I am requesting your assistance, on behalf of my parents, to help them take care of my brother, Greg, who as you all know, is fighting Hodgkin's Lymphoma. My parents are doing their best to manage extra expenses...from a special cutting board, to safety equipment for the bathroom, to pain creams, organic foods, and medical food (i.e., a drink that takes the place of food when he can't eat), to extra food in general. Due to the effects of chemo, Greg is going through daily changes with respect to what he can eat and not eat, which is causing high food bills as they do their best to figure out what he can keep down, in order to meet his nutritional needs. Greg has also moved in with my mother, so that she can help him through this fight, which means a higher utility bill. Frequent trips to and from the hospital and doctor appointments also mean higher expenses for gas. Treatment is expected to last at least another 6-7 months. As a result of the chemo's side effects, Greg is not able to work currently and is on a very low, fixed income; therefore, he can only help with these extra expenses but so much.
100% of your gifts* will go toward expenses covered by my parents, as well as any medical expenses that are not covered by Greg's medical insurance.
I thought it best that you hear about his fight directly from him...please read his story below:
"On June 2nd of this year, I started to feel my right leg swell up. I had gone to the beach earlier that day and assumed it was from mosquito bites. I didn't think anything of it and put aloe on the redness. The next day I took Benadryl, thinking it may be allergies. In the weeks to come, I noticed that some nights, my right leg appeared swollen, compared to my left. In the mornings the swelling would go down, so I kept going to work thinking that the swelling would just go away after a while. After a few weeks, I started to get a sharp pain and as days passed, I started to walk with a limp. Honestly, I was fighting the idea that something may actually be wrong with me.
On June 18th, I went to work with a limp, and all I could think about was getting off early so I could go to the hospital. A few times during my shift, I had to run to the bathroom because I started getting dizzy and seeing black spots. That's when I knew something was wrong. I got off work and rushed to the hospital before I felt anything else. Once I got there, I didn’t wait any longer than 15 minutes before I saw a doctor. They told me they would need to do an x-ray. Once I was done, I sat in the waiting area thinking they would just give me medication for the swelling and I would be back to work the next day. When they came back, they said they had to admit me because some of the images were "alarming" to them. My heart dropped. I thought maybe I was going to lose my leg. I wondered if I waited too long to see a doctor. Over the next 8 days, they did test after test, taking so many blood samples, that I lost count. I was prescribed different medications almost daily, as they tried to figure out what was actually going on with me. My body suffered the consequences of taking so many different medications, that ultimately I never needed, as tests came back inconclusive or negative. I began to get very weak and was not able to keep any food down. The worry continued to build up, since I wasn't getting any definite answers. Finally, they said they needed to do a biopsy of my lymph nodes because they believed that is what was causing my pain. Then...
June 26th, the day my whole world flipped upside down. Early that morning, I had four doctors come into my hospital room and tell me that I have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer that affects the lymph nodes. At that moment, I had no idea the number of doctor appointments I had in my future, the intense pain that would come with bone marrow testing, the shots, the scans, the transfusions, and the port that would be surgically implanted in my chest...all in preparation to begin chemo treatments. Dealing with everything has been emotionally, physically, and mentally challenging...by far, the roughest journey of my life.
July 20th was the first time I was alone since I was admitted into the hospital over a month and a half before. My first chemotherapy treatment was scheduled to start in three days. I cried so hard, as reality began to hit me and what I would have to go through in the months to come. Just the thought of what chemo could do to my body brought so much fear. Given the fact that I've had a low immune system my entire life, I knew it could be dangerous for me. I realized that I’m human and it's OK to be scared of going through chemo...but I also knew I needed to be strong. Thankfully, I've had friends and family supporting me every step of the way.
I would like to take the opportunity to remind you that you should never take your life for granted. If you ever feel like anything is not quite right with your body, even the slightest thing, do not wait too long to get checked out. If you have a family member that makes excuses not to go to the doctor, don't give up, keep pushing them...it could save their life!
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you find it in your heart to help me, thank you, thank you, thank you! I can never say enough how grateful I would be."
Since writing his story, Greg has had 3 chemo treatments and is in good spirits. The first two chemo rounds resulted in long hospital stays due to the incredible pain that results from one of the chemo meds. Believe it or not, the pain is supposed to mean the medication is working. He just had his 3rd round today, and fingers crossed, he won't have to go to the hospital this time! On behalf of Greg, myself, and the rest of our family, thank you for all of your prayers, donations, and well wishes!
*Note: Your gifts are for the benefit of an individual, and not a charity organization. As such, your gift is not tax-deductible.
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