My name is Dan Blanton, and I am writing this on behalf of my 22 year old son Christoper and our family.
Chris is the guy that everyone loves to be around. He is intelligent, hard-working, and friendly to all. He played 2 years of baseball at Lake Sumter State College, and earned the highest academic award that any Juco athlete can win nationwide…the Lea Plarski award. He then moved on to UCF, where he graduated in December with his Bachelor’s degree in Finance, with minors in Statistics and Actuarial Science. He was ready to move in to his career, and get into his life. Little did we know...
In mid-March, Chris woke up one morning to a sore throat and swollen glands in his neck, and also noticed a lump on the left side of his neck. After visiting the mini-ER to get a prescription for antibiotics, the doctor suggested that he see an Ear/Nose/Throat specialist to make sure nothing else was wrong. He also had a nuisance rash that a dermatologist had diagnosed as Pityriasis Rosea by his Dermatologist.
The ENT quickly recommended a needle aspiration biopsy, which came back negative for Non-Hodgkins and Leukemia. It was “inconclusive” for Hodgkins Lymphoma, as there was not enough tissue to evaluate it further. Next step…take a full node, and re-run the tests. The Dr. called a week later with what we THOUGHT was good news…negative for Hodgkins as well. Must be an infection…but 1 more specialized test to run.
This is where things turned REALLY difficult. After running additional tests, they mis-diagnosed Chris with a rare CD30-Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma - ALK Negative. Once diagnosed, we immediately started looking for specialists, and the Oncologist here in Orlando scheduled a PET Scan to stage the disease. To his credit, he felt something was off in the diagnosis. After re-testing again, the diagnosis came back the same, but again, they left open without 100% confirmation of the diagnosis. Now we were in full-on panic mode. But something in the PET scan told the Dr. to get the tissue to the UF Cancer Center in Orlando, and have them test it. This time, they were able to find that it was in fact Hodgkins, which they later confirmed with an additional diagnosis at an outside pathologist. It had been difficult to diagnose, because there were some T-Cell abnormalities as well. We never thought we would be relieved to hear he had Hodgkins, but we were. The treatment is less harsh on the body, and the prognosis is significantly better. The process to get to a final diagnosis was between 8 and 10 weeks.
Chris has already started Chemo, and will be going through 24 treatments. He has been in good spirits, and even through the side effects, has maintained a positive attitude. As we have all said…Failure is NOT an option! #ChrisStrong.
Chris has a good insurance program, but even with good insurance, costs are adding up quickly. If you are willing to help, he would appreciate it. 100% of the funds raised will go toward deductibles, co-pays, etc. We have printed T-Shirts and Bracelets that will allow you to show your support for Chris. Any donation will help. We are not asking for a lot. We know there are others out there that are in far worse financial shape than we are. But if you are willing to help, we would appreciate it greatly.
In the event we raise more than we need, we plan on donating 100% of the remaining money to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They were very helpful in providing us with specialists, and helping us look for specialists when we thought it was Non-Hodgkins T-Cell.
Thank you for reading, and thank you for your support. We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers that have come our way.
- Chase Greene
- Lisa Allen
- Marby Reyes
- Debbie Blanton
- Mike Stroup
Organizer and beneficiary
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