HELP Gary Hill BEAT Rare Cancer

At age 55, Gary Hill should be planning for his retirement and how he will spend his golden years with his best friend - his wife, Carol Gatlin Hill - the love of his life. Instead, he is planning on how to survive with his recent diagnosis of a rare, invasive form of cancer.  Throughout this unanticipated battle for his life, Gary has continued to maintain his contagious sense of humor and laugh.  His philosophy is that sometimes just a smile can make someone else’s day a bit brighter.  This is something we could all learn from.  True to Gary’s “never met a stranger” character, HE is the one who continues to make all of us smile and laugh when HE is the one facing the agony of unknown.

GARY’S SOCIAL HISTORY:

Gary has always lived a healthy and active lifestyle - never being sick and never allowing grass to grow under his feet. He has been the sole provider for his family of 6 and is now, with Carol, raising a 14-year-old granddaughter since she was just a baby. He has ten living grandchildren and four children. His passion and career, for the majority of his adult life, has been as a respected bird dog trainer for the American Field Sporting Dog Association (running bird dogs on the pro circuit for 25 years).




Gary has always been an avid animal activist - frequently spending his own money to assist with helping ailing horses and dogs - saving animals in dire need. He is a friend to all he meets and never so much as blinks when someone needs help - whether it be changing a tire for a stranger or coming to the aid of an old friend or family member. 

Gary’s friends and family lovingly refer to him as the “animal whisperer”, knowing how to communicate with the animal kingdom and providing what is needed for their survival. Living just outside Oklahoma City, Carol recalls Gary spreading corn in the fields during the cold winter months so birds would survive the cold winters - coming in after working in the fields with snow and ice clinging to his trademark mustache. He has always loved the outdoors and while others were hunting quail, he was an advocate for saving quail. He has been an integral part of quail restoration, working closely with biologists in western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle - all on a volunteer basis. Gary has never hesitated to help anyone in need, often lending his own equipment to friends and strangers as needed. 

 Now, Gary is the one who needs the help of strangers, friends, and family. It is through strength that we are able to ask for help.


TIME FOR A CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS AND PROGNOSIS:

In November of this year, after a period of having what was thought to be laryngitis with difficulty swallowing, Gary underwent a partial tumor removal and was subsequently diagnosed with invasive poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma with basaloid squamous cell differentiation of the larynx (voice box/throat).  Without proper treatment, this diagnosis is a certain death sentence for Gary and the tragic loss of a husband, father and grandfather. This life twist was totally unexpected and a shock to all - especially to Gary and his family. To say they are devastated is putting it mildly. 

Cancer does not care if you have always been healthy or not.  It does not discriminate against its victims. 

 Having no insurance, medical bills have been accumulating with no end in sight.  At this time, his immune system is not sufficient enough to be able to withstand chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Unfortunately, with emergent treatment being of the essence, the only treatment thought to be successful is not available in the United States and is only located in Germany, Switzerland and Mexico - with Mexico having the most cost -effective option making it a possibility of being affordable with help from family, friends and kind-hearted strangers. 

The foreign medical facilities offering treatment for this rare cancer have the best possibility of allowing Gary and Carol to grow old together - treatment that may give Gary the chance to walk his granddaughter down the aisle and someday bounce his great grandchildren on his knee.  The Hope4Cancer Medical Facility, located in Mexico, has quoted treatment to be $30,700.00 U.S. dollars for an intensive three-week program. This is ONLY for those three weeks. Repeat follow-up visits every couple of months will be necessary. This, of course, does not include the added stress of trying to keep the family home, along with paying for the standard living expenses of electricity, gas,  housing, groceries, etc. - all while attempting to focus on how he will be able to tackle this road block without monetary provision. 

Gary’s diagnosis has a lot of medical terms that can be not only confusing but also scary - adding fear to the already unknown. 

Invasive poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma with basaloid squamous cell differentiation of the larynx (voice box/throat) is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that scientists are still learning about as far as how to treat successfully. It is unclear what the prognosis will be with the anticipated proper treatment. However, what is known about this invasive (spreading) disease is that the certain mortality rate without treatment intervention is 100%. While most patients suffering with this disease are lifelong smokers, Gary has never smoked nor has he consumed alcohol – other than on an occasional social basis

GARY’S POTENTIAL TREATMENT AND PLAN:

Basaloid squamous cell carcinoma is a rare subtype of squamous cell carcinoma. Because of its rarity, both clinical and prognostic features of this variant are not well known. Depending on the tumor stage, treatments can range from chemotherapy and/or radiation to a partial laryngectomy (taking away the ability to speak using the vocal cords with removal of the voice box) to a laryngopharyngectomy - removal of the entire voice box and pharynx. The pharynx connects the mouth and nose to the esophagus. To eat again, the surgeon must recreate the tube connecting the mouth to the esophagus. A permanent breathing hole (stoma) is created above the breast bone and this could eventually give the ability to speak. 

These extensively invasive medical procedures, accompanied with the alternative treatments available in Mexico, are the only avenues Gary has to potentially find a cure and allow him to continue to bless his family and friends with his keen sense of humor and contagious smile.

GOAL:

Gary is only 55. He has never been a quitter and he has the will to battle this disease with a full desire to LIVE!!! While the outcome of any cancer treatment is never known, nor guaranteed, without treatment the result is most always the same - death. 

Gary is a quiet man who never asks for help. At this crucial life or death time, Gary and his family are asking for, and need, your help now. 

The goal of $250,000 may seem like a lot. But that is the amount that is believed to be needed for medical costs seeking both conventional and alternative treatment in Mexico and keeping the family home in the process. 

It has been said that life is a gift – not just in years but in minutes.  Who can put a price on life? Life is, after all, priceless. Please help us keep Gary with us. He is the rock of the family. His family needs him. 55 is too young of an age to write the final chapter of this wonderful, caring, big hearted man’s life. 

Whether you make the decision to assist in Gary’s fight for life or not, thank you for reading our plea for help for our husband, dad and friend - and may God bless you with good health and happiness always.

If you do decide to help, thank you in advance for your donation to the life of Gary Hill.

It all starts with ONE…PLEASE BE THE ONE!

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Organizer and beneficiary

Sue Terrell Grumbir 
Organizer
El Reno, OK
Carol Gatlin 
Beneficiary
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