My brother, Sean Bates, was diagnosed with cancer on August 29th, 2020.
At the beginning of the year Sean had some pain, severe depression, fatigue, and swelling in his neck. He went to a doctor and they slowly started to run through a list of tests for basic things like mono.. however everything kept coming back negative. Then they began some blood tests and those noted a lower than expected white blood cell count - but they still just weren't sure as to why. Tests were moving very slowly and results were taking forever to get back due to Covid-19. All the time his health was deteriorating more and more.
After a few months of tests and feeling absolutely awful - Sean was in really rough shape. He made the difficult decision to leave his home in Kansas City to move back to St. Louis to be with family. In a regular year this would have been challenging, during a pandemic this was beyond difficult an overwhelming - he was leaving his friends and relationships.
His care continued (slowly) until he was finally ordered to get an MRI at the end of August. I knew the appointment was happening and I messaged him right after to see how it went - in the middle of talking to me his doctor called and Sean was instructed to head straight to the emergency room for immediate care. It was terrifying - he had blood clots, swollen lymph nodes, pain, and extreme fatigue. Many tests later and he finally had a diagnosis: Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
My baby brother was diagnosed with cancer at 25 years old on August 29th, 2020. I know I said this above, but I still just can't believe it happened.
A week later he was diagnosed as 'Stage 2 Unfavorable' due to having 3 affected sites - neck, clavicle and chest. A treatment plan was created: chemo from September to December, followed by radiation. He started chemo the exact same week he became an Uncle for the first time.
Right before Thanksgiving he had his halfway-through-chemo PET scan. It should be noted that the average lymphoma patient typically sees no signs of cancer at this point. His, however, hadn't really budged much. It was decided he needed a new drug in his chemo treatment - which he has since started. He's now experiencing a myriad of unpleasant symptoms from the cancer and the chemo, he will be having his follow-up PET scan in January to determine if the treatment plan needs to change.
Throughout all of this, my brother had to file for long-term disability with his company and per company policy, they let him go. He's actively working on getting COBRA coverage, however he's still accumulating a massive amount of debt from the chemo treatments, doctor's appointments, prescriptions, booster shots, etc.
And here it is: I'm asking you to please consider donating whatever you can to help my baby brother, Sean Michael, in his fight against cancer. We're expecting to owe about $5,000 per month. I'll provide updates on behalf of my brother as we go so we can all cheer him on together!
- Javier Badillo
- Caleb Holden
- Caleb Holden
- Amber Schanter
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