Stage 4 Melanoma – Age 33 years
Those fortunate to know Andrew, would know what a top bloke he is.
Andrew is our local IT Guru from “Cutter Fix IT” based in the Northern suburb of Banksia Grove, Perth WA and has been a saviour when it comes to our IT disasters over the years.
Andrew is such a friendly & positive guy; you cannot help but fall in love with him once you’ve met him. He works incredibly hard and goes above and beyond to support the community and is often up from the crack of dawn, until the early hours offering IT support and working on jobs to ensure that computers get fixed, lost data is recovered and upgrades are seamless for his clients.
Andrew is currently facing his own battle; his health has failed him, leaving him unable to work to support his beautiful partner Chrissy & their gorgeous 6 month old son Nate. Times are incredibly tough and this Aussie family could really use a helping hand financially to help pay for his treatment and allow Andrew the time and strength to fight this terrible disease without the added financial burden causing even more stress to him and his family.
Andrew discovered his first Melanoma in September 2018. He underwent invasive surgery in October 2018, his results were all clear and there was nothing else apparent. The surgeons were satisfied that they had removed the tumour and Andrew had been extremely lucky to discover the Melanoma and have it successfully removed prior to it causing any further issues as they can be extremely aggressive.
However Andrew’s luck ran out and just after Andrew & Chrissy celebrated the birth of their beautiful son Nate, Andrew discovered a lump in his neck (July 2019) and their lives spiralled into an array of Dr’s appointments, emergency hospital stays, surgery and scans. A PET scan highlighted the need for immediate invasive neck and facial surgery to remove lymph nodes now affected by the cancer. Surgery took place at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) in Perth in September 2019 and following surgery the pathology results brought more bad news. Andrew was diagnosed with Stage 3c Melanoma. His recovery was slow and painful and SCGH became his second home.
Following his surgery Andrew was prescribed Immunotherapy as a treatment plan; moving forward, however this caused multiple issues including Pneumonitis which left Andrew unable to breathe properly and yet another emergency admission into SCGH for treatment with high dose IV antibiotics and steroids. Andrew was unable to eat or drink for 2 weeks and his body was showing signs of shutting down. The Immunotherapy treatment was stopped and Andrew was finally discharged from hospital and home to his beautiful family for support not knowing what his future held.
A follow up PET scan then showed signs of cancer back in the neck, lungs and possibly liver. Not the news Andrew & his family wanted to hear, as his cancer was now classed as Stage 4 Melanoma.
2 weeks later Andrew was rushed back to SCGH suffering a failing liver, possible caused by an immune response produced by the Immunotherapy and spent another week in hospital, away from his family.
Andrews only option now is a treatment that costs up to $19,000 a month. The hospital budget will not cover this treatment option, so it is up to Andrew & Chrissy to now find the money to cover his treatment. Fortunately it is discounted for patients, however it is still a significant out of pocket expense for them to cover, on top of covering everyday living expenses whilst Andrew is too unwell to work full time and Chrissy is on unpaid Maternity leave to care for baby Nate & now Andrew too.
So far although it’s early days the treatment has shrunk a swollen lymph node in his neck which is a positive sign that the treatment is working and making a difference.
Andrew and Chrissy have no other option but to remain positive that Andrew will be able to afford his treatment and that it will continue to offer him some relief.
Being proud hard working Australians, both Andrew & Chrissy have been reluctant to ask others for financial support, however if each and every one of us could dig deep; maybe go without our take away coffee for the week or donate the coins we have been saving it would go a long way to brining some relief for Andrew & Chrissy and make their lives slightly less “Tough” and stressful as they continue to battle this cruel and debilitating disease.
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