Hi everyone. Thank you for taking the time to read our story. Our names are Nick, Chris, and Natalie, and we want to tell you about our father, Nicholas Küntz, and his battle against cancer.
After a biopsy in October, our dad was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor at the base of his tongue. We understand this may come as a shock to friends and family, as the initial decision was to keep the situation private.
We have come to the understanding that mental, physical, and emotional support is the key to his recovery. We are reaching out to you now for your support.
Our father is one heck of a guy. In light of the diagnosis, his attitude was neither defeatist nor apathetic. With spirit and positivity ignited, he resolved to defeat this disease, and we rallied behind him.
A resident of Toms River, New Jersey, Nick balances most of his time between running a video & production business, and being the primary caretaker of his 94-year-old mother, who suffers from severe arthritis throughout her entire body, and dementia.
For someone who has helped others in many avenues of their lives, we want to do whatever we can to help him. Now we need your help!
Our father's voice is very important to him. His love of music & theater has left an indelible mark on his life, and ours. After studying Theatre Arts, English, Music, and Art at Webster University, Class of 1972, Nick moved back to New Jersey, and spent his free-time singing and playing guitar at local coffee houses and bars. It was here that he met our mother, Carla. Two artistic voices created a home filled with creativity, and love.Unfortunately, our home is no stranger to cancer. In a war that spanned a decade, our mother battled & beat breast cancer in 2004, only to then be diagnosed & treated for a rare neuro-endocrine tumor in her pancreas in 2010. The cancer returned four years later, and in late July of 2014, our mother passed away with us by her side. Blessed by her life, her courage, and her overwhelming light, especially in the face of this disease, she continues to inspire us.In May of last year, our dad began to notice a swelling in his throat and noticeable change in his voice. He immediately consulted his primary physician and was prescribed a successive round of antibiotics, which did little to quell his symptoms. Two months later, a follow-up ENT appointment led him to a CT scan which outlined a suspicious and an ‘inseparable mass’ at the base of his tongue. We were relieved when the biopsy came back negative for cancer.
Summer came and went, and our father still felt no relief. So, on the first day of September, he took a trip up to Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia. A second biopsy in October brought a new diagnosis. This is when we found out the mass was malignant.
Nick was diagnosed with Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in situ.
Thankfully it has not penetrated to lower level tissue, nor has it caused any issues with any other organs, glands or other part of his mouth, as of yet.
(Because our father has dealt with Psoriasis for most of his adult life, in early 2017 he was enrolled in a trial phase of a biologic Psoriasis medication. The running theory is that since this medication suppresses the immune system, this condition was able to come to the forefront and take hold. The growth of this problem in his throat directly correlates to the time that he was receiving monthly injections of this medication.)
Without our mom on this earth, our dad is our rock, and it’s hard to imagine a world without him.
After many appointments, and great help from the amazing doctors, associates, and staff at Penn Medicine, Nick was approved for Proton Therapy Radiation Treatment. Proton Therapy is one of science's most precise form of cancer radiation, and the Roberts Proton Therapy Center is the largest and most advanced facility in the world for proton therapy.
Nick's treatment began on December 19th, 2017, and is to run through February 5th, 2018.
The Cost of Care is Expensive. Though he is insured, co-pays, deductibles, nutrition, travel expenses, loss of work, prescription costs, and alternative treatments not covered by insurance, when added to the cost of living and caring for a dependent, is formidable.
Unforeseen Complications. At the start of his second week in treatment, a 3-car accident left his new car totaled after leaving radiation. Because he was financing his car, and the monies paid out by the insurance company do not cover the total price, we are still in need of paying the remainder of the loan back to the bank (approximately $3000) and securing another vehicle for our father.
Financial resources are limited. All donations received go directly toward care and support. We want to ensure that financial matters are the least of our dad's concerns.
We are asking for your help to support our Dad on this Campaign to Silence Cancer!
Our dad is approximately halfway through this treatment, so donations can be used immediately and throughout the duration of his care.
It doesn’t matter how small or large, every donation helps.
We understand that not everyone can provide monetary relief, but do know that any positive thought or prayer goes a long way!
We hope to update you with good news!
Thank you for your love and support!!
- Mike Cruz
- Samantha Kimple
- Allie LaPorte
- Marian Griffith