Chipping Away At Cancer

Chris “Cheech” Chechatka and his wife Karin have over many years contributed countless hours in service to our community. They have volunteered for the Lions Club, Mercy House, Dicks Sporting Goods Open, and various other school and community events. They really need your help now. Chris was diagnosed with Stage 4 Kidney cancer in October 2017. By the time he was diagnosed his cancer had already spread to his liver. This shock was so unexpected and came with little warning at all.
Chris went to his family doctor because of a lingering cough. The doctor ordered a chest x-ray, bloodwork and 2 CT scans, the result was that Chris had a mass on his kidney, with another mass which had spread to his liver. Both masses were the size of softballs.

Chris and Karin were told by their family doctor that they were in for a long, hard road. After seeing a local oncologist, Chris was referred to Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, where they specialize in Kidney Cancer. A biopsy done at Roswell revealed stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Surgery scheduled for November 2nd to remove Chris’ left kidney was unsuccessful. Doctors discovered that the mass on his kidney was attached to his colon and was too risky to remove. The mass on his liver was inoperable, as it was wrapped around his portal vein. So, the marathon to save Chris’ life will be run entirely uphill and the physical and financial toll will be heavy.

The oncologist at Roswell and the local oncologist decided that the next step was to attempt shrinking Chris’ tumors, so they may eventually be surgically removed. Chris started Chemo treatments which made Chris very ill. He became extremely fatigued, he had a significant decrease in appetite which caused him to lose even more weight than he had already, making him very weak and even causing him to become confused at times. Pain medication Chris was taking following his surgery also played a part in his decreased appetite and loss of energy. Chris’ oncologist prescribed medical marijuana to help with both his pain and his appetite. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover this cost.

Chris had another CT scan at the end of December which showed no change in the size of his tumors. Only making matters worse was Chris’ Mom passing away on January 5th succumbing to cancer herself after a fifteen-year battle. Still, Chris maintains his will to fight.

Since Chris’ chemo medication wasn’t working the way his doctors had hoped, it was discontinued. Chris and his family traveled to Sloan Kettering in NYC for a second opinion. The decision was made to begin immunotherapy treatments by the local oncologist, Roswell oncologist and the oncologist down at Sloan Kettering concurred. This treatment is administered every other week and so far, results have been encouraging and adverse reactions have been minimal. There’s a possibility Chris will be needing immunotherapy treatments for the rest of his life, and if not immunotherapy, then some other kind of treatment.

Karin has been on a leave of absence from work since the beginning of January and is staying home to care for Chris. Her loss of income, as well as extraordinary medical costs, travel expenses and other miscellaneous expenses are adding up fast and causing a considerable financial strain.

Please pray for them and consider donating to help Chris and Karin meet expenses, they will be eternally grateful for your help.

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Donations

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  • Mike & Patricia Mastro 
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
  • Anne and Mike Sostowski  
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • James Giacovelli 
    • $250 
    • 37 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • Holly Mariani Memorial Golf Tournament  
    • $500 
    • 37 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Chris & Karin Chechatka 
Organizer
Vestal, NY
Christopher Chechatka 
Beneficiary
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