It was not too long ago that life seemed about as close to perfect for my brother in law Justin Bishop as it could be. He had a steady career, a loving supportive wife, and three healthy children all living in the community he loved. Justin, as many in Bridgeport and beyond will tell you, was committed to and involved in sports his entire life. Form playing whichever sport was in season to growing up cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and West Virginia Mountaineers. Justin’s passion for competitive sports runs deep. As his son Xavier became old enough to start participating in youth sports, that passion rolled right into coaching and teaching youth in the city of Bridgeport and surrounding communities.
Justin coached youth football, basketball, and baseball. Coaching his son at baseball was his favorite thing to do. In his spare time, if there were such a thing, he would hold coaching sessions so the kids could get some swings in the batting cages or take some grounders in the offseason. He was always willing to give of himself to help teach anyone who wanted to learn.
One September day while tossing baseball with his son, Justin noticed a small lump on the inside of his arm causing some discomfort. Although not normal, his initial thought was that it was a pulled muscle, no big deal. He opted to get it checked when he noticed the lump was growing. From that point forward, the world of Justin Bishop turned a bit upside down. We were all hopeful it was something minor, but biopsy results soon revealed our worst fear. This healthy, active, 35-year old husband and father of three was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Soft tissue Ewing Sarcoma was the diagnosis. This type of cancerous tumor typically affects young people ages 10-20 and only approximately 200 cases are found each year nationally. Justin’s team of doctors at WVU Cancer Center decided aggressive treatment would be best for him. He will undergo six rounds of chemo (5 days in a row with 24 hour chemo drip) to shrink the tumor, minimizing the risk of damaging nerves in his arm when the doctors operate to remove it. After surgery, Justin will undergo six more rounds of chemo to be sure the cancer does not come back.
The good news, according to WebMD, is that Ewing Sarcoma has a high rate of being cured. This process however, could take up to a full year. Right now, the treatment has Justin in the hospital for a week at a time and then home for 2 weeks as long as his blood work is where it should be.
Justin is not the type to ask for help but is always willing to help others any way he can. Between not being able to work as he is used to and the medical bills, starting to come in, you can imagine the stress this adds to an already impossible situation. We are trying to help ease the financial burden on Justin and his family. Any donation will be greatly appreciated. If you are unable to give, we thank you still for your kind thoughts and prayers; they mean so much in times like these. Thanks in advance and may God bless you.