26065382_1518475302.9375_funddescriptionTHE LOVE OF MY LIFE HAS CANCER AND WE'RE ASKING FOR YOUR HELP!

Whether you know John from his early days surfing with him as a kid in Southern California or from his 4 active years of service in the Coast Guard, whether you put yourself in his capable hands as a Yacht Captain or Yacht Broker, I know you have witnessed his decency, honesty and kindness many times over.

That's what makes it so hard to write about John's diagnosis and current battle with Leukemia.

Medical Details:

As many of you know, John survived a stroke in September 2009. With determination and years of physical therapy,  his hard work paid off and he was able to remain productive and self-sufficient . On November 3, 2017 he suffered another brain hemorrhage and was taken to the local hospital after several seizures. In order to limit the dammage to his brain the medical staff put him in a coma to try to keep his trauma to a minimum.  A few days later, when his vital signs had somewhat stabilized, he was slowly taken out of his 'sleep'.

We were hopeful that John could begin physical and neurological rehabilitaion once he was awake and stable but a previously undiagnosed blood disorder kept him in reverse isolation due to the risk of developing an infection. *Reverse isolation is for the patient's safety and well being, not the community at large. Those coming in contact with him will need gloves, mask and gowns to keep any germs/virus from being passed to him.* Eventually, a bone marrow biopsy revealed he has a rare type of blood cancer called Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL) The positive news in all of this is John can survive HCL  which is a treatable form of cancer lymphoma  with a high rate of success (90%)

But John will need all the help we can give him.

The Plan:

The immediate plan for John includes chemotherapy in order to put his cancer into remission. The oral therapy schedule calls for a low dose of the prescribed medication over a 4 month period. During this time John will be extremely limited in what he can do physically due to falling blood cell counts and low energy levels. He will also continue to be in reverse isolation beacuse his immune system is compromised (due to HCL) and he is at serious risk of becoming sick.  Once he is through chemotherapy and in remision we hope to have him begin physical therapy in order to regain some strength and get as close to his pre-stroke baseline  as possible. Once he is strong enough to get to and from therapy he will also take part in a neurological rehab program.

All this means John is going to require full-time assistance with daily routines that you and I take for granted and his stroke compounds the challenge of battling cancer. John remains positive and full of grit but this is going to be a very tough road on both of us. I am currently on a medical leave from my job due to an injury and have been going to physio-therapy but my hope is to be able to leave work and care for my amazing husband throughout all his various therapies and rehabilitation for the next 6-8 months. The challenge we face is the looming interruption of income and extra physical home-support expenses due to my physical limitations.  A friend suggested we start a Go Fund Me campaign to help John meet the goals outlined above.

Where is my money going?

Any funds raised will be dedicated to assist with John's treatment, remission and recovery and for caregiver support in areas that I am not physically able to provide for him myself.  We also hope to purchase an in-home (rehab) exercise bike, a lightweight wheelchair & scooter and modify our vehicle(if possible) to transport the same. We will also likely need to modify the rear entry to our home to include a ramp for SAFE and easy access and also remodel our (only) bathroom with  safety and personal hygiene features. When completed, John will be able to enter the bathroom on his own and roll right into the shower.

I have tabled the cost of living expenses, additional physical caregiver support, medical hardware, Rx, travel/rehab, & the aformentioned modifications and I estimate we need to raise $60K to assist John and myself over the next 6-8 months. Every gift, no matter the size will help us. Your SUPPORT allows John to focus exclusively on his recovery and allows me to remain by his side every step of the way withought looming physical or financial stress.

Please reach out to John via email to remind him we are all pulling for him.

Thank you for being there for John and I in our quest to cure his Cancer and recover from his stroke.

Our motto is "We Got This"  

I will keep you posted and THANK YOU for reading John's story!

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Julie Williams-Meade 
Chemainus, BC
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