My name is Albert Tenaya and I am American Indian. I am a sixth generation descendant of Chief Tenaya of Yosemite Valley. We are called the Ahwahneechees. I am a performing musican, singer and lyricists who plays the Native flute and guitar to tell stories of my heritage.
Military Service from 1970-76 - Honorable discharge.
I worked For Hewlett Packard in the 1980's as a Native scout to recruit other American Indians for diversity hiring.
After leaving Hewlette Packard with serverance pay, I got a job at Direct T.V. and entered into their talent search and won first place. So, I started my professional musical career and produced my own C.D.'s in 2005 at the age of fifty-six.
Some of you remember me as your local grocery store neighborhood flute player.
In June of 2017, I began feeling the symthoms of what I thought was toncilitus. I believed this because I used to get it as a child.
I went to the E.R. and the doctor prescribed ampicillian where one of the side effects caused a month long of coughing from drying out my lungs. I finished the prescription but the symptoms became worse.
In July I went back to the E.R. because a lump had formed in my neck and was causing an earache. The lump is inoperable because of the size putting pressure on my eardrum.
By the end of July I was dealing with earaches everyday and took advil to quell the pain but it didn't help.
I went back to the E.R. and got a prescription for Penicillian. When I finished the prescription, it got worse.
I went back to the E.R. again and the doctor referred me to an Ears, Nose and Throat specialist. They took a biopsy of my tonsil and it came back positive for throat cancer!
Being that I'm a singer, this was devastating news.
This month, in December, it was recommened for me to have five teeth pulled before radiation because they were bad. Through all of the stress of physical pain and needing to work hard to make ends meet, I lost twenty pounds.
I then had to have a feeding tube inserted into my stomach.
The next phase will be chemo and radiation.
What I believe preceeded to the stress of this ailment is that my wife and I have been homeless living in a motel since last Christmas.
We are both Uber drivers, so we have been able to afford a motel but our job credit will not allow us to get an apartment because we are considered Independant Contractors.
I'm no longer driving now. My wife was both taking care of me and driving but just got into a car accident by falling asleep at the wheel and ended up in a field on December 18th. No others were harmed. However the car is totaled. We are overwhelmed with all of this.
Any contribution towards our situation would be greatly appreciated.
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