In March of 2012, Zach left work early because of his headache. His vision was blurry and he was in a terrible amount of pain. He went to Urgent Care in Norfolk and they ordered and MRI. That MRI came back abnormal and he was referred to a neurologist in Norfolk, NE. Dr. Assad ordered a PET scan. After the scan was complete, Zach received a phone call saying another referral had been made to a doctor at UNMC in Omaha. He was not told what the referral entailed. Zach and his mother made the trip to Omaha and when they arrived at the address listed, they were at an oncology clinic, in other words, Zach had cancer.
That day was a whirlwind of emotions as Zach learned that he had a stage 2 glioma in his brain and it was malignant. The first option approached was surgery. On August 1st, 2013, Zach underwent brain surgery to try and remove part or all of the tumor. The doctor obtained a biopsy but was unsuccessful in removing the tumor. If they had removed the tumor, Zach's quality of life would have suffered, including loss of verbal communication and most likely the ability to communicate at all. The doctor did take enough tissue to send to pathology. They confirmed that the tumor was malignant however it is stable.
Since surgery, Zach has gone through 1 round of radiation therapy at Faith Regional in Norfolk, NE. Zach lives in Albion and the drive to Norfolk daily for 5 weeks, cost quite a lot in gas. After his cycle of radiation, the doctors decided to try oral chemotherapy. Zach currently takes chemotherapy once a month for five days, then takes 23 off. Then the cycle repeats. He has monthly visits to his Oncologist, Dr. Shonka, in Omaha. He has to have MRI's every three months. Each doctors visit requires a $60 copay and typically he has two doctors appointments with every trip to Omaha.
Zach is currently working at Hidden Valley Pork in Albion. He has a three year old son, Ashton, who started preschool in August of this year and needs his daddy! He also helps raise and support Kelly's son, Rylan, who started Kindergarten this year as well.
His last MRI showed no growth in the tumor but it has not shrunk at all either. The doctor hopes that the chemotherapy will shrink the tumor and that eventually, surgery for complete removal will be an option. As of now, Zach suffers from crippling headaches, nausea, vomiting, stiffness in his muscles, etc.
He could use your help. Any amount of donation would be greatly appreciated to help with gas expenses, copay expenses, and overall medical bills. Zach is a courageous and selfless individual who could use all the prayers and assistance he can get. Please, if not able to donate, pray for him and the children he is raising.
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