Pelayo’s final shot at cancer treatment goal

In October last year, my 35 year old son, Pelayo, had a brain CT to investigate the cause of severe headaches he'd been experiencing.  The scan revealed a mass on Pelayo's temporal lobe.  The following day Pelayo underwent brain surgery at RNS to remove the lesion.  He was recovering remarkably well from surgery when, three days later, we were devastated to learn that biopsy of the lesion showed it was not the primary tumour.  Following further scans Pelayo was diagnosed with mediastinal germ cell cancer, with brain metastases.

Taking this shocking news in his stride and showing his usual amazing determination and positivity, Pelayo spent October to January undergoing chemotherapy and brain radiotherapy.  

51816666_1602384328961402_r.jpegUnfortunately, although he responded well while receiving chemo, Pelayo relapsed shortly after his last course was completed in January.  He then underwent salvage chemo and more radiotherapy to address the relapse.  
(Of course, when treatment allowed, Pelayo continued coaching his U21 team and training with his own team in his beloved soccer club, Southern Ettalong United.  While not able to play, attended every game whenever possible!  The club, particularly his coach, has supported Pelayo unreservedly since initial diagnosis and hosted various fundraising events during early treatment, for which we will be eternally grateful!)

Pelayo's final radiotherapy treatment was scheduled on the same day as he and his partner Hayley's first baby, a son, was due to be born!!  Beautiful Andres was born on 12/3/20.  His birth was so emotionally uplifting and such a welcome distraction from the treatment roundabout!  Our little miracle was indeed a blessing.

Ongoing monitoring of cancer markers through weekly blood tests revealed the markers were not normalising and instead were increasing.  It was then decided to undergo two separate stem cell transplant procedures, each involving high dose chemo prior to transplant.  It is now four weeks since final transplant.  

While undergoing transplant procedures, Pelayo was included in a program run by the Garvan Institute aimed at ascertaining the genomic profile of his tumour.  Results from molecular study of his lesion were expected to take 6-8 weeks. 

Follow up scans to assess transplant outcome were conducted last week.   While no disease progression is noted in the brain, we were disappointed to learn full body scan results not so positive, indicating the treatment had therefore not had the expected outcome.   Given Pelayo has undergone all forms of chemotherapy (first line/salvage and high dose), we were informed at oncology consult on Friday that further chemo treatment is no longer considered an option.   

HOWEVER, we were handed a lifeline on the very same day, when the results from the molecular study conducted by the Garvan Institute were received!!   Turns out, the genomic profile of Pelayo's tumour shows mutation indicators (high range) of likelihood to respond to immunotherapy!  Great news!!

Unfortunately, the immunotherapy treatment is not covered under Medicare and would have to be self-funded.  However, without this treatment Pelayo's prognosis is extremely poor ... expected to be a few months only.  

Pelayo therefore NEEDS YOUR HELP URGENTLY as time is of the essence!!  So ... we're calling on friends and family/friends of friends and family to help raise the $60,000 needed for his immunotherapy treatment so it can commence as soon as possible.  

We need the radiating light, love and laughter our inspirational and amazing son, brother, partner, nephew, cousin, mate, coach, teammate and, most importantly, beloved daddy to Andres, brings to our lives!!  May sound selfish but all who know and love Pelayo undoubtedly believe the world is a far better place with him in it!  

Whatever you can contribute to this heartfelt cause will be so greatly appreciated!  No donation is too small!

So much to live for ....


Much love and thanks to all for your ongoing support.  


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Janie Cruickshank 

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