Retired Marine and Gulf War Veteran Clint Williford is fighting a battle for his life against a rare form of blood cancer.
It's surprising to the medical community that Clint survived his 1996 diagnosis of Polycythemia Vera
. Polycythemia vera (PV) is one of a related group of blood cancers known as “myeloproliferative neoplasms” (MPNs).
Clint fought for his survival with the support of his family and faith in God and through great hematologists that took really good care of him at Portsmouth Naval hospital. Through these years he has taken Oral Chemotherapy and returned every one to three months for blood work to keep a close watch on progression.
After a medical discharge from the Marine Corp. due to his cancer diagnosis, Clint continued a life of service to his community. He serves the citizens of North Carolina as a Corrections Officer at Bertie Correctional, a state penitentiary.
In early 2018, the Williford family received devastating news. Clint's Polycythemia vera has advanced to Myelofibrosis
, another rare secondary form of blood cancer.
Clint and his wife Cathy still hold faith in the healing power of God. They know they are blessed to have found a doctor in North Carolina to help Clint battle this disease.
However, Clint's battle will be long. While his insurance covers his cancer treatments, he and his wife will need to temporarily relocate to Durham, NC as he will be treated at Duke University Medical Center, 2 hours from his home. He will need to be very near the transplant center during the early stages. The transplant team will be watching him closely for complications for approximately 3 months.
Clint's treatment plan includes a splenectomy (removal of his spleen), an allogeneic stem cell transplant (they are awaiting a donor). Very high doses of chemo are used, sometimes along with radiation therapy, to try to kill all the cancer cells. This treatment also kills the stem cells in the bone marrow. Soon after treatment, stem cells are given to replace those that were destroyed. These stem cells are given into a vein, much like a blood transfusion. Over time they settle in the bone marrow and begin to grow and make healthy blood cells.
This is Clint's one shot at survival!
However, this means that Clint will be out of work for at least 12 months to battle cancer. He will require full-time care, a role that his devoted wife Cathy has accepted. This will also put Cathy out of work for several months.
The Williford family needs your help!
This GoFundMe page is to help collect money for the family maintain their permanent home in Aulander, NC and pay for temporary housing in Durham. Clint's fight starts as soon as a matching stem cell donor is found.
All donations are appreciated by Clint and his family. If you can't donate money, your prayers are welcome and appreciated!