Rod Rothlisberger Help Fund

The Rothlisbergers could use your support and prayers. Help support a local hero, public servant, generous man, and loving husband and father.  Rod Rothlisberger has been a member of the Sinton and Odem communities his entire life. Now, alongside his family, he is fighting the battle for his life. 

Rod was raised in Odem, TX and married his wife, Sharon, on Setpember 2, 1978.  The couple moved to Sinton in the early 1980's and set up a home to raise their daughters:  Ashley and Casey.

Rod has been heavily involved in the Sinton community for many years.  He started the Sinton Little League Softball organization when Ashley was in 4th grade so that his daughters and their friends would have an opportunity to play the Game.  He also coached soccer to Sinton youth.

When Ashley reached high school in 1995 he pushed for, and helped start, the Sinton High School Softball Team.  The team went to the State Tournament for the first time in 1999 and is still going strong today. 

In 2014, Rod and Ashley had a chance to coach a Sinton Little League softball team with Rhonda Shedd.  The Lady Pirate softball tradition continues!

Rod also dedicated 25 years of service between the Odem and Sinton Volunteer Fire Departments. In addition, he served as an elected official on the Sinton City Council for 3 years, served as Mayor for 2 years, and Mayor Pro Tem for 1 year.  

About Rod's diagnosis: 

The type of cancer he has is anaplastic thyroid cancer. Only 1-2% of thyroid cancers are diagnosed as anaplastic. There is no treatment or cure for it. Chemo and radiation treatments only show a 20% chance of prolonging life but symptoms of chemo/radiation will make him weak and sick.

Rod's symptoms started off as a cold in early June. He was treated, got better but then a few weeks later got sick again. He started to develop a lump at the base of his neck in mid July and it grew over night. It seemed like every 2 days it would grow more. The family set up an appointment with the ENT on July 22nd and the doctor said that the thyroid had to come out and would send samples for biopsy to see what he was dealing with. The biopsy came back inconclusive but gave the family an idea that it could be anaplastic thyroid cancer, but since the x-rays showed such a small area they didn't want to call it that.

Rod saw the ENT again on July 25th and he said it could be anaplastic cancer and recommended emergency surgery. He was told to get affairs in order before surgery on July 28th.

On July 28th Rod had surgery, his thyroid and parathyroid were removed and a trachea breathing tube was inserted. He had large mass removed but they couldn't get it all. The cancer was all around vital area in his neck and he would have bled to death in the operating room if they would have been too aggressive. The family was told to wait for the biopsy reports.

On July 31st, doctors confirmed the diagnosis: anaplastic thyroid cancer. It's metastasized to his lungs and liver. The doctors think that Rod has been affected for no more than a month.

Since the diagnosis Rod has decided to do no further surgeries/testing since prognosis isn't good. The family has been told that the average person lives 3-6 months from diagnosis and only 5% live beyond a year. 

This cancer is so rare that only 1 person per year is diagnosed with it in the Corpus Christi area. 

The family has medical insurance but it will not cover the full cost of his surgery, doctor visits, hospice care, and medical supplies. 

Since Rod has elected to stay home. He will be cared for by hospice, his wife Sharon, daughters Ashley and Casey, and extended family members.  The family has some paid time off from work during this time but it will not last the full diagnosis period.

The family is asking for your support and prayers through this difficult time.  Any donation, big or small, monetary or in spirit is appreciated.  The family will appreciate your positive enouragement. 

If you would like to donate meals, snacks, stop by for a visit, or to send kind and encouraging words or prayers, please email the family through this website.
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Valerie Tolbirt 
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