*Many of you know David by the nickname given to him at birth, “Tiger”. We will use his nickname in the following campaign:
It all started with a little back pain:
Tiger started his new dream job on Monday, March 16, 2020. Like many of us, he was working remotely. About a month later he started to develop some annoying back pain. Many of us can relate to the back pain that "working from home" created--cramped spaces, uncomfortable chairs, etc. Tiger's back pain persisted and grew increasingly worse.
On Tuesday, June 16 he had a spinal X-ray, and to our surprise, the radiologist saw a compression fracture in his thoracic spine. On June 18, he had an MRI of the spine and our lives changed forever.
As we were driving home from the MRI, our doctor called and told us to turn around and go immediately to a hospital specializing in spine injuries because the MRI showed a spinal tumor. He was concerned the spine could further destabilize and cause more serious damage. He was admitted there for 8 days and, while he did not remain at the spine hospital, he has not been home since.
What came next:
While in the first hospital, more scans were done. The doctors speculated it was kidney cancer that had metastasized to the spine but would not know definitively until an interventional radiologist conducted a biopsy. There was a delay of at least a week to get the biopsy because Covid had backed up such procedures.
Knowing it was likely cancer, we started pushing for a transfer to world-renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. And within a couple days, Tiger was admitted to MSKCC into the neurosurgery unit due to the spinal tumors, and then the real process of diagnosing and treatment began.
In early July, the love of my life, my active, energetic and seemingly healthy 56-year old husband was diagnosed with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer) Stage 4. He had no symptoms other than intense back pain. We realized we were going to need a lot of emotional support to navigate this…thus, the advent of TEAM TIGER.
Tiger’s treatment at MSKCC:
During his time at MSKCC, Tiger had multiple surgeries to stabilize his spine in the thoracic and lumbar regions as well as the femur where the tumors grew. He had numerous rounds of radiation to reduce the multiple tumors and two treatments of immunotherapy to fight the kidney cancer. He has been largely immobile since the surgeries but was starting to work with PT to regain strength while at MSKCC. Pain has been the theme throughout this entire ordeal. As bad and as sad and life altering as the diagnosis has been, the pain from the cancer, the tumors, the treatments has been the hardest.
On August 1st, yet another unexpected adjustment...he was told that his company could no longer keep his job for him as he was ineligible for additional leave or FMLA. Now unemployed and ineligible for benefits, not knowing what the future holds, he gathered up his courage and continued to keep in the fight.
Transfer to Rehab:
On August 13, since there was little more MSKCC could do for him in-patient, and he needed more intensive physical therapy; he was transferred to a subacute facility to begin the rehabilitation process to regain mobility. Covid safety precautions prevent visitors at the facility, so he has not seen his family in weeks. Since insurance will limit his time in the rehab facility to possibly another week, we must act now to make preparations for his transition back to our home.
How YOU can help support TEAM TIGER:
As a former US Marine, he has incredible resiliency and strength. Each day he has fought valiantly. He has been the model of courage, fortitude and persistence in the face of adversity.
We know his “fighting spirit” will continue in earnest and he WILL walk again and REGAIN quality of life….he will take his fur baby (and wife) for walks, enjoy his gardens, bake his famous breads, grow his hot peppers, see his family and friends again, etc.
Tiger has a huge network of colleagues and friends who want to “do something” for him. This GoFundMe is a great option, in addition to a phone call or email to Tiger as he would love to hear from you. If you cannot donate to TEAM TIGER, you are still part of the team by keeping him in your thoughts and prayers!
With the loss of his salary and some medical/healthcare-related expenses not covered or only partially covered by insurance, we are asking for ANY amount of monetary contribution to help defray these expenses. We will have significant out-of-pocket costs to adapt our home (exterior and interior) to accommodate for Tiger’s mobility needs.
· Expenses include the rental of a portable shower, upgrades to the standard home hospital bed and wheelchair for comfort and pain reduction, basic supply needs, and expenses associated with transportation to his immunotherapy treatments, scans and doctor’s appointments.
· Some of our most immediate needs are to install an exterior wheelchair ramp which is estimated to cost $10,500 not covered by insurance (those of you who know our house, know that it has a steep incline, which means more ramp) as well as threshold and interior ramps on the first floor of the house.
We know that this is a terrible time for so many, and we truly appreciate any assistance you can provide. If you are unable to assist monetarily, please share our page with others.
Tiger has been a positive, influential part of countless people’s lives. He has left an enduring mark on many with his kindness, generosity, and good humor. His contributions in his decades-long leadership roles in client/customer relations in SaaS and technology fields are estimable. He is known and respected for his caring and wise mentoring of numerous team members over the years as he assisted them on their own professional journeys.
And let’s not forget his years of providing awesome gourmet tailgate experiences at West Point for the Army home football and lacrosse games!
On a personal note, he is an amazing partner, best friend, staunch supporter and cheer leader, wise advisor, and awesome puppy dad!
I am Tiger’s wife, Sarah Fowler-Rogers, and I have started this campaign in an effort to raise funds to cover items mentioned above to aid in Tiger’s comfort and quality of life at home. I will post updates here to keep you informed of his progress.
Go TEAM TIGER!