Dan's Fight Against Blood Cancer

Recently, my father, Dan Anderson, was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood cancer that requires chemotherapy, a bone marrow transfusion and a stem cell transplant. While there is no definitive cause for myelodysplastic syndrome, doctors postulate that Dan contracted it from regular exposure to heavy metals, that he may have come into contact with through his work at a plumbing and heating company, or through his service in the Vietnam war. Dan’s only form of insurance is his Veteran’s Assistance, and his only income is his pension. To undergo treatment at the Mayo Clinic, he will have to stay in Rochester for 3 months, where he will incur a number of exhaustive medical expenses, in addition to rent and the emotional turmoil he and his family are experiencing. His long term girlfriend is no longer working in order to be his primary caregiver, and their financial situation is bleak and only becoming more tumultuous.

It's estimated that Dan will have to pay around 100,000 out of pocket to get the treatment he needs, along with maintaining his lodging and life expenses.

For those of you that don’t know Dan personally, allow me, his daughter, to enlighten you to what kind of a man he is. My dad is the literal personification of tenacity and strength; no matter what the world throws at him, he always manages to maintain a cheerful disposition and a generosity that consistently astounds me and those around him. He will be the first to lend a helping hand, and will go out of his way to ensure that the people he cares about are well taken care of, even if it means sacrificing his own wellbeing.

Throughout this entire process, his main concern has been inconveniencing those around him with his illness. He’s trying to stay positive and maintain his goofy sense of humor- making jokes about how he’s upset that he’s going to lose all of his hair through chemo (my dad is a very bald man, mind you), but I know how terrified he is.

Moreover, Dan’s work ethic is incomparable, and he has always been a picture of health. My dad worked at Ferguson, a plumbing and heating company, doing intense manual labor for 32 years. In all that time, he’s never once used all of his allotted yearly vacation days, and probably took a collective of ten sick days in total. He’s never experienced financial security and has always looked to his retirement with great enthusiasm. Now, after only 1 year of Dan’s revered retirement, he’s met with a gloomy prognosis, that is either the result of his commitment to his country, or to his work ethic. Either way, it’s a cruel joke.

My father is a symbol of the working class forgotten, and he’s consistently had to fight to make ends meet, let alone enjoy any luxuries. He’s consistently provided for me and supported me in all of my endeavors, and taught me the real meaning of character. He loves so unconditionally, that I sometimes wonder how it’s even possible.

There are so many more beautiful things I could say about my father, but ultimately I’m just glad to have him in my life and don’t want that to change anytime soon. If you could help me ease this process for him, even in the slightest, my family and I would be eternally grateful.
  • Peyton Sweeney 
    • $200 
    • 39 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 53 mos
  • Nancy McNair 
    • $40 
    • 53 mos
  • Liz Mckeough 
    • $50 
    • 54 mos
  • Melanie Randall 
    • $25 
    • 54 mos
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Organizer and beneficiary

Kayla Anderson 
Minneapolis, MN
Dan Anderson