It all started around a year ago when my step mother was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. It was a tough road that would only get tougher. While she survived the cancer, the treatment destroyed her digestive track, which required emergency surgery to remove her colon in addition to a hysterectomy to remove her uterus. She is still in treatment with more surgeries to go through in the coming weeks/months.
Meanwhile my Dad continued working 50-60 hours a week to try and keep their finances afloat. They were getting by, barely, until my Dad's vision rapidly became blurry over the course of two weeks. So, he did what any of us would do, and went to the eye doctor. They sent him to Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston because he had cataracts that couldn't be treated with glasses or contacts.
I took him into Boston at the end of July 2014 for an eye exam. At least that's what we thought. He quickly became a science project because, not only does he have cataracts, he has glaucoma, and a third unknown eye disease. At this point, the simple eye exam became a day long visit to Mass Eye and Ear. After multiple exams and sonograms, it was determined that he has, “Bilateral Diffuse Uveal Melanocytic Proliferation” or BDUMPS for short. This is an extremely rare eye condition (my dad is patient #32 in the world since the 1960’s) with a common link to cancer.
This is where things really flipped upside down. Since the common link is cancer related, they send my Dad for blood work, the blood work led to PET Scans, which led to the diagnosis of stage 2-3 Esophageal Cancer. So, not only does he have an extremely rare (and untreatable) eye condition, he has cancer that has travelled to his lymph nodes. He is currently receiving radiation and chemotherapy to keep it from spreading. However, the cancer itself will have to be removed via surgery.
So now they’re both unable to work and the bills are piling up. As their son I’ve tried to get them help and was able to get my Dad on a Massachusetts Health Program. However, that covers his medical bills, but not there mortgage, utility bills or food. I would love to give them some money to help, but I’m the sole provider for my family (I have three kids). So, I’m hoping someone/anyone can help.
My Dad is a hard worker and would do what it takes to provide for my Step Mom, but he can’t see and therefore can’t drive. My Step Mom would love to get a job too, but is still under treatment/recovery for her cancer and can’t work either.
I know there are a lot of sick people in the world that require the help of others, I ask that you please help my parents. It makes me sad to see their lives changed overnight. I’d hate to see them lose the house we’ve lived in for 20 years or more, or go the winter without heat or food. I wish I could provide some monetary relief after all they did for me growing up, but I can only provide them with a home cooked meal or two a week.
It's tough enough having one cancer patient to care for, I have two!
Thank you to everyone for at least reading my post. I hope you can donate, if not, please share my post so others can.
- Elisa Levenbaum
- Kathleen Reilly
- Jeff Simanski
- Jerry and Cindy Carbeau
- Colleen Shannon
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