This is for my son Josh. We need help to pay for medical bills and expenses to treat Josh for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Last year he came to me about a lump he found on the left side of his neck. It seamed to be a swollen lymph node. But by June it had grown and after a thin needle biopsy was done, the results didn't show anything other than a possible blocked salivary gland. It should go away on it's own. It did not go away, it grew MUCH larger. We went to the ENT surgeon, who is amazing, and we set up the surgery to remove it. Still not thinking it was anything, just a large lump. That surgery was on December 3rd, Josh went to have the stitches removed on 12/10, by himself. No biggie right, just getting stiches out. I will never forget that day, I was at work, and at 2:10pm I got a text "Mom, it's cancer!" He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. We were refered to a local radiation oncologist, and I started making calls as soon as I got home. We were scared, Josh was scared. He saw his uncle days before he died from cancer, I know that was on his mind. With the help of our family, we were able to get him into MD Anderson in Houston TX (amazing place) but because of the holidays, they could not see him until Jan 6th. So the local Dr. scheduled the PET scan and CT scans. Waiting for those results was nerve racking to say the least. The PET showed the cancer to only be on the left side of his neck, but there was a suspicious "light" under his arm pit.
We went to MDA. We saw a team of doctors, physician assistants, nurses etc. They are amazing people and that is truly an amazing place. Josh had blood tests, xrays, bone marrow testing, echo-cardiogram and a CT scan done and we didn't have to leave the building!!! Also all the results were in by Friday and we were able to fly back home on Saturday. When we returned, we had to schedule surgery to have the lymph nodes under his arm removed. He also had to go to the dentist and have all 4 wisdom teeth removed. He had to have all the dentistry done before they would start the radiation treatments. The results from the lymph node biopsy (under arm) came back clear!!! Yay!! After that they were able to stage him at Hodgkin's Lymphoma 1A. He would have 20 radiation treatments, everyday, Monday thru Friday. Josh was 21 at the time, just before this all happened, he had finished the Auto Tech program at MTI and had landed his dream job at the local Honda dealership. He had passed the certifications to graduate and was ready to start his life as an adult. I have never been more proud of my son. Throughout this entire ordeal, he just kept going. He only missed work for surgeries and recovery. He was determined to continue as normal as possible. He was going to beat this!! He would get up, go get his treatment and go to work for 4-5 hours. Then come home and sleep. Even when the side effects from the radiation were at their worst, he still went to work!! He is amazing!!! He finished all the treatments and on May 29th we retuned to his Drs. for the results of the latest PET scan. He was so nervous that day. The Dr came in and did not wait a second to tell us that the PET scan was CLEAR!!!! He is in remission. That is the story of TEAM STRONG. (His last name is STRONG) Now we are reaching out for help. His medical bills are reaching over $14,000 so far, and are still coming in. This is not including travel and expenses. He will need continued care for at least 5 yrs. His next Scan is in September, he will need those every 3-4 months for up to 2 yrs, then once or twice a year. At the 5 yr mark he will be considered cancer free!!! This has been a very long six months, an emotional rollercoaster. We have been lucky and also fortunate to have such a great support system from our family, friends and co-workers and all the Doctors and nurses! But the bills have gotten overwhelming and we need help paying for them. We appreciate anything you can do to help us pay for the medical bills we have so far, and for the ones that we will be getting for the continuation of his care and testing. Thank you GO TEAM STRONG!!!
(first picture is Josh and Mom in Jan 2014, before treatments started, 2nd pic, Josh celebrating after getting the news,,,, he is in remission!!!)
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