With the cancer leaving, and then returning 3 different times. This is something that you wouldn't even wish on your worst enemy. To watch a family member become so weak, and emaciated at times, from all the chemo and drugs, is one of the worst pains you can ever endure. My brother is 23 years old now, will be 24 in October, he has his whole life to live still. NO ONE should have to spend their birthdays, holidays, etc. in and out of a hospital..NO ONE.
But one thing I love about my brother is his strength!! I think in the past 4 years I may have only witnessed him cry maybe twice, and mostly because others were crying around him. He has, for the most part, always maintained a positive outlook and attitude, and really feels he will beat this thing and not become a statistic. And I do too. That fire burning in him is too strong. I know he can beat it. We will not let cancer win! Ive seen it come and take too many people, but it wont take my brother!
To aid in his treatment I am starting different fundraising avenues, with special focus on our donation website. Please feel free to give whatever your able to, because every bit WILL help.
- Ed Erickson
- Niky Eziakor
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