Help Joe Brandon Medical Fund

Long-time Dillon, Montana community member, Joe Brandon has been through a terrible ordeal with his health for the past several months. He is now getting healthier but months of not being able to work plus the numerous hospital bills beginning to come in is starting to add up--tho he is grateful for good insurance through his workplace!
And, it has become apparent that Joe has a long road ahead of him, with some added new challenges. On that note, we have both good news and bad news about Joe's state of health.
Last fall, Joe suffered a bacterial infection that led to septic shock. he was hospitalized in Dillon and then life-flighted to Idaho Falls, where he was in the ICU for much of November. Very ill and already unconscious, Joe received life-saving emergency surgery early in the month and bounced back quite quickly...however, he suddenly took a terrible turn for the worse with infection wreaking havoc and pneumonia settling in, resulting in a continued and intensified fight for his life. His family banded together at his side (his vitals noticeably improved when his children were present) and, with many interventions by the hospital staff and the thoughts, prayers, and love of his many friends and loved ones, Joe came back from the brink. Still, weeks of hard fighting ensued, with Joe getting better little by little, two steps forward and one step back. He endured numerous procedures and medications to stay steady and begin to improve. It was a stressful and scary time for us all.
Joe was released to a long-term acute care center for physical therapy and rehabilitation in late November but suffered another infection and had to be sent to the ICU, once again fighting for his life! As the weeks passed, Joe became stronger and more able to focus on gaining strength and weight and begin working on physical therapy.
The good news is that, as of now, Joe continues to grow stronger, get healthier, and gain weight...and is now staying with family in their home.
Now, for the bad news: after all this difficulty, fighting so hard for his life and working to regain his health, Joe has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. Though incurable, Myeloma is treatable and Joe, though he's already been through quite a lot healthwise, has a good prognosis for treatment and remission. We may not know the whole picture yet, but Joe's treatment will entail several forms of chemotherapy. He will begin treatment soon and will believe he will then be on to the next phase of his return to health! Though we know this diagnosis may mean a continuing long road for Joe and us, he has a positive attitude!! He misses Montana-- his friends and kids, the MavRats and ski hill, his UMWestern family, and the community of Dillon--and is looking forward to returning home in the coming weeks. At this point, we are working towards getting some repairs