Hello Everyone, my name is Lucy, and I am creating this campaign on behalf of my bestest ‘boys’ Joe and C.J. 

Joe has played a very important role in my life since we were 12 years old, first as my neighbor, and forever after as one of my very best friends.  We have shared the ups and downs of the journey, as we grew older and wiser, figuring out who we were and what was important to us in this life.  Joe in particular had a difficult time coming to terms with his sexuality in a world in which bigotry and prejudice comes in all forms and fashions.

Across the valley, his unfound soulmate, C.J. was dealing with the same challenges and struggles.  After years of trying to deny their true feelings and striving to be the people that they thought others wanted them to be, each of them decided they could no longer continue living the lie.  Shortly after, they would both take a chance on a blind date with someone who shared the same struggles, and who could potentially share the same hopes and dreams.  And that is exactly what happened.  Very early on they both realized that they had found something special in the other, a kindred spirit and a best friend.  Their relationship would exemplify the fact that love knows no boundaries of race, color, nor even gender.

After 10 years of openly forging a life together and forming a family, they were able to build their dream home in Buckeye, Arizona.  Less than a year later, they would become engaged and would marry on March 21, 2018 in a small ceremony in Palm Springs, CA.  Little did they know that life as they knew it would be shattered just two months later, when they would find out that C.J. has stage IV kidney cancer during a fairly routine MRI of his spine to diagnose the cause of his acute back pain.

C.J. and Joe loved participating in a local volleyball league together every year, and looked forward to the competition and energy of the game every week during the season.  In November 2017, during one of the games, C.J. felt a pull in his back which caused him some pain and a nagging ache from that time forward.  As time went on, instead of the injury getting better it seemed to continually get worse as the weeks, and then months went by.  C.J. sought medical help a couple of times for his back pain over the following months, but was only given stretches and then prescribed physical therapy.  Yet, C.J.’s pain continued to get worse.  After the pain had become excruciating, C.J. was finally referred for imaging and received an MRI of his thoracic spine.

That MRI would change everything, as it diagnosed ‘some type’ of metastatic cancer at the T-11 vertebrae where a tumor had formed, causing a pathological fracture.  CJ was immediately referred for a PET scan and recommended to an oncologist, Dr. Zafar, for further treatment.  Unfortunately, the PET scan did not give any diagnostic information in regards to the source of the cancer, and it showed that the cancer had spread to other parts of the back, ribs, femur, hip, multiple lymph nodes, and lung.

As usual, CJ is unique and different, and we all love him for that, but unfortunately his cancer is unique and creative as well.  It is actually an anomaly of sorts, as the biopsy came back with an undetermined source, as well as the DNA testing. This testing expressed a 96% chance that it was a form of kidney cancer, yet labwork and ultrasounds of the kidneys all showed that they were fine.  Doctors from the Mayo Clinic and MD Anderson began to get involved to observe and provide input into CJ’s rare case, and although no one was able to give a definitive 100% diagnosis, a consensus was reached of Stage IV Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Amidst all of this testing and uncertainty, Joe and CJ have had to forge forward physically, mentally, and financially, and each of these areas has rapidly paid a toll on them.  From the very beginning they were forced to face very high deductibles and copays for extremely expensive doctors, procedures, and medications.  The physical toll of the cancer, radiation, and then chemotherapy quickly began to minimize CJ’s ability to work and he had to go on medical leave.  They have already had to restructure their mortgage, and make financial changes.

There is not much that we can do to help Joe and CJ through this horrific time in their lives, but what we can do is
.......help them not have to worry about one more thing!  We can help them by letting them focus on what is important,
                                    CJ GETTING BETTER! 
Anything that you can give can help with that goal, help them not have to worry about paying the mortgage, about paying for the medical bills or the chemotherapy, or taking care of their precious puppies.  An account is set up in their names and the funds are deposited directly into that account, for them to withdrawal and use as they need.  If you cannot give, please share this message, that is a gift in itself!

  • Leez May 
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • Tonya Alvitre  
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • Maria Campos 
    • $50 
    • 47 mos
  • Emili Schaeffer 
    • $50 
    • 47 mos
  • Natalie Taylor 
    • $100 
    • 47 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Lucy Mahan 
Goodyear, AZ

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