Hello and good day to you. My name is Jeffrey DeMass and I’ve been fighting stage 4 cancer for the past 2 years. Unfortunately the cancer has metastasized and spread into my brain which is causing some major swelling and has began to really affect my everyday life and motor skills. Over the past two weeks I have had a drastic decline in my abilities to walk and function. My doctors ordered up a CT and MRI scan and found a tumor in my Kidneys which is about 4” and they also found 2 tumors in my frontal lobe in my brain. One is the size of a strawberry and the other is roughly the size of a Sees chocolate candy (because relating them to sweets makes me feel better). I am so lucky to have some of the best doctors in the country who are all going to bat for me and making every move that they can to treat my conditions and prolong my life. Right now they have me scheduled for a highly specialized brain tumor procedure that is a miracle in itself. It is a non-invasive radiation brain surgery that is called the Gamma Knife. Because of the size of my tumors and where they are located in the motor sensory portion of the frontal lobe, it would be far too risky with long term effects to go in with a scalpel. So my team of neuro oncologists recommend using the Gamma Knife which focuses 192 beams of Gamma Rays all around my brain into a focal point. The individual low power from each gamma ray will not damage my brain tissue, but when focused all together in the middle of the tumor it begins to zap and shrink the tumor matter from within. For the procedure there is my Neuro Radiation Oncologist, Neurosurgeon, and a Nuclear Physicist. It is a pretty intense procedure that has now been turned down twice from my insurance company. The cash price for the Gamma Knife is $60,000. We have applied to financial assistance, but have not heard back from them as of what they can do to help yet.
I wish to share my story of hope, triumph, struggle, and the pursuit of happiness so that I may be an inspiration. I would hope to at least make an impression that we all are wonderful people and should always be striving for the best regardless of our situations. Life is what you make it!
So who is Jeffrey DeMass? That is the million dollar question that we should ask ourselves. Who am I? This is one of the quintessential questions that helps put our life into perspective. Many times we look no further than the surface to define ourselves. Luckily I have had the opportunity to really focus on myself and began the journey to figuring out myself. I have really enjoyed the transformation that has come from just scratching the surface. So let's dive into my story so we can enrich our life as we go through this.
I really do try to be the most positive person. Having good energy and positive vibrations is one of the keys to happiness and a more fulfilling life. I am an extremely positive forward-thinker who sees all challenges as opportunities and easily adapts to any circumstance. Armed with a quick wit and a contagious charisma, I enjoy having the ability to inspire everyone I work with to “make it happen,” but also to have fun while doing it.
I am a true entrepreneur and feel most at home in the more creative aspects of the business, including product development, marketing and sales. Being a business owner is both rewarding and challenging. I call it the bipolar roller coaster.
I have always wanted to make an impact on the world and leave a legacy with my family. I grew up in an engineering family where my father was a Land Surveyor. He taught me the values of hard work, and discipline. I learned how to do computer aided drafting when it was brand new. I developed engineering skills at a young age and always knew that I would use this knowledge to better the world. After school, I naturally went into the engineering field. I enjoyed it and was years ahead of these guys who were just converting to the Computer Aided Drafting programs. It's always fun teaching the old guys new tricks and watching those light bulbs go off realizing the new way is IT! Way better with technology. Soon I started disliking being in front of a PC all day and wanted be more interactive with people on a daily basis. I am a people person to the core and enjoy meeting new people and having great discussions. So I moved into the wonderful world of sales. I have sold everything from Feature Films for Families DVD’s, to high end computer networking devices. In the midst of finding myself and my calling in life I was fortunate enough to find a mentor who believed in me and saw that I would go above and beyond to help others. I was always making suggestions and offering tips to business owners to help spice up their image as a company with logos, websites, brochures, and the likes because those materials help define you and make an impression with prospective clients. So this is when Jerry Ricks thankfully took some time with a young buck and really schooled me to business.
My friend Matthew Myers and I were blessed enough to be mentored which helped nourish the entreneuper spirit within us. Everyday we were like Pinky and the Brain trying to figure out how we were going to take over the world. It was a challenging time for both of us as we had both gone through a divorce and were figuring out what life had in store for us. We learned the Secret, and the benefits of maintaining positive vibrations.
