Hello, my name is Carl Sammy Barela. I was born, May 19, 1958. I am now 59 years old. I have always been very healthy and athletic. I grew up working very hard on my parent’s farms and ranches. I learned from an early age to stay fit, be strong and nourish my body. I don’t have any diabetes, heart problems or other health issues. I now find myself fighting for my life against squamous cell carcinoma cancer in my right larynx.
In September 1998, I decided to be a self-employed custom tile contractor/installer. I paid for my trade name, tools and contractor insurance. I went to work and for the next 18 years, I worked day and night, weekends and holidays to get my work done and build my reputation as a master installer.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the work I had been doing for the past 18 years could very well be the cause of my cancer. This line of work requires a person to be exposed to grout, thin-set(mortar), mastic(glue adhesive) and caulking. These caustic chemicals over time have caused the damage to my larynx that has resulted in the cancer that I currently have today.
I started to have voice problems around February of 2017, which I thought was just the aftermath of having had a cold. However, my voice grew worse and worse. I have not had insurance and this has resulted in a delay of seeking help in diagnosing my illness. Finally, I went to an appointment with a general medical Doctor. She examined me and referred me to an ENT specialist. He is an ear, throat and nose specialist.
I was examined on September 19 2017 by the ENT. He examined my larynx and discovered polyps and lesions that he grew very concerned about. He ordered me to have surgery to remove polyps and send to the laboratory for further review. He was convinced that it was cancerous, but he needed more in depth lab studies to make his final conclusion.
He scheduled my operation for October 3, 2017. After the operation, he sent the biopsy to the lab for further study. At my post-operative meeting on October 11, 2017, I was given the bad news. I had squamous cell carcinoma cancer in my right larynx. He said I needed to get immediate treatment to determine the stage and treatment level to prevent any further growth and spreading to other areas of my body.
I was ordered to begin treatments and chemo-therapy infusion immediately by Radiology Oncologist and Chemo-Therapy Oncologist at the cancer center in Colorado Springs, CO.
I have entered my fourth week of radiation treatments and third week of chemo. I am told that my cancer is benign, treatable and should be cured in six weeks of treatment. I am half way there.
For the last two years of unemployment, I have been using my savings to help make ends meet with in my household. Recently, I have used up all of my savings paying out –of-pocket for doctors, exams, medicine and treatments. I don’t have any insurance and don’t qualify for any medicare/ medicaid , social security or disability.
Therefore, I am reaching out for help in paying for the cost of my radiation and chemo. These are the two biggest expenses that are looming overhead. I understand that the cost could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I am thankful that my cancer is curable and extending my life is a great thing. However, I can’t pay for the radiation and chemo costs.
Please, consider your ability to help me financially, for which I will be eternally grateful.
Carl Sammy Barela
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