Two years ago Jes and Dave decided to start a family. In April 2016, while they were seven months pregnant with Mina, they found out that the cancer had progressed to a Grade III anaplastic astrocytoma. Then, in April 2017, and two days before their ten year wedding anniversary, Dave's cancer returned aggressively. It was now a Grade IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and Dave had roughly 6-9 months left to live.
Three types of chemotherapy (which he did not respond to), four craniotomies (brain surgeries), and two rounds of radiation therapy were used to battle the cancer over the past five years. At the end he was trying an experimental Optune therapy as well.
These past sixteen months have been the hardest in their battle. In the last few months he lost all of his ability to read and write, was extremely limited verbally, and was almost completely paralyzed on the entire right side of his body.
Dave was unable to work during the last year of his life. Jes quit her job five months ago because Dave needed around the clock care and monitoring. They had to move out of the expensive Washington DC area, back to Michigan, living with friends.
Jes and Dave have dealt with this final diagnosis and rapid decline while pregnant with and then raising their one and only child, Mina. She is a living embodiment of their love and dedication to each other. Dave's greatest fear was that his daughter would not remember him. He spent much of his last months with Mina.
Dave passed on August 22nd, 2017.
These funds will go to help Mina & Jes as they rebuild their lives in Michigan. Paying for the final medical bills, finding a new house, and Mina's future.
For the Retherford Family (David, Jessica, & Mina) <3
- Andrea Wallenhorst
- David Buffaline
- Kate Hanson
- Paul Dowling
- Vimal Kumar
Organizer and beneficiary
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