This is a fundraiser for my sister Rebecca Frey and her family. More than 2 years ago, my brother-in-law, Stuart Frey was diagnosed with Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer. Because of the location of the tumor, surgery was not advisable. He began chemo treatments, and managed to rally for a while. But just a couple of weeks ago, he was hospitalized with internal bleeding.
On Friday, May 5th, 2023, around 11:00 p.m., we received a call from my sister to bring their children to the hospital to see their father. They were there to say their goodbyes. A decision was made to operate and attempt to find and stop the bleeding. We sat in an OR waiting room overnight; Rebecca, their daughters Lavina (18) and Jasmine (15), their son Isaac (10), Stuart's mother, sister and estranged brother all made it to be at his bedside. After more than 5 hours of surgery, the majority of Stuart's stomach had been removed. The surgeon said that the operation was a 50-50 proposition, but not operating would have surely resulted in death.
For the next week, Rebecca juggled the children's needs, holding vigil for Stuart, and her own mental well-being. The following Friday was the Jackson Liberty Junior Formal- an event their daughter Lavina was looking forward to attending. We all agreed that in the years of disruption, of living with a very sick father in the house, it would be good for her to go. Come Friday evening, Rebecca was driving home from visiting Stuart in Centrastate hospital when her minivan overheated. I drove out to her, exchanged cars so she could run to Lavina's friend's home to see the kids dressed up for their formal. She was supposed to then drive six high school students to their formal.
I could see no clearly obvious cause for the overheating, but I suspected it was something easily fixed, like a thermostat. What I soon noticed was that the van had failed NJ vehicle inspection about 6 months earlier. Obviously, Rebecca and Stuart have had much more important things front of mind. I had a friend of Rebecca's put a computer reader on the van to try and ascertain why it failed inspection. At this point, the overheating issue was secondary to the inspection failure. It turns out that there is an issue with the catalytic converter. What might have started out as a simple cooling system repair had suddenly mushroomed into a major expense. And to make matters worse, the family's other car, a 25-year-old Maxima was already in the shop.
Come May 17th, Stuart was operated on again. I truly do not know what his pronosis is, but realistically, it is not great. He is still on a ventilator and will forever be on a feeding tube.
Their finances have been destroyed. They have burned quite a lot of family leave and other considerations. One daughter is graduating high school in a few weeks, the other is a rising Junior. Their education and their son's education is going to be directly affected by the current financial situation. If Stuart has any life insurance, I suspect it is minimal. Bottom line, they need a car and money for other bills. Rebecca has indicated that there is no way she can afford a car payment at this time.
I have only requested enough money to get a reliable used SUV for the family. I wish I had the means to take this on myself, but I do not. Know that your donation is going to help a family directly and impactfully. It means providing the kids a way to visit their father, a wife a way to get to work.