Hi everyone, we would like to thank you all for sharing our story and for all the help we received. It has been humbling to see so many of you rallying behind us in this moment.
A. received the last dose of chemotherapy last week. He is now home and recouping to later continue with the treatment. Again, thank you all so very much for all the love and support.
Hello, there! My name is Christiany Erler. I am writing on behalf of my dearest friend and life partner, Antonio Alfredo Pretoni Filho. Some people know him as Antonio, some, as Alfredo. To avoid creating confusion, I will refer to him as A. in this text.
A. has cancer. The tumor was classified as an Osteoblastic Osteosarcoma. Sarcomas are a very rare but very aggressive form of cancer. Even after treated, they tend to return or to metastasize. As a result, therapy needs to be radical, with surgery being a must. And, to inhibit the tumor from returning or spreading, equally aggressive chemotherapy is administered. Radiation and proton therapy are also given, depending on each case.
The tumor A. had was located at the right nasal cavity. The region is notorious for harboring silent, asymptomatic cancers. We found out about it after a nosebleed, in mid October. By then, the tumor was already stage four, growing towards the brain and the right eye. This cancer, it was established, is a side effect of radiation therapy that A. took eighteen years ago to treat another cancer he had as a teenager.
The resection took place on November 2. Part of the right cheekbone was removed, as well as part of facial muscles. The procedure, called maxillectomy, left A. without a quarter of his teeth and without half of the roof of his mouth. On November 21, the first reconstructive procedure took place. A bone and muscle graft was taken from his hip. It was implanted in the hole in his face that was left by the first surgery. There are more steps to come. For the time being, A. is still healing, before anything else can be done to restore teeth and mouth. In the meantime, A. will receive chemotherapy. But because sarcomas are very rare, they need to be treated at highly specialized centers.
We currently live in Hamburg, Germany. The best sarcoma center nearest to us is located in a town called Essen. Essen is three and a half hours away by train from Hamburg. We will travel there once a month for the next six months. Each time, we will stay for a week, when A. will receive chemo and, possibly, radiation. While the treatment per se is covered by his insurance, travel costs and our stays there are another story.
This campaign was set up upon A.’s request. Because he is, at present, unable to work. And will remain so for the near future. And because we are residents in Germany for less than 5 years, any financial help offered by the government is available to us only in very limited form. As beneficiaries of our own campaign, any funds raised here will be withdrawn into our own bank account.
The money raised will be used to help us cover travel and stay costs, like train trips to and from Hamburg and Essen, hotel rooms and meals in Essen, taxi rides, etc., as well as part of our monthly expenses at home, like rent, electricity and food. As a full-time university student, I don’t make enough money with my two part-time jobs to cover all of our expenses. So anything you can spare will be of great help to us. Sharing our story with others also helps! We both thank you very, very much…