Sometimes good things arise from crappy situations. We had just gone through the divorces, which was probably exactly what we needed because it made way for advancement. So Easter came around and we were feeling somewhat sorry for ourselves so we decided to go get something to eat at the Golden Corral. And although the buffet was not all that great, we had an epiphany to start our own company. We came up with the idea of making the best of the best teeth whitening kit and decided on a hot name “Platinum Whites”. It turned out to be an amazing day. We quit our jobs the next day and got our first investor 2 days later. Since the beginning we had the odds stacked against us. Plagued with crappy credit and some lashbacks from our early 20’s we had to fight the battle uphill. People said that we would never compete with Crest and the big boys, but we eventually did and beat them out in some instances. Platinum Whites had a humble start. We worked closely with dental professionals to design the absolute best Dental Whitening solution available on the market. We had success growing through the professional market and then decided to go retail. Because of the reputation and the world class offering that we had we were able to penetrate the Retail market which is a daunting task and very hard for any company. We secured distribution with Kroger stores and began our retail sales. About a year into our foray into the retail space, we began to expand rapidly. Kroger wanted to put us up by the registers which 10x our orders. Then other big retailers began showing interest and the amount of the PO’s were just too much for us to handle. As an entrepreneur you do want to grow exponentially, but having the means to do is a huge undertaking in itself. So we grew too fast and it essentially killed us because we could not divlever the huge orders. Arrgh
After a few months of letting go and moving on past Platinum Whites, I began feeling ill. It started with an earache. We threw several antibiotics at it and then realized that it was much more than that. I went into an Ear, Nose, and Throat oncologist who diagnosed me with Stage 4 Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma. This was 2 years ago, on the day before Thanksgiving. The cancer started as a tumor in my throat and spread into one of my lymph nodes. After finding the news, my life had changed forever. My wife and I had been together for 8 years at this point and have been engaged for about a year - and when we found out we made it official and got married a few days after finding out on Thanksgiving weekend. She has been such a great and strong woman throughout this whole ordeal. The best friend, companion, and nurse that I could ever ask for.
So here is where things got challenging. I went in on 12/15/15 for a radical neck dissection which left me without use of my throat for months. Then we immediately went in for chemo and radiation. My treatments hardened up my throat tissues and my whole eating process was compromised. It felt like I had a giant sunburn on the inside of my mouth and esophagus. At first I could only eat only things through a feeding tube that was fed up through my nose. Then I was fortunate enough to start eating on my own. I basically had to learn how to swallow again because my tongue and muscles had forgot - not an easy task. About 3 months on soups and soft foods was what it took to get back on track. And because of the combination of chemo drugs and radiation all food tastes like battery acid (yuck). Anyways things did get better over the months and I began integrating myself back into the new normal.
As I started feeling better I needed something to fulfill my time and life. Matt and I decided to resurrect our halo product that we had been working on for the past 10 years. Its called Spacepaste which is a dehydrated brushless and waterless toothpaste tablet. You simply pop in a tablet, chew it up, and rinse. The little particles buff your teeth and foam up to leave a lasting impression of freshness for hours. This product just needed a little more R&D so that we could bring it to fruition and marketability. I have absolutely loved bringing forth this game changing product to market and I really feel that this is my legacy that I can leave with the world to help make it a better place. Everyone brushes their teeth everyday, they just don't do it enough. So now you can get that fresh “just brushed” feeling on the go. We have made strides forward with Spacepaste and it has taken over a year to get it to market. Now we are starting to get love from all major retailers, gas stations, airlines, hotels, humanitarian aid and disaster relief organizations We feel that Spacepaste will be the next big thing. Just right now Walmart has decided to bring us on by their front cash registers which would be the best possible solution for our company. So we are on the cusp of greatness and have been working diligently to make sure we can partner with a capital partner to help us grow exponentially so that we don't make the same mistake as last time. You would think that if you have as much pizzaz and wow factor behind your product and the largest store in the world that said YES, that I would be rich and have all sorts of money being thrown our way - but its much more complicated than that and is a good problem that we are going to solve. We will just have to see what the universe has instore for us.
With light of current situation, the doctors last week said that If I hadn't taken steps to cut the brain swelling that I had about 10-12 days left. Luckily we went to the ER and found the issues. They loaded me up on pain pills and lots of steroids to help with the massive brain swelling. Now I am awaiting this life saving and much needed procedure which should help me get back to somewhat normal. If I do well with the procedure and following treatments the doctor said I should have about a year or so left in this wonderful life. I would love to get back to work and defy the odds. I want to make the world a better place and help others. Right now I am ALL IN.
I have been cutting costs drastically to live and be able to run business at the same time. To be honest I have fallen behind on most of life's payments and bills unless they were absolutely necessary. I humbly ask for your help so that I may bridge the next few months and have the ability to take care of my Gamma Knife procedure, medical expenses, and insurance premiums which went from $350 to $1077.
With your support I will also give back on our behalf. I will keep you updated with my progress. I will share the precious and mindful information that I am learning about myself that will hopefully enrich your life. And my company will donate Spacepaste to some humanitarian aid and disaster relief projects so we can make an impact worldwide.
Here is the thing. I still remain positive and happy despite all of the trials and tribulations that I face on a daily basis. I am here to tell you that my faith is strong and I am grateful for everyday. Life is what you make it - so be the best you can be and enjoy today and the now.
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