Meet our sweet friends, Jon and Christa and their adorable, active (and tall) young children.
Together this Minnesota family is bravely facing Jon’s Stage 4 cancer, with all of the hurting and hardship that entails.
We can walk alongside them in their hope-filled journey through prayer and through financial giving.
Read their story below, and join us in serving a family that serves others so well.
In late March 2015, 5 weeks after his youngest child (of 3 kids) was born, Jon Forsythe was diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic melanoma. He’s had excellent care with some of the top doctors in the world for melanoma at Mayo Clinic.
Three years, four tumors, four surgeries, 1 clinical trial, 2 immunotherapy treatments, tons of scans, tests, specialists & doctor appointments, & thousands of miles later his cancer moved to stage 4 in December of 2017.
He recently finished radiation treatment at the site of his most recent tumor & is doing a new immunotherapy regimen for the next year with hopes that this drug will help teach his immune system to recognize the cancer cells. Although his medical team is determined and relentless in their pursuit of health for Jon, they have also said that quality of life is our primary concern while battling this late stage, aggressive cancer.
This fundraiser is for Jon, his wife Christa, and their three kids, Marcus, Jennica, & Lydia. It will help with past, current, & future medical expenses and potential future loss of income for Jon.
People often ask, “Stage four cancer, but isn't it just skin cancer, right?” Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, yet in this whole journey Jon’s cancer was never just a mole. Metastatic melanoma is an aggressive form of cancer that once at the metastatic level (aka small cells throughout your body), can show up anywhere and everywhere.
The way Jon describes it to his kids to help them understand how he “still has cancer even though the surgeons just cut it out & surgery went well,” is to say, “Imagine it’s like the little cancer cells are like factories set up all over my body. Right now, as far as we know, it's like those factories are empty & no one has showed up for work or turned on the lights. We're just waiting for someone to turn on the lights & go to work, then the doctors can find the mini cancer factory (tumor) and try to take care of it.”
It is Jon & Christa’s deepest and sincere hope that Jon would beat the odds & prognosis that state this potentially will take his life in two years. Jon is fighting for those two years and as many years, months, & days after that with his three kids and family. It is also their biggest prayer that “Whatever comes, Lord, give us the love and strength that kept you on the cross and the hope, power, & new life of the empty tomb.”
Jon & Christa are eternally grateful for all the love, support, help, & prayers they've received so far and ask for your continued prayers for the road ahead.
Jon & Christa live in rural SW Minnesota with their three children ages 10, 6, & 3. Jon has worked with teens in adolescent treatment since 2001 and currently serves as the marketing director/assistant administrator for Wings Adolescent Treatment Center in Litchfield and Christa serves as the pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Atwater. Both are incredibly grateful & feel they owe a debt of gratitude to their incredible workplaces for their support. Thankfully, Jon has good medical insurance. However, the realities of the cost of a long term cancer battle have taken a heavy toll & will continue to do so.
Thank you for your help through prayers and possibly your financial gifts to help us support them in this journey. Any gift large or small makes a big difference as together we can make a difference in easing this heavy burden on Jon and Christa.
- Jenn/Milt VanGundy
- Doreen Winter
- Lori Carter
Fundraising team: Luther Girls (3)
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