Greg Foley, 53, is a working newspaper editor helping to raise a 15-year-old daughter in the mountains of central Idaho. He is seeking assistance for mounting medical bills and travel costs related to his diagnosis and ongoing treatment for multiple myeloma
, a very serious form of blood cancer in which malignant plasma cells from the bone marrow multiply, form tumors and damage the body’s bones and organs. There is no established cure but there are very promising treatments available.
Greg’s journey started in March 2017, when it was discovered that a malignant tumor growing in his spine broke one of his central vertebrae. The tumor was treated with five weeks of radiation therapy and was eventually eliminated, but the underlying condition progressed. Now, imaging and chemical testing have shown that Greg has damaging cancer growing on bones in several parts of his body, including his spine, scapula, pelvic region and thighs.
In May, Greg’s oncologists in Boise and Seattle determined that he should receive a lengthy course of treatment that will hopefully put him into remission for an extended period of time. The treatment calls for five to six months of chemotherapy, followed by stronger chemotherapy to kill his body’s bone marrow and lingering cancer cells. That procedure will be followed by a complicated blood stem-cell transplant in Seattle (to establish new bone marrow) and a lengthy period of being quarantined near a hospital, because his immune system will be highly compromised.
Three days after Greg started chemotherapy in June, one of the drugs triggered a severe infection in his gastrointestinal tract. After being hospitalized, the condition worsened and Greg had to have emergency surgery to address a potentially life-threatening case of sepsis, delaying chemotherapy for several months.
As he continues to work, Greg is now facing a second surgery on his GI tract before recommencing chemotherapy and the ensuing treatments for cancer. The entire process will take close to a year, with frequent travel from his rural area of residence to Boise (a three-hour drive) and Seattle (an 11-hour drive). Since 2017, he has incurred medical bills and travel costs in the tens of thousands of dollars, and now faces higher bills in the coming months. The gross costs of the treatments run into the several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Greg has medical insurance, but still faces mounting bills (estimated at more than $20,000) for deductible payments, doctor and prescription co-pays, non-qualifying medical services and tests, travel, and having to temporarily relocate to Boise or Seattle for his stem-cell transplant and recovery. At that time, Greg will likely be away from home for about six weeks and could miss up to three months of work.
By summer 2020, Greg hopes to be in remission and back to full strength, ready to live life to the fullest and climb more mountains. Any level of assistance that friends can provide is abundantly appreciated!