Dear family and friends,
It is with deep regret and sadness that I announce the passing of Gary Ilustre, my loving husband, the only love of my life, my constant source of strength, and the most gentle, and wonderful person one could ever know, ever ready to lend a hand that he would drop anything to help someone in need.
It has been barely 2 weeks since Gary got diagnosed with advanced stage of liver cancer that malignant cells were found in his liver and other vital organs as he had been experiencing bouts of excruciating abdominal pains just recently. Due to the severity and poor prognosis of his cancer, he deteriorated faster than anyone anticipated, leaving all of us in a state of shock, devastated and heartbroken.
At around 4:15 pm of January 29th this year, he finally joined our Creator, surrounded by our 2 daughters, our grandchildren, and his ever loyal, 2 childhood best friends, as we both held hands during his last breath.
At this juncture, I would like to thank everyone (known and anonymous people with generous and kind hearts) for all the financial and moral support, the offered prayers and the overflowing love you all have shown since the time when Gary was fearlessly battling against the ugliest and deadliest form of disease called CANCER until his last few moments here on earth.
Much like there are no words to describe the magnificent person we lost, there is no way to describe the way our family feels of his untimely demise. As a grieving widow, I have been placed with the worst possible burden of losing a loving husband and a lifetime partner, along with enormous medical costs accrued that we need to pay due to the loss of our insurance coverage. Additionally, Gary did not have life insurance and our family is struggling and unprepared to pay for his cremation and funeral services.
We want no family or friend to feel an obligation. We understand how hard it is to stay ahead financially these days but anything anyone has to contribute is beyond helpful and will be greatly appreciated. Anything at all will surely go a long way.
All funds that will be collected is intended to cover for his cremation and funeral services so Gary’s last wish that his ashes to be brought back home to the Philippines will be fulfilled.
With a grateful heart, I thank you all for your kindness and generosity.
For I know the plans I have for you, "declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
My name is Loida Ilustre. I am the beloved wife of Gary Ilustre. It is with great hope that I am reaching out to all of you to read my story.
Gary and I have been together since we were in highschool and we’ve been married for over 45 years. He is the love of my life, my lifetime partner, and my constant source of strength.
I came home last week after attending my mother's funeral back in the Philippines seeing my husband not feeling very well and I knew something was not right.
Gary was complaining of unbearable stomach pain that led him to have difficulty sleeping for several days. My husband was adamant to seek medical attention because we lost our Medicaid insurance coverage. We tried our best to get our insurance reactivated but it got denied (this week we are in the process of re-application and currently the status is still pending).
As days go by, his condition was getting worse causing him so much pain, loss of appetite, sudden weight loss and lack of energy.
I am fervently praying to God that we remain steadfast in our faith in HIM and He will give us courage and strength to accept and embrace this unfortunate situation we are facing.
Despite our present predicament, we are still blessed with great friends working in the medical field who helped us took Gary to the hospital and finally, he was able to receive urgent medical attention.
After undergoing numerous tests, just last night we found out that Gary has stage 4 cancer of the liver which now has spread to his lungs. His condition is terminal.
In the blink of an eye, our lives have been turned upside down, we are in a state of shock and feel very devastated.
Despite the grim prognosis of his medical condition, Gary is fighting very hard and staying strong to survive and I am trying my best to do the same as well.
Anyone who has a pleasure of meeting Gary knows how kind hearted he truly is. Gary is the strongest, most hard-working, and selfless person I have ever known. He is someone who is always there to give his love and support to anyone that needs it.
Both Gary and I are doing freelance work. Last year, we both worked together in a fishing boat in Alaska. I am currently doing a part time job as a caregiver and before this happened to Gary, he was doing a construction job in Denver, Colorado. Even if we both have jobs, freelance work means we don't have any company benefits, paid sick time off, vacation or disability. If he is unable to work, he does not receive any wages. With this major medical setback there will be a significant loss of income.
It isn't easy to bear the harsh reality that we need financial help. Having to ask from anyone for help is hard
but we are humbly accepting donations. We need help paying for Gary's medical bills and our everyday living expenses such as rent, food, and other necessary expenses. My focus is to help him stay afloat and comfortable during this time. Anything you can donate will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your support and generosity. Thank you for taking the time to donate to Gary's cause. It will show how many people are here for him and we will fight this with him.
We are grateful to our family and friends who are praying for us, offering help with anything and everything.
Gary with his childhood friends Dr. Paul Parcon and Bong Diago.
- Laura Lambert
- John Talamor
- Ann Stein
- Romulo Amara
- Phil/Edith Barut
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