Help Paul Gebhardt Beat Cancer

Iditarod musher Paul Gebhardt complained to his doctor of sore bones over the summer of 2017, not suspecting the more sinister cause of his aches and pains. After falling from a horse in September and breaking his ribs, the diagnosis took just four hours: Paul had cancer.

The cancer, 'multiple myeloma', had been quietly attacking Paul's bones, immune system, kidneys, and red blood cell count. Chemotherapy started one week later at Central Peninsula Hospital. The weekly treatments will continue for approximately four months.

Paul's body is responding unusually well to chemo, allowing him to take an entire month of treatment without the usual week-long break and continue working.

The next step in beating this disease is for Paul to receive a stem cell bone marrow transplant, using his own cells. This has to be done at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in February/March 2018. Paul is using his own cells to avoid the risk of donor rejection.

And here is the heart of the matter folks:
While Paul is currently working, and has health insurance, the insurance only covers direct treatment costs (with a copay), and none of the necessary travel or living expenses. Friends and family have asked how they can help cover those additional expenses for Paul and his daughter, Kristin, as they travel to Seattle for the transplant, which will require them both to live in quarantine for approximately eight weeks.

After the transplant, there will be follow-up treatments in both Seattle and Soldotna.

To focus on beating this cancer, Paul won't be racing the 2018 Iditarod. The core of his team will be racing with Ray Redington Jr. Paul expects to be back stronger than ever for Iditarod 2019.

Paul has run the Iditarod 21 times, placing 10th in 2017, with a total of eight top 10 finishes, placing as high as 2nd twice.

You can help Paul now with the costs that will rack up with travel and time in Seattle by contributing here, and by sharing this information to help spread the word.
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Paul Gebhardt 
Kasilof, AK
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