When friends need help, true friends step up to the plate. This message and GoFundMe page is being set up by friends, and on behalf of friends, of Gord and Cindy Somerville.
Gord and Cindy need our help now. Most are aware of Gord’s diagnosis of brain cancer just under a year ago and some of his treatments and struggles since the diagnosis. However some may not be aware of the full story and why we are asking for support at this time. Note: Gord’s journey was also profiled in the June issue of the Ontario Golf Superintendents’ Association magazine – see photo below and link to magazine - https://www.ogsa.ca/Portals/0/OGSA_ONCourse_June-2019_Web.pdf Gord was diagnosed on September 29, 2018, with a grade 4 glioblastoma. It has been a long ten months for him between recovering from his neurosurgery, 7 weeks of radiation therapy in Toronto, chemotherapy, numerous MRI’s, blood work, doctor’s appointments, and trips to the emergency department. Gord has faced each of these challenges with a positive attitude and the love and support of family and friends.
After the first round of chemotherapy, Gord found out that the treatment was not successful and a second chemotherapy treatment was set up; however Gord recently learned that this treatment is no longer effective. The tumour is resistant. This news was devastating to Gord and Cindy.
Gord has been given the opportunity to start a new medication called “Avastin”, in fact his first injection is on August 1, 2019.
Avastin: Internet research indicates that Avastin® (bevacizumab) works differently than chemotherapy. Avastin is a tumor-starving (anti-angiogenic) therapy. The purpose of Avastin is to prevent the growth of new blood vessels. This includes normal blood vessels and blood vessels that feed tumors. Reports also indicate that Avastin reduces brain swelling and assists to improve the overall quality of life. We want this for Gord!
Treatment is not free. Gord and Cindy are required to pay $1300.00 per treatment and payment is due prior to the medication being released. Treatment will be required every 2 to 3 weeks for a period of time that is unclear at this point but it could be long term.
More about the Somerville’s and why support is required ASAP: · It is important to first acknowledge who Gord and Cindy are as people. Truly giving and supportive people who maintain a large group of friends and family. They foster each relationship and have always given of themselves to others, including the community of Courtice. They are also wonderful parents to their adult children Kailey and Andrew, and fur-son Nelson; a very close family who spend a great deal of time together.
· Both Gord and Cindy have been self-employed for many years. Gord was forced to retire after his diagnosis, no longer able to continue with his painting business. The community of Courtice knows Cindy as the owner of the retail store, “It’s Worth Repeating”. Cindy is unable to focus on the business and is away from her store on a regular basis to support Gord. Cindy held a second position as a Corporate Trip Director; however she gave this role up as she was not able to continue with the travel demands after Gord’s diagnosis. Being self-employed, they do not have benefits to cover the cost of medication or sick leaves. The financial stress of being self-employed and covering the cost of treatment and everything that goes with it (travel, parking, meals, accommodation), has taken a toll and now there are a new round of expenses that may be long term.
· Gord and Cindy recently moved from Stoney Lake back to Courtice and downsized to free up assets and to be close to friends and medical support. They have been proactive and done everything they can on their own. They are now, however, in need of our support in order for Gord to access the Avastin treatment he requires to continue this battle.
· Kailey and Andrew are super supportive of their parents. Kailey lives in Vancouver and has traveled home several times over the past year so there are extra costs for this family to be together.
· Finally, Cindy is a breast cancer survivor of 8 years. So this is “round two” for this family which seems very unfair.
Gord is an inspiration in the way he is handling his illness, with his openness, and his positive outlook on life. Gord and Cindy as a team are role models for all couples and families dealing with life changing illnesses. They are loved and supported by many friends and family members.
Gord and Cindy need our support, now, and into the future. Our target goal at this point represents one year of treatment. Please donate what you can. (Note: you can reach out directly to Cindy regarding donation alternatives).
Danielle La Charite
Fundraising team: Friends supporting the Somervilles (6)