Shawna Douglas Ward and Edmond Ward are organizing this fundraiser.
Hello, this is Edmond. I am a Recovery Support Specialist and have dedicated my life to helping those in substance use recovery. I am the father to two wonderful boys, Dylan and Eli, and a beautiful stepdaughter, Kelsie. I am married to my amazing wife of almost eight years, Shawna.
In June 2016, I was diagnosed with stage IIIB melanoma. After surgery to remove the melanoma and facial reconstruction surgery we were relieved that I was considered “no evidence of disease”. In November of the same year, I had a heart attack and went into congestive heart failure. This required three stents and a lengthy stay in the hospital but I recovered better than the doctors expected. One year from my original melanoma diagnosis, the cancer returned. I underwent a 7 ½ hour surgery with the removal of 21 lymph nodes. Following surgery, I underwent immunotherapy. After four months on immunotherapy, the immunotherapy drug caused my immune system to attack my heart, liver, and kidneys. This required high doses of steroids, multiple hospital stays and resulted in renal failure. We are now two years from my original cancer diagnosis, and melanoma has returned, again. The preliminary report from seven biopsies taken yesterday indicates that all seven biopsies are “abnormal”. We are waiting for the official pathology report which should be in any day. Once this is in, we will know what the next course of treatment is.
In April of this year, I had to retire from my job of eight years. A job I absolutely loved. I was honored to work with addicts who were trying to get their lives on track. I learned as much from them as they did from me. I miss my work every single day.
Our savings has been depleted over the last two years. My wife is a therapist in the recovery field and I am fortunate to have coverage through her insurance; however, it does not cover all of my medical needs and cost over $1000 per month. We are struggling with day to day expenses as we wait for my disability to be approved. Once this is in place, it will alleviate some of this financial burden. It is difficult for me to ask for help of any kind, especially financial help. We welcome prayers, good thoughts, and support of any kind. We are grateful for all of you and the time taken to read this. Blessings to all of you!