My friend Byron Fay II is one of the smartest, toughest, funniest friends anyone could ever have. He also has a pervasive form of cancer that has put him through my surgical procedures than I though anyone could endure. He is now looking at losing a bunch of organs, including his pancreas, spleen, small intestine, and stomach - and he just celebrated his 40th birthday.
I really want him around for birthday 41, 42, etc, etc, and he could use our help. While the Cleveland Clinic is known for a lot of things, they don't have much experience with his particular illness - the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN does, and I'll let him tell you why:
"Now I could use some help: There is a team of specialists who deal with my exact cancer. I've spoken with a nurse and two other patients from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and the things they are doing there are very promising. The procedure is the same...I'll still lose my pancreas, and most likely my spleen, small intestine, stomach and gallbladder, but the success rates there are much higher than at the Cleveland Clinic for being able to leave the healthy part of the pancreas if we can so I'm not a "brittle diabetic." Post surgically, the nursing staff is trained to spot troublesome symptoms specific to this procedure as it is a high volume center for it. The surgical team is much more familiar with the surgery specifically for MEN1 patients and the additional complications that brings. They will accept Medicaid, which is great, but Medicaid won't pay to get there.
Does anyone know of any services, charities or special organizations that can help me get to see these specialists within the next few weeks? Getting an appointment with them is not going to be the issue. We simply can't afford it the plane tickets and stay while I undergo consultations and testing. I have someone looking into it at the Mayo Clinic as well.
While I have heard that the Cleveland Clinic will be able to treat me, and while my surgeon seems quite capable, he has literally no experience with my disease while the Mayo clinic surgical team has seen hundreds over the past decade. From the support groups that I am a part of, everyone says to get to the Mayo Clinic.
Thank you so much for you input. I'm cautiously optimistic, because it could be quite literally a life saving trip and one that I owe it to Courtney to explore."
I am going to pay for his plane ticket, and we could certainly use all the help possible for free/cheap lodging, but he will also need expense money for food, etc. while there.
Can you help please? All proceeds will go directly to Byron to help pay for his expenses during treatment.
Thank you - Tamara Mitchell
- Sam Blough
- Michelle Snyder-Sunday
- Carol Rubin
Organizer and beneficiary
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