One of my good friends and fraternal brother was struck with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in Feb of this year. Justin was one of my closest Fraternity Brothers at NSU Pi Kappa Alpha (Theta Epsilon). We pledged together back in '96 and wound up as the External and Internal Vice Presidents of our Fraternity the next year.
The thing that all Fraternal Orders have in common is that we pledge an oath to one another, basically becoming an extended family and we may go our seperate ways in life, however we always recognize that close friendship and bond. It's the exact same thing in the Military. Those Soldiers I served with are my brothers and sisters. We may take different paths after our time together but if we ever need help from one another we do what we can for each other. If I need help from any of them, all it takes is a phone call, they will do what they can to help me. Likewise, I will do the same for any one of them.
As time goes by we go our seperate ways but keep in touch or run into one another from time to time.
I might run into Justin every couple years but it's like you just pick up where you left off, like no time has passed. The same as seeing a relative during the holidays that you hadn't seen in years.
I ran into Justin "Big Lou" Matthews, as we called him, just the other night on a trip to Walmart. It's been 2 or 3 years since I last saw him. Of course I bumped him with my grocery cart like some pushy customer. He turned around with a giant smile and called me by my old Fraternal nick name and we visited for a good while.
Justin has always been good with computers and tech. That's been his living. He does contract work with different companies, building their systems and setting up their hardware.
Unfortunately, with contract work, health insurance isn't always included. So he was blindsided and fighting for his life without any saftey net.
Justin needs our help. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma on February 14 of 2017. He woke up on an ordinary Saturday morning to severe pains on the right side of his stomach. He was rushed immediately to Sequoyah Memorial Hospital in Sallisaw. The Doctor on duty ran a a CAT Scan. When the Doctor returned, she said, she thought he had Lymphoma.
She sent him directly to Mercy hospital in Fort Smith. There they performed a biopsy which was sent to the Mayo Clinic for verification. The results arrived and he was positive for Stage III Cancer. The next day, a port was surgically placed directly into his heart to be used later to receive Chemo. He was released after a week and started chemo treatments in early March. After his fourth treatment, he was informed that he had to go through 20 rounds of radiation. All of this was done without insurance.
In April, after being denied Social Security, he contacted a legal firm in Tulsa, OK. He's been denied a total of three times. Twice on his own and once with the legal firm. As of December 27th, 2017 his Oncologist informed him the cancer is still present. The Chemo and radiation are still working. The radiologist informed him that this is the largest mass he has seen in his entire career, at 9cm, for this form of cancer. His White Blood count is unusually low & dropping so it is being monitored through blood tests.
Justin is unable to work now, he has no medical insurance, and is not eligible for Indian Health Services.
Justin needs our help. He has a big heart and would come running for his loved ones or friends if they needed him. But now it's him that is in need.
Whoever you may be, whether you know him or not. Lets help our friend, brother, total stranger, whatever he may be to you. He's a good person and he is in dire need.
- Julie Baggs
- Wanda Hines
- Robert Hudson
- Nelda,Dewayne,Lisa Brown
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