His journey has been a medical rollercoaster. It all started when he spent two weeks in Hartford Hospital in January 2012. It was during this visit that he was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma.
In June of 2012, he spent another 2.5 weeks in Yale-New Haven Hospital where he had an autologous stem cell transplant with his own cells. It was supposed to cure him, however it only put him in remission for a little over a year.
In late July/early August 2013, Josh started feeling sick again and had back pain. A PET scan and biopsy showed the cancer had relapsed and the transplant failed.
He was supposed to have a 2nd transplant immediately with donor cells, but because of insurance problems and the difficulty in finding a suitable donor, the transplant is now almost 9 months overdue.
Once Josh relapsed he started chemo right away, combined with 3 weeks (15 cycles) of radiation, having to drive from Stafford to Manchester 5 days a week for 3 weeks. This left him physically debilitated and exhausted beyond comprehension.
In October, Josh proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Heather. They were eager to begin planning their wedding and set a date for October 2014. They picked a perfect venue and made the down payment along with several weekly payments. Having a wedding to plan helped keep them positive through this very difficult time. Unfortunately, Josh and Heather learned that
the recovery period from a donor transplant was one full year of isolation. The excitement of their engagement and wedding planning was abruptly halted when they were forced to cancel their wedding, as the doctors said it would be impossible for Josh to attend due to infection concerns.
In March of 2014, the doctors at Dana Farber in Boston informed Josh that a suitable match for his transplant had been found, and the ball started rolling. A few weeks before the procedure, the donor backed out and the transplant was called off. In the mean time, Josh had to continue getting chemotherapy to remain in remission, something that made him extremely sick.
Thankfully in May 2014 another donor was found and is a perfect 10/10 match! Josh is scheduled to receive the transplant in July 2014. He will spend a week in the hospital recovering followed by another two weeks at a local Boston hotel. His fiancee Heather will be with him as much as possible and he will have an outpouring of love, prayers and support from his family and friends who have been routing for him since the beginning.
Once the recovery period beigns, it is mandatory that Josh lives in isolation for one year. He has to live in a very strict environment (no germs, pets, etc). Josh and Heather moved into their first apartment weeks before the first donor backed out.
We are asking friends, family and generous donors to donate to Josh as he will be unable to work for a full year. The money will be used to help pay for medicial bills, living expenses and his tens of thousands in student loans.
Thank you for your kind words and support during this difficult time.
If you prefer to send a check, please mail to
First Niagara Bank
Joshua Scussell Benefit Fund
34 West Stafford Road
Stafford Springs, CT 06076
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