TeamTomberlin-ICE Rob's Cancer!

Please Join Team Tomberlin To Ice Rob Tomberlin's Cancer! The Tomberlin Family – Rob, Jackie, Tyler and Haley – needs our help! As Haley recently wrote in a letter about her dad, Rob, "We heard something you never want to hear. My dad has cancer."

 We (a group of Jackie's high school friends) have organized this page in the hope that everyone will please join us in helping the Tomberlins with medical and illness-related expenses and the other financial impacts of this illness – and to Put Rob's Cancer On Ice.

 This is a team mission for hockey families and non-hockey families alike! We know that many of you know the Tomberlins from the family's many hours in hockey arenas over the years, and we hope you'll pitch in if you can. We also know that the Tomberlins have many friends from other facets of their life – softball, childhood, college, work and church. We ask you all to join forces with us. For more information about Rob's story and/or how you can help, please read on, or skip right on down to "How Team Tomberlin Can Help" at the bottom of this page, or kindly make a donation.  The Tomberlins appreciate every kindness in word or action and cannot thank everyone enough! Thank you to all!

Rob's Medical Situation In The Past Year:  As some of you already know, the last year has been a surreal and sometimes overwhelming ride of unrelenting illness, pain and medical mystery. Sadly, in early July, Rob was diagnosed with Soft Tissue Sarcoma, a rare form of sarcoma affecting only 2% of the population, after nearly a year of multiple medical symptoms, opinions and missed diagnoses,  an unnecessary second hip replacement surgery, worsening physical symptoms and missed days of work due to medical appointments, surgery, reduced mobility and pain.

 It all started in August 2017 when Rob began experiencing pain. Because he had a hip replacement in 2012, Rob went to an orthopedic surgeon to assess the replacement joint. The Physician's Assistant suggested that Rob consult with a spine doctor, as the hip "looked good" on his CT scan. Rob saw a second medical professional who, after reviewing the CT scan, mentioned the presence of a soft tissue mass that might be metallosis (a condition involving build-up of metal debris in the body's soft tissues that occurs when metal components of joint replacements abrade against one another) but encouraged Rob to get a second opinion before seeing a spine specialist.

The second opinion led to a needle biopsy to assess for cancer. The doctor's diagnosis was that the mass was consistent with metallosis, and he recommended removal of the previous hip joint. In February of this year Rob had a new hip joint placed. The soft tissue mass was not removed as it was explained that it would "absorb."

Unfortunately, the mass continued to grow (at a rate of up to 1" per month), and Rob's pain and mobility problems affecting his ability to walk worsened. These issues often prevented Rob from working. After discussion with multiple doctors, and further imaging studies, the family fully believed that Rob had a soft tissue mass that could be surgically removed.  

Rob  works hard and often works overtime at the Post Office. So, eager to get back on his feet and back to work, Rob scheduled surgery (in June) to remove the soft tissue mass. Another unexpected turn . . . only minutes after Rob was wheeled into surgery, the surgeon appeared in the waiting room with unimaginable news for Jackie and the families: The mass could not be removed; it was not a soft tissue mass but a firm mass. Rob's hope to obtain relief from the constant pain and significantly reduced mobility wasn't in his near future. Further testing brought the devastating news of Rob's diagnosis of Soft Tissue Sarcoma.  

Where Things Stand Now: Rob began to see a sarcoma specialist at the University of Minnesota. Again, another hurdle - after a day and a half of consulting with the Radiation Oncologist and being set up for radiation treatment, there was more bad news. Rob's tumor was so large that the Medical Oncologist recommended immediate, potent chemotherapy treatment.  

Rob began a very potent, aggressive chemotherapy regimen on Friday, July 20th and will need 4 or 5 rounds of this protocol, followed by surgery in mid-November or December - depending on whether he needs the 5th round.   

Aside from this aggressive chemotherapy and its many side effects, the plan is to follow Rob's chemo with surgery to remove the tumor, which will require a week-long hospitalization . . . to be followed by 4-6 weeks of rehabilitation, to be followed by a 6-week round of radiation . . . to be followed by more chemo.

 Rob's diagnosis and complicated history and extended treatment prevent him from working, and he has been on unpaid leave since June 18th. In fact, he has been told not to expect to work for a year. Additionally, Rob's undiagnosed condition caused him to miss a lot of time from work in the 10 months spent seeking a diagnosis, including two months off for his second hip replacement. All of this depleted his entire vacation and sick bank before he went on his current unpaid leave in June. On top of all that, Rob's long-term disability does not go into effect for a year. That's right: His long-term disability insurance does not kick in for a year!  

How TeamTomberlin Can Help: Many have asked how they can help. Jackie continues to work as a nurse, but we all can imagine the financial impact this type of diagnosis and the accompanying medical and illness-related expenses and unpaid leave from work can have on a family. This is even more so for the Tomberlins. The long waiting period for his long-term disability insurance is compounding the family's situation. 

- If You Are Able, Please Contribute To Help With Medical and Illness-Related Expenses By Clicking On The Donation Button – The Tomberlins need our help! We are trying to raise $125,000 to help the family. We know and understand this is a significant amount, but, added together, the impact of expenses related to medical treatment and other illness-related expenses, lost time from work and the very long waiting period for disability insurance payments is also significant. Anything you are able to contribute, no matter the amount, will be of great help. You can remain anonymous if you choose, or if you like, please leave messages of encouragement with your contribution.

 - Please Share This Page On Your Social Media and Email – Please help us get the word out by publicly sharing this page on all your social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Please be sure your page is set to "public" if you share on Facebook. You can share on Instagram by using the picture of the Tomberlins from this page, and by copying the link for this page ( in your bio of your Instagram account. Also, please share by email to people you know who know the Tomberlins but who are not on social media.

- Please Follow Rob's Page On CaringBridge and Sign Up Under "Ways To Help" If You Can – Rob's Caring Bridge page is at: 

- Thank You!!! – Thank you to everyone from Rob, Jackie, Tyler and Haley and this page's organizers. The Tomberlins are grateful for everyone's thoughts, prayers, support, encouragement, help, generosity and love to this point.
  • Patrick Grecinger 
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 48 mos
  • John Sitarz 
    • $500 
    • 48 mos
  • Molly Johnson 
    • $25 
    • 48 mos
  • Julie King Diedrich 
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Colleen Davenport-Adiyia 
Minneapolis, MN
Jacqueline Tomberlin 

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