Kellen McGraw is an outgoing, big-hearted, beautiful, and spirited young man. An exceptionally gifted artist and performer who has received a devastating blow during the COVID-19 holidays to his health and well being as well as his capacity to earn a living.
In late 2020, Kellen was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on his nose following a biopsy. A concerned dermatologist at an outpatient clinic was shocked to discover while conducting the Mohs* procedure on Kellen that the melanoma had gone far deeper than imagined. He advised Kellen that he would require an experienced surgeon to continue the Mohs* surgical procedure in order to clarify the extent and depth of the damage done by the diseased cells.
Dr. Arik Park, a good samaritan doctor just off his teaching schedule at the VA Medical Center, came after receiving an emergency call from his friend at the outpatient clinic. Dr. Park is a plastic surgeon specialized in melanoma facial reconstruction.
After conducting the more extensive Mohs surgery on Kellen's nose, Dr. Park discovered that the carcinoma was deeper than the five layers of tissue previously removed from the site and emergency nasal restructuring was needed and successfully performed on the spot.
Dr. Park identified that Kellen urgently requires a melanoma specialist, who is able to conduct extensive SPECT scans of the area, in order to remove the remainder of the affected tissue and cartilage, and properly close the wound. Kellen has already lost almost the entirety of the interior of his nose, which required extensive cutting to the exterior, due to the extent of the basal cell carcinoma.
This cancer diagnosis requires swift medical attention, more expensive tests and surgeries, and a lengthy recovery period followed by an even more sensitive period for reconstruction of the exterior nasal structure.
The potential for the melanoma to have metastasized to other locations in the body, including the brain, is what has prompted this urgent call for funds through a GoFundMe campaign. This is a life and death call to action for compassionate souls who have the wherewithal to extend a financial gift (also a 501 c 3 tax exempt donation) as well as the equally important emotional and spiritual support during one of life's most dreaded medical conditions.
The initial recovery period once all surgeries have been completed with clear margins is estimated at six months. The reconstruction period is anticipated to be an additional six months.
Kellen's mom, Christine, a cancer survivor struggling to keep her own health and life going after her workplace was closed down due to COVID-19, emptied the last of her savings, which were designated for January 2021 rent and utilities, for this emergency procedure. With that act of life saving generosity, both Christine and Kellen are now facing extreme financial and health crises.
Kellen will be residing with Christine at her home while recovering from the many procedures he requires during the next year.
I have started this GOFUND ME campaign to help mitigate the profound stress and financial devastation that this medical crisis has caused Kellen and Christine during an already crippling year within the world.
Please give what you can, whether it is a small amount or a more sizable sum.
It will be a blessing to the McGraw family and a gift that will bestow you a bounty of grace in return.
Updates on Kellen's progress will be posted on this GoFundMe Campaign page.
*According to The Skin Cancer Foundation:
Mohs surgery is considered the most effective technique for treating many basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), the two most common types of skin cancer. Sometimes called Mohs micrographic surgery, the procedure is done in stages, including lab work, while the patient waits. This allows the removal of all cancerous cells for the highest cure rate while sparing healthy tissue and leaving the smallest possible scar.
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