David Budzilo and I have been friends for 52 years now. They began their friendship in the 1st grade, at Lealman Elementary in St. Pete, FL.
In October 2015 David awoke from a Sunday afternoon nap with what turned out to be a pre-seizure. He was unable to speak and had difficulty walking. This continued for about 45 minutes. Since David had never experienced these symptoms before his wife, Sheri, called 911. An ambulance transferred him to the emergency room where upon arrival he had a grand mal seizure.
David was admitted to the hospital where an MRI showed a very small tumor. The tumor was too small to provide a good biopsy. It wasn't until January 2016 that the tumor had grown large enough for a good biopsy. Surgery was performed at that time and the tumor was removed.
The diagnosis was stage 4 cancer called Glioblastoma. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most malignant of the glial tumors. There is no cure for this type of brain tumor and the highly agressive nature typically result in less than favorable outcomes.
Once Dave recovered from his surgery he underwent oral chemo and radiation treatments for 9 months, all while going to work everyday.
The cancer returned in October of 2016, a month after the oral chemo treatments concluded. This time surgery was not an option because the location was on his speech pattern, meaning he would no longer speak or understand speech.
Dave started IV chemo treatments beginning January of this year. The experimental IV drug Opdivo was added to his treatments a few months later which shrunk the tumor, but only for a short time. The cancer grew larger which debilitated Dave's speech and paralyzed the right side of his body. This made it impossible for Dave to drive, work, or run his business. Being a self employed aluminum contractor, unemployment benefits are not available, therefore he no longer has an income and no way to support his family.
Sheri is having to support the entire household and attempt to pay for the deductibles and coinsurance on top of the experimental treatments that are not covered, at all, by insurance.
Sheri needs our help to meet these expenses and plan for the inevitable. Sheri and Dave have been together since high school and have one child, Shanna.
Time is drawing to a close for Dave, so Sheri & Shanna need our help to cover these mounting medical bills along with the everyday bills that Dave used to be able to take care of. Dave has been under Hospice care at home and the prognosis is down to a matter of weeks or days.
I hope you will find it in your heart to contribute to this fund for Dave's family. He is my brother since 1st grade and I am at a loss with the thought of not being able to pick up the phone to talk to him. Please help, if you can and are willing.
- Bonnie Barlow
- Doris Henson
- Morgan Jewell
- Danica Todd
- Tracy Janhonen