After a long battle with the effects of Agent Orange and all the chemo and radiation his body received over the years to fight the cancer it caused, I am sad to say that Robbie passed on July 13, 2017 at 3:41 PM EST.
If you would like to contribute to Robbie's Memorial Fund to help the family with travel expenses, your gifts will be appreciated.
Here is his full story...
Meet Robbie. He was 3 weeks shy of his 71st birthday when he passed, a decorated Vietnam Vet, a husband, a father, a grandfather and a beloved friend to so many.
Robbie was a combat veteran who served in Vietnam for two years from 1966 through 1967. He was a machine-gunner, carrying the M60 machine-gun, in "G" Company, Weapons Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, United States Marine Corps.
He received two purple hearts for wounds sustained in battle that resulted in atrophy of the muscles in his right hand . His unit was twice decorated for heroism in battle.
In Vietnam, Robbie and many other troops were repeatedly exposed to the caustic chemical Agent Orange created by Monsanto, It was the US military's defoliant of choice for clearing out the jungle. Later it was determined that this chemical left our troops open to cancer, diabetes, and a number of other diseases.
The Agent Orange that permeated his body would return to trouble him many years later, long after he married and had a son. In 1998 at the age of 51, Robbie contracted cancer of the lymph nodes caused by Agent Orange. He fought it into remission with intense chemotherapy and for 11 years was cancer free.
In 2008 the same cancer returned and was again beaten into remission by massive chemotherapy treatments. It came back again in his eye in 2012 and was put into remission with radiation.
Just a few months after his marriage to Karen Scott, it came back again in his arm in 2014 and was put in remission again with 4 rounds of chemo treatments before he contracted pneumonia and had to stop.
It has returned in his right eye and a leison on the speech center of his brain and he is undergoing an extreme course of chemo that requires hospitalization to deliver and the stabilize him.
The chemotherapy's side effects from the earlier treatments have given Robbie peripheral neuropathy (numbness in feet and hands). He is 50% disabled with balance being an issue, and it is difficult for him to remain on his feet any length of time.
His wife of 30 years got breast cancer and fought it for 8 long years before passing away in 2011. Robbie provided constant care to his wife during her illness, and their finances were decimated.
IN RECOGNITION of his honorable service, the Veteran's Administration will pay for the chemotherapy treatment - but not everything he needs.
To give that treatment the best possible chance of success, to keep Robbie as healthy as possible during treatment, and to keep his family from sinking tens of thousands of dollars into debt, there are certain things that your donation will contribute to:
While receiving treatment for cancer, it's of the utmost importance that the patient be kept in an ultra clean, hygienic environment at all times. Even every day household germs can greatly increase the chances of infection. The slightest infection can be life-threatening because the chemo treatment nearly eliminates the body's immune system. There are a number of items and services that will contribute to a more sanitary home environment.
2. SUPPORT & RECOVERY
In March of this year, Robbie happily remarried. His beautiful wife Karen is fully committed to seeing him through this treatment as safely and as comfortably as possible. But this is a serious time commitment, and it will impact Karen's income.
There are also numerous support treatments that will increase Robbie's chances of success, but which can be quite expensive and are not covered by the Veteran's Administration - the VA only pays for the chemo therapy treatments.
This support will ensure that Robbie does not emerge from treatment with crippling debt, and that he can get all the resources he needs to support his primary cancer treatment, as well as follow-up care to build up his strength.
3. ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS
This is the main thing your gifts will contribute to. Robbie can no longer receive chemotherapy. His body is 70 years old and has undergone a massive beating from Agent Orange, radiation on the brain, and 4 rounds of chemotherapy. His doctors don't know why he's still alive. Very few people make it this far.
He wish is to go to Mexico where they have successful stem cell treatments for cancer and rehabilitation. The cost is much less so with your help, we can do this very soon.Robbie's son Garrett, his wife Meghan and the grandkids.
L to R: Luke (2), Desmond (6 mo) and Dawn (4) who love thier Papa so very much.
Anything you can do to help Robbie through this treatment and down to Mexico will be invaluable and greatly appreciated by his family. You are giving a husband more happy, loving years with his wife; a father more time to spend with his children without burdening them; and a grandfather the chance to watch his grandchildren grow up.
Any donation amount is appreciated: $5, $10, $20 or more. And you can make private donations by emailing though GoFundMe for our address.
It really helps to have the love and support of family and friends during this trial. Here's a link you can use for emails and a hashtag for Twitter to let others know!www.gofundme.com/helprobbiethroughcancer
Thank you for whatever you can do!