In 2008, Joey was first diagnosed with kidney cancer. At the time his cancer was contained and the doctors were able to remove the tumor located where his left kidney should have been. Joey fought a courageous battle against kidney cancer, and won, or so we thought. Early this year, Joey started feeling fatigued and having bouts of severe pain in his back and hip. Then, this summer, the lymph nodes in his neck became swollen. The doctors decided to do a biopsy and it showed that the cancer came back at stage 4 and had spread to his lymph nodes, ribs, chest and spine. When kidney cancer spreads like this, there are limited treatment options, and no cure. Statistically, the long-term prognosis for Joey at this stage of kidney cancer is frightening.
I was raised to never be drowned by the negative in life, to battle through, to always find the light. When I met Joey, I knew he lived exactly that way as well; I knew that whatever our souls are made of, that his and mine are the same. Even I, strong as I believe I am, am truly afraid of what the outcome could be, as I am sitting ringside watching this nightmare unfold. There is no doubt, Joey is in a fight for his life. However, we are finding the faith and are determined to stay positive and strong. He wouldn't have it any other way. We’re committed to doing everything possible to stop this deadly disease that’s threatening to take him from us, and that is why we are coming to you.
Joey was admitted to Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, where he began his treatments. He was able to endure two sessions of chemotherapy and radiation, a total period of six months time. At the last CAT scan we were heart broken to find out that the treatment was unsuccessful and that the tumor in his spine had actually grown. It is now pressuring his nervous system and taking away his ability to do even the simplest of things, like sitting up or hugging his son, for more than a few moments without extreme pain. In the last six months, Joey has lost a total of 50 pounds and is unable to walk or even feed himself. You may think this is sad but common at this stage of the game, and that is because you don't know our Joey.
Faithful, strong, smart, loving, dedicated-- these adjectives describe him but also do him no justice because he is so much more. Joey has worked at Gold’s Gym in Dr. Phillips in Orlando for five years, devoting his life to improve his clients' health and lifestyle. Physically, you would be hard-pressed to find someone more fit, with more energy. You could not outwork him, you would be silly to even try. There were no off days, no rest days, being physically fit and encouraging others to do the same is
Joey's life's calling. Anyone who has met him can agree that he has the heart of a champion, that his motivation in life is his family and that he is the most kind and encouraging trainer you can possibly be paired with. His ultimate goal is obviously to beat this cancer, but the reason is to help other patients along the way-- to give hope.
We have found an amazing clinic that can help Joey win this battle and unfortunately his insurance does not cover this treatment. Joey has not been able to work since he started his chemotherapy and I am only able to work a few days of the month so I can take care of him. We have been living off our life savings and well from the support from his mom. As if enduring this terrible disease wasn't hard enough, the stress of the financial burden has become nearly impossible to handle. The fact that his life depends on our financial circumstance leaves us no choice but to ask for your help. We don’t have the necessary means for him to get the available treatments to improve his immune system, the quality of his life, and ultimately, help him to keep living until there’s a cure.
We need the support of our family, friends and anyone who is companioate torwards our journey to access these treatments and help Joey maintain some financial stability. Any contribution will make a difference in Joey’s life today and in the future. It is beyond devastating for all of us to see Joey go through this unbelievable struggle. Should you choose to contribute or not, we sincerely ask for your prayers for healing, strength, comfort and grace for Joey and his family.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts
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