We have extended this campaign to assist Robert in paying for his monthly treatment for his cancer. Every month Robert needs to travel to MD Anderson in Houston in order to get the monthly treatment that has extended his life beyond the life expectancy for people with his very rare leukenia. Each monthly trip costs at least $1,500 and is not covered by insurance. In addition Robert has had his monthly pension payout reduced by $1300 making these necessary life extending treatment beyond his means.
Robert Gillespie is a single dad who has been battling cancer since 2012, when he was diagnosed with a very rare leukemia. He needs your help to continue to fight for his life and provide for his 11-year-old son, Marco. This type of blood cancer is incurable but can be slowed by very aggressive chemotherapy, which has left him with permanent physical damage and unable to work, which in turn has affected his health insurance and his expenses. Complications with this cancer include organ damage and weakening the body’s ability to fight other cancers. This forced Robert to undergo heart surgery, while the development of two new cancers necessitated surgeries to remove large tumors from his face and colon. Because of the rarity of his cancer, Robert began receiving treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which has the leading experts in his type of cancer. In fall 2016, he spent weeks in the hospital and made a recovery from what his doctors thought were terminal complications. In 2017, doctors began to suspect that his cancer had triggered the onset of ALS, which is still being confirmed, making walking and daily activities difficult. Robert's illness has affected his three biggest passions: being a single dad to the amazing Marco, traveling, and his involvement with DC United. Within soccer circles, he is called "Big Rob," a well-known member of the DC United supporters’ community since 1996. As one of the elders of the Barra Brava, Rob's unmistakable presence on the sidelines of matches has been one of the most enduring images of DC's fanbase. Away from matches, Rob has been deeply involved with countless charity fundraising events by both DC United and DCU supporters groups, including raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. His illness necessitated a move to Oregon in 2016, to get help from family to take care of Marco. His treatment, the limits of health insurance, and the cost of taking care of himself and his son have chewed up all his savings. His pension is roughly half his former income and his life savings has vanished. In 2018, he lost his health insurance and was forced to suspend treatment in order to try and avoid losing his home and car. We want to make sure Robert gets back into treatment so he is around for Marco as long as possible. In the fall of 2018, he has three trips to Houston scheduled, including a surgery. We’re trying to raise money to help Rob with uncovered costs for his ongoing care and for living expenses for himself and his son. Diagnostic tests alone on these trips range from $4,500-$12,000 which even when he had insurance could be $2,500 out of pocket. Out-of-pocket costs for monthly treatment can be as high as $18,000 depending on length of stay. Travel alone can be $1,500+. If you know Robert at all, you know of his generosity for others. Now is our chance to be generous to him. Please do what you can to help! #TuPutaMadreCancer