Help Shaun's Cancer Fight!

As many of you know, Shaun was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in 2016.  When doctors found the cancer, it had already spread to his liver, lungs, spleen, and bones. In total, he had about 20 tumors visible on his scans. Since then, Shaun's road to recovery has been filled with mostly positive news, including a miraculous recent scan showing that the cancer in Shaun's body was gone, or at least inactive. Shaun had to take time away from work to deal with his disease (and the side effects from treatment), has had to make several trips to MD Anderson in Houston, Texas for the next steps in his treatment. MD Anderson has more experience with Shaun's unique disease than doctors in Ohio do, but he has to pay for the difference in cost between treatment in Ohio and treatment in Texas. 

Now, Shaun is working his way back to normal life, and he could really use your help!

Any treatment beyond the standard of care available at any treatment center must be paid by Shaun, in addition to travel, lodging, food, etc. This fund is meant to help Shaun  avoid financial catastrophe while recovering from this awful disease. Shaun's law firm has been generous in allowing Shaun to work part time when necessary, and his disability insurer has paid him a portion of his former salary, but those payments do not suffice to keep Shaun out of crippling debt. Any help —absolutely any help— is appreciated. 

Shaun’s Treatment Journey 

Shortly after the diagnosis, Shaun underwent surgery to address the metastatic disease in his left femur.  Doctors at Ohio State University inserted a 30-inch metal rod into his leg to help stabilize his bone.  But with subsequent radiation treatment to keep the disease from spreading, he was left with a leg that is very painful and doesn't bend. 

Thankfully, Shaun's response to the first chemotherapeutic drug given to him, an immune-based drug called Pembrolizumab, has been phenomenal.  He had 2 very large tumors in his spleen which were bigger than a golf ball, and numerous smaller tumors in his lungs and liver.  The cancer in his femur was removed surgically, but a large lesion on his hip remained, with another growing to several inches while he was in the hospital.  Shaun stayed in the hospital and began immunotherapy at Ohio State a few weeks later, and the doctors were blown away when scans showed that his lungs, and then his spleen, became disease free.

Over the past several months, Shaun has been getting a more specialized treatment, including possible surgery in the space between his heart and lungs, and potentially enrollment in a clinical trial, at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. It was there that he learned that none of the visible cancer currently shows up on PET scans. While the statistics are good for Shaun based on this most recent scan, Shaun will have to continue watching the disease closely every 12 weeks, and he is undergoing an intensive physical therapy regimen to try to regain use of his left leg. Depending on the course of the disease, he may also have to go to the National Institutes of Health for treatment at some point.  

This GoGundMe is intendedto coverthe future costs of physical therapy, outstanding hospital bills at Ohio State and MD Anderson, and to cover the costs of insurance while Shaun is not part of his law firm's group plan. Additionally, Shaun holds a life insurance policy that requires semiannual payments, which will ensure that Shaun's family is taken care of if worst comes to worst. 

Looking Ahead

While Shaun has been fortunate enough to have health insurance covered by the company he works for, he will now have to pay for insurance and treatments on his own until he can return to work full time.  Moreover, while Shaun's treatment has been mostly "local" to date, he is regularly going to see specialists out of state going forward.  At times he also has to pay for certain drugs out of pocket, many of which cost $5,000-$10,000 for one treatment.

As many who have gone through cancer treatment know, the costs moving forward are overwhelming.  With travelling to Houston, boarding, treatment, medicine, health and life insurance premiums, healthy food, physical therapy, and swimming (the only exercise he can engage in), the next year will cost him financially, and Shaun has spent his savings over the past year and a half. 

This fund has been created to help cover the costs of his upcoming treatment (including physical therapy), medicine, insurance, travel and everything else involved in his fight against melanoma.  It is to help ease this huge financial burden, so he can receive the best possible care and focus on his recovery.  Help us grow this fund by donating and sharing today!

Let's show Shaun the love, support, and solidarity he needs to continue beating cancer!

How You can Help Shaun
• DONATE: Make a donation to his recovery fund here.
• SHARE: Share this link to spread the word!
• FUNDRAISE: To support Shaun's recovery fund through hosting a fundraiser, contact Lauren Sugarman ([email redacted]).


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Lauren Sugarman 
New York, NY
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