3 years ago, my best friend was given the news that no mother ever wants to hear. Her son has cancer. In July of 2014, Daniel, who was barely 20 years old at the time was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastic Aveolar Soft Part Sarcoma. Because it is a very rare form of cancer, the prognosis is poor. Only .1% - .5% of people get Sarcomas. Out of this less than 1%, only another .1% - .5% get the type of Sarcoma that Daniel has. He has been fighting this disease for over 3 years while trying several clinical trials and approved chemotherapy drugs. Although they have worked for a short period of time, he is now at the point where he needs to try a new clinical trial. Daniel and his mom, Lisa, will be traveling to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston every two weeks for Daniel to receive a new chemotherapy administered through IV. This chemo is new to his type of cancer . It's an immune checkpoint inhibitor. So far it has only been offered in Miami and Maryland, and is now being offered at Dana Farber Cander Institute in Boston. The doctors, Daniel and his family are hopeful that this treatment will work on his cancer as he's a guinea pig. However, Daniel wil be giving samples of any biopsies, blood samples, etc. so that the researchers can dive into learning more about his type of cancer. He will have to have all of his scans, MRIs and testing done there, so they will need to stay a few days at a time. Lisa and Dan will be traveling to Boston, MA every two weeks for his chemo treatments, checkups and testing. The last chemo pill he tried caused fluid to build up in his left lung, crushing it. He had to have 2 liters drained from that lung which caused some other complications resulting in hospitalization at EMMC for a few days. If he had stayed on that chemo pill, he would have had to keep having his lungs drained of fluid which was painful for him. Boston, MA is a 3.5 hour drive from where they live in Maine. His medical treatment is very costly, and the time his mom has to be away from work, cost of hotels, gas, etc. is taking a financial toll on them. Lisa pays her son's co-payments for all of the medications he is currently on. She works full-time in the military, part-time for the military, and 2 other part-time jobs. She is doing her best to keep afloat financially. It has been very hard to keep up due to his diagnosis. He has to have surgery at least once a year to have a stent put in for kidney support due to one of his tumors pressing against his right kidney, causing it to not function properly. Daniel also makes frequent visits to Cancer Care due to dehydration and issues with his stomach and heart. Daniel's cancerous tumors are located in his back, spine, abdomen, lungs, brain, and most recently his thyroid. Issues with his spine and right leg have arisen again, which causes a lot of pain. He has had to change to new pain manaement medications.
Lisa is my best friend. I have done everything in my power to try to ease her financial burdens as well as being there for emotional support. It breaks my heart to see all of these new issues arise and see her feeling so helpless. It is hard enough for a mother to watch her kids going through difficult times, belly aches, scraped knees, and not be able to kiss them to make it better. But this difficulty is more than that. No amount of kisses can make this better for her son. I decided to start this fundraiser to try to reach out for help for Lisa and Dan to help with medical costs and travel costs. Please help me in helping this incredibly brave young man. Lisa is a single mom, with one other son going to college in Boston, MA. She has no support other than her 4 jobs. She loves her boys with all of her heart, and is praying every day for a miracle. I am hoping to help with a miracle of financial sorts.
Thank you for taking the time to read about the journey this family has been on. I pray you can find it in your heart to donate anything you can to help aleviate the financial burden they are facing.
- Carol Buchanan
- Karen Donovan
- Kathleen Dunn
- Jackie Foraker