3 years ago, on Christmas Eve, Derick broke the news to his family that he had a large brain tumor, about the size of a baseball. Surgery to remove the tumor was done at St. Al’s in Boise in January of 2015. Unfortunately, the surgeon only got 70% margins. After biopsy, doctors could not give a definite diagnosis of what type of brain cancer it was.
Derick’s doctors in Boise had told him that he had 2 options:
1) Try to remove the tumor again with definite, severe loss of motor function.
2) Do nothing, let the tumor grow freely and have ~4 years left.
Derick chose not to have surgery again, to avoid facing severe loss of motor function.
Brain Cancer is a B*tch
Over the past three years he has been tossed between multiple neurologists and neurosurgeons, all the while doing everything he can to live a ’normal’ life while his symptoms worsen as the tumor continues to grow.
Now, he is suffering from 3-5 seizures per day, losing strength in his left side, major balance loss (he can no longer ride a bike or motorcycle), becoming increasingly forgetful, and has extreme fatigue; he has lost his quality of life. He works, sleeps, and spends time with his son.
Who is this guy?
Here’s some background: Derick is my ex-step-dad but has remained a father figure/older brother throughout my life. His son, Justin, is a cancer survivor himself (diagnosed with Wilms at age 4) and is my half-brother. Derick is the most selfless, genuinely caring, and joyful person I have ever met. He is a metal worker, one of the best welders in the country and teaches for the Union's program. With hands like sledgehammers and a heart of gold, Derick has touched many of our lives in profound ways. In the 20 years I've known Derick, I’ve never seen him cry. Not even through his son's cancer treatment. Derick will do anything (even at his own loss) to help someone else. And if you know Derick, whether casually or closely, you've probably never heard him ask for help. Family, friends, and followers, I’m about to share with you the only time I have been asked for help by Derick Binau.
How we can save Derick
Fast forward to October 2017: I was with Derick while he experienced a major seizure.
When Derick has one of these seizures, it’s devastating. He hasn’t seen Stranger Things, but based off his description it sounds like he enters "The Upside Down.” Overwhelmed by emotion and a brain that is short circuiting, he broke into tears. After the seizure ended, as he was wiping tears from his face, he asked me for help. He explained the severity of his seizure, and asked me to find him another treatment option.
Derick allowed me to access his medical records and I began looking for help immediately, which brings us to where we are right now in January of 2018. His tumor has grown back with a vengeance and is displacing over 1/3 of his brain. He doesn’t have 4 years anymore, and without immediate surgery he will be lucky to see next Christmas.
Fortunately, Derick is scheduled to have surgery at UCSF Neurosurgery (one of the best neurosurgical centers in the world). Surgery will take place Tuesday, January 16th with Dr. Shawn Hervey-Jumper .
The last thing Derick needs to be worried about right now is money. We are asking for your help so Derick can focus on the fight for his life, rather than finances. We don’t know what the full treatment plan will be until after surgery. But we do know that there’s a chance this surgery will allow Derick to be here for his son’s high school graduation in 2018, and could open the door to many more milestones in life that brain cancer would otherwise rob him of.
How you can help
If you're unable to donate, you can show support by sharing on social media with #fight4derick
Every share, every cent, every prayer, and every positive vibe helps.
All donations will go directly towards Derick’s medical costs.
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