Donations will go to help paying mounting hospital expenses, medications, cancer treatments, possible relocation expenses in order to move closer to facilities that can provide long term treatment solutions and for overall quality of life expenses.
Get well cards can be mailed to: P.O. Box 203 La France, SC 29656
Below is a message from my wife Melissa Mateo Blank
I am a 38-year old from Connecticut, I teach at Tri-County Technical College in South Carolina, and I have brain cancer. As an English Instructor at the local community college, I have helped over a thousand students develop their critical thinking, writing, and analytical skills. Even though I do not have children of my own, I have developed relationships with hundreds of students over the course of my career, and as I sit here, I can think of my students who were combat veterans, single parents, orphans, homeschool students, rodeo competitors, farmers, fashion models, business owners, computer programmers, nurses, poets and philosophers. My students are people who are important to me. They may not always realize it, but they make a huge difference in my life. I have learned just as much from my students as I hope they have learned from me.
This summer, my ability to continue helping students was put on hold when I suddenly developed a weird headache that just would not let up. After weeks of doctors ignoring my insistence that something was wrong, I ended up at the ER where a doctor finally listened to me. A CT scan revealed that I had a mass on my brain, and the next thing I knew, I was being transported to a hospital with a rockstar neurosurgeon who would remove this tumor from my head. Within six weeks, I had 2 craniotomies (one to remove the tumor, and the second one to wash out a post-operative infection that developed below the skull where the tumor was removed), 3 hospital stays covering 17 days, and 2 allergic reactions to antibiotics, all of which made it incredibly difficult for me to ever feel like I am more than my diagnosis . (click link to view my blog)
My life forever changed when I was diagnosed with Glioblastoma. I have done so many great things in my life; I married my best friend, I've gone skydiving, I've moved across the country just for a change of scenery, I've taken countless road trips around the United States, and I earned my Master's degree in English. The thing is that I am not done yet. I had certain ideas about what was in my future. I had hoped in a couple of years I would be vacationing in Germany, 5 to 10 years from now, a PhD in English literature, 15 years from now, celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with my husband, and 20 years from now, who knows what I could be doing. But this diagnosis changed everything, and the reality is that right now any donation will improve my chances of having that future and help my quality of life for this journey ahead of me.
I have just begun this fight that will last for the rest of my life.
ICU After 1st brain surgery.
Recovering from 1st surgery
Radiation treatment #30
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