I know Robert Mitcham (a.k.a. Bob or sensei8) as a member of an online community that I manage. Over the last 13+ years, I’ve seen him help countless people, both with his knowledge and in making them feel welcome. He’s made well over 15,000 posts in that community, and I think it’s safe to say that those posts have reached hundreds of thousands of people. He has left an indelible mark on our community.
But I know that this is only my view of him. My view is only one small slice of Bob’s life, in which I know he’s touched an incredible number of people, personally and through his 50+ year study of the martial arts. I know he has a lot of friends and people who think highly of him.
For more than a year, Bob has been fighting Stage IV prostate cancer. He has been documenting this battle in a dedicated thread
, where members have offered Bob emotional support and kindness during this time, and I hope that has helped in his fight.
But he asked me to help him start a GoFundMe because he needs help in a different way. If you read the thread, you’ll find details about his struggles with insurance and the financial side of navigating a cancer diagnosis. As far too many people who have fought cancer can attest to, surviving cancer is not your only battle. You then have to tackle the bills that can pile up in the process. According to a study released by the CDC
in 2019, between the years of 2011 and 2016, 25% of cancer survivors aged 18 through 64 struggled to pay their bills.
This is the position that Bob and his family now find themselves in. He told me that even though they have tried everything they can think of to have as much of the cost covered by insurance and other programs as possible, their savings have been drained. And it is reaching a desperate point, where he was finally willing to ask for help in this way. Bob believes they may no longer be able to afford their current housing in 7 months.
Because of the ongoing nature of the fight, there is no real “goal” amount here. The goal is to survive. But mounting bills not only make it difficult to pay for treatment, they make it difficult to pay other bills that don’t stop just because you have cancer. This is a case where anything can help.
If Bob has helped you, this is a great opportunity to let him know that you appreciated it. If you can’t afford to donate, consider spreading the word. I manage an online community and Bob is a moderator, so neither of us would want you to spam anyone. But please share it in any space where you are sure it is okay to do so!
If you have any ideas or questions, please feel free to contact me or reach out to Bob directly. Thank you for taking the time to read this.