Please Help Vince Defeat The Beast

Hi everyone, thanks for taking the time to open this page. 

For those who don’t know me, I’m Noe, and I’ve started this fundraiser for my father, Vince, who is currently battling High-Grade Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer. Bladder Cancer is very treatable when caught early, but once it grows into the muscle and then the fat, the severity increases, as do the types of treatment. Of all cancers, the most costly to treat in the US are men with High-Grade, Muscle-Invasive Bladder cancer. The high cost is caused due to it having the highest reoccurrence rate of all cancers (in men). 

I moved back from Australia shortly after I heard the news and became his full-time caregiver with help from my dads partner, Nancy, and dad's cousin Annette.
In the next year, dad is going to face many challenges and massive changes to his lifestyle, which will be stressful enough for him. Unfortunately in the US, the byproduct of this disease is the financial cost, which can be as debilitating as cancer. The cost of insurance, doc appointments, surgeries, chemo, ER visits, recovery supplies, medications, and so forth, began to pile-up, and the stress of managing his bills has become overwhelming. I spoke with my sister Coco, my brother Nick and we all agreed it made sense to come up with a plan to alleviate dad's financial stress the best we can. Close friends have offered financial help, and that is what led me to start this page. 
I understand that we all have our hardships to take care of in life, so I truly appreciate anything at all that you can offer. 

I’ll also be using this page as a platform to update friends & family on his condition. When he started chemo in December, his first, and worst, symptom was what they call ‘Chemo Brain’. It makes the brain extremely foggy and forgetful. This side-effect has made it almost impossible for him to communicate with the outside world properly. Throughout chemo he was barely able to speak because his mind was unable to find the words to string sentences together, and up until late Feb, he wasn’t able to have a conversation longer than 20 minutes without being completely wiped out for the rest of the day. Dad has always loved to write; however, like with conversing, it takes all his mental energy away. The effects of chemo brain vary from person to person; it can be gone quickly or last for years.

I know many have sent dad messages/texts, and haven’t heard back from him. Let me assure you he reads them all and does try to answer. They motivate him, and dad loves reading the often hilarious comments. I want you all to have a place to check in on him until he’s recovered enough to start providing updates himself. I’m also available to those who have me on Facebook to provide you with a personal update if he’s been unable to return your messages. 

Below you can read the backstory of his cancer diagnosis & the treatment details so you’re aware of what he’s facing and what you’ll be donating to. 

Backstory: 
Around the early months of 2019 my dad began noticing unusual changes to his urinary tract. At the time, he was working on his passion project to expand his family’s restaurant, Mama’s on Washington Square, to Southern California. After multiple doctor visits, tests, and incorrect diagnosis, his doctor requested a CT scan. Months passed, and there was no news, so the assumption was “no news is good news.” However, as the symptoms worsened & he reached out again, he discovered the results of the scan were sent the day after the tests, but somehow it was missed by the doctor's office. This scan showed a large tumor inside the bladder, buried into the muscle. 
Because of the three month delay, there was a high urgency to sample the tumor to get the official grading and treatment underway. At this time, dad's health insurance offered him a limited number of Doctors. Finally, by mid-October, dad entered a hospital to have a surgical procedure know as, a trans urethral resection of bladder tumor. After being released from the hospital, complications arose that had him in the ER twice within 36 hours, leading to being readmitted to the hospital for 5 more days. The pathology showed the High Grade, muscle-invasive bladder cancer was the result. 
Once again, it took nearly a month even to get scheduled with an Oncologist; Dad started looking at a new insurance provider. While it may be more expensive to get decent private insurance in America, his life is worth it.
After feeling not so comfortable with his diagnosis, he scheduled second and third opinions with other Oncologists. One of the doctors even graded it as more invasive cancer, and dad was told, if you can figure out how to do it, you want Dr. Sia Daneshamand, of USC Norris Cancer Center, to handle the surgical needs of this type of cancer. Dad set out to find the right insurance.

Treatment: 
Phase 1: Two months of aggressive Chemotherapy (Dec 2019 - Feb 2020)
Chemotherapy was used in this case to shrink the lymph nodes and primary bladder tumor, as well as make sure any unseen cells outside of the bladder were destroyed before surgery. There were some significant side effects throughout chemo. As mentioned, chemo brain being the worst, followed by extreme fatigue, his eyesight was badly effected, today he has blurred vision from his left eye and some hearing loss. 
Phase 2: Radical Cystectomy with Urinary Diversion (March 18th 2020)
A radical cystectomy removes the bladder, prostate, seminal vesicles, and all lymph nodes in his abdominal and pelvic cavity. The original surgical team said the operation would happen 2 - 3 months after chemo to have time for the body to recover. However, Dr. Daneshamand recommended a different strategy because studies have shown this type of cancer can reoccur at a rate of 75% within a month of chemotherapy; due to the aggressiveness of the bladder cancer spreading rapidly, once it's metastatic its incurable. So dad heads off to a 6-8 hour surgery this coming Wednesday. #DefeatTheBeast
Phase 3: TBC from the findings of Phase 3 (first post op app. March 27th 2020)

A little more personal:
A lot of you reading this likely know my dad on some level. If you’re an old friend, you’d know him as the wild, fun-loving, prankster who loves to stir the pot every chance he gets. If you’re a relative...well, you know the good and the bad but still love him unconditionally (most of the time ). And if you’re a friend of Nick, Coco, or myself, you likely grew up knowing him as Papa Sanchez and have certainly shared some dope memories with us!

To me, my dad is my rock, my best amigo, and the calm & understanding person that our crazy little family needs. As mentioned, I was living in Australia, going on 7 years when I heard the news, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. All I wanted to do was be close by, so I dropped everything and came back to California (shout of to my mates who made it possible to do so). Since returning its been one unexpected event after another. Having to leave work to be a caregiver wasn’t in my plan, and I’m not going to lie, it has been the hardest six months of my entire life. No one can prepare you for what it's like to watch a loved one fight for their life, and it's impossible to prepare yourself to be the person they depend on when the really low points hit. But regardless of the difficulties we’ve faced, I’ve never been so grateful to be home by his side. I do not doubt he will make a full recovery because he has one of the most positive attitudes we could hope for and has enough love for a million lifetimes surrounding him. If he taught me anything growing up, its that time & love are the two most valuable things we’re given in this life & and lending your hand to those who need it most will also help you in return. 
I love my entire family, and even though asking others for help, especially financially, is quite difficult, there are times in life that it is necessary. 

Thank you again for taking the time to read all this (I tried to keep it short, but there’s too much to say!). Feel free to share this with anyone you’d like. Whether we’re able to reach the goal or not, my dad and our entire family appreciate anything & everything you can do to help. Please feel free to reach out to me, Nancy, Nick or Coco for anything  

Much love to you all, will update soon xx 

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  • Angela Montemayor 
    • 25 $ (Offline)
    • 1 mo
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    • 80 $ (Offline)
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    • 1 mo
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    • 500 $ (Offline)
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    • 50 $ (Offline)
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Organizer

Noe Sanchez 
Organizer
Newport Beach, CA
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