To his wife Kathy after 39 years of marriage he's all she knows. They met in high school, they were married soon after and had three children together, Jenny, Joey, and Melissa. Gary also began his career in iron work at a young age. He dedicated himself to working hard and created a comfortable life for his family. Over the years Gary has become a grandfather to four beautiful grand children and with retirement on the horizon he and Kathy purchased their dream cabin to one day live full time.
Finally in 2016 Gary retired after 40+ years of dedicated iron work. He was looking forward to spending his new found freedom at his cabin, fishing and relaxing by the river, with his wife by his side.
Unfortunately in August 2016, Gary and his family's lives were altered when Gary was diagnosed with an aggressive small cell lung cancer. As they began scans and blood work they learned it had spread to his brain and bones. He immediately started intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. On December 1st he went in for hip surgery to remove a blood cot and relieve him of constant pain when walking and sitting. Surgery went well and he was responding well to treatments... things were looking up.
However, on March 1st Gary was rushed to hospital via ambulance with stroke like symptoms, doctors found 7 brain tumors which were creating swelling in his brain. Doctors said Gary had maybe 2 months left but radiation to his brain might buy a little more time and alleviate these stroke symptoms. After radiation Gary has needed more full time care and assistance with walking, medication and staying on top of physical therapy.
During this heartbreaking journey, he has been the epitome of strength. Even as he is in a constant state of pain, Gary still manages to keep his keep his family and their wellbeing his top priority.
Now ten months after his first diagnosis, his family has fallen on financial struggles. Even with the help of health insurance, his medical bills along with other costs have been accumulating. Kathy has taken a leave from work to spend her days caring for Gary and insuring all his needs are met. As her work leave has been exhausted, she is unsure of when she will be able to return to work. Kathy is unsure if her job will still be there when she is ready to return. In the meantime, the medical bills are accumulating and income is limited.
In this unfortunate time in Gary's life, we are reaching out for any help we can provide to him and Kathy. We appreciate any amount you are able to donate in helping in his battle. Please keep him and his family in your prayers and help us spread the word.
- Louie Leon
- West Wind Reinforcing
- Joshua Hill
Organizer and beneficiary
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