Franco's Medical Expenses

Franco was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (stage 4 brain cancer) in April 2013, when Lucia, his partner, was three months pregnant with their youngest child.

Four and a half years later, he is still alive - and has never given up hope of living to see his two children grow up. Franco is the kind of Dad every kid would want. Imaginative, supportive, loving, funny. A designer, artist and inventor, Franco is smart and has always been deeply committed to his family and his community.

Since diagnosis, Franco has had three brain surgeries, numerous rounds of chemotherapy and two sets of radiation treatments. But he is now running out of options. His brain tumour is growing very aggressively and has become inoperable. Since last September, his fatigue is so overwhelming that he is only awake for two-three hours a day. He has lost a significant degree of vision and has developed mobility issues.

Unfortunately, a few weeks ago a MRI scan revealed that radiation did not work and, about one month ago, Franco commenced a six week cycle of chemotherapy. On 27 December 2017, he will start a second cycle of chemotherapy and, on completion, will have another MRI scan to check whether chemo has halted growth. If so, subsequent 6 week rounds of chemo will cotinue. If the chemo has had little effect, then immunotherapy treatments have been identified as the next option. Palbociclib, Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors and Crizotinib are the listed possible genotype - guided potential therapeutic interventions.

The chemotherapy medication that Franco receives, Lomustine, is not covered by Medicare. It is not rebatable, refundable or on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Paying for this has become a real challenge as this treatment is essential in order for him to have a chance at slowing down this aggressive disease.

Franco has demonstrated incredible resilience in the face of adversity, constantly defying the prognosis. 
However, Franco's increasing mobility issues now require constant care and supervision. Lucia has been forced to give up work to become Franco's primary care-giver, a full-time occupation rendering her unable to leave the house for prolonged periods. Their children, aged 6 and 4, only see him for a very short period each day.

Franco and Lucia are completely devoted and committed to extending his time but the lack of family income and the mounting cost of Franco's treatment has become unmanageable for them to face alone.

Now, with great difficulty, they are reaching out to ask for your financial support. If you are able to donate any amount, you can be sure it will be spent allowing Lucia, Franco, and their children precious time together as a family.

Your contribution will help pay for:

*Franco’s next six week chemotherapy treatment to commence 27 December and possibly subsequent rounds;

*Potentially life extending immunotherapy if the chemotherapy proves ineffective

*medications and supplements that strengthen his immune system to better tolerate chemotherapy and lessen the side effects (such as nausea); and

*Ongoing full-time in home care, nursing support and specialised equipment to help with Franco’s mobility issues.

Given the unfunded medical costs and debts to date, they need to raise $200,000 as soon as possible. If you are able to donate any amount, you can be sure it will be spent allowing Lucia, Franco, and their children precious time together as a family.

Any and all contributions are appreciated. Your donation - no matter how big or small - will help relieve the immense financial stress and give Franco the gift of time with his family. They'll do anything to give Franco and his family more time together.

Please spread the word and share this across your networks.
Thank you.
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Kate Spina 
Summer Hill NSW
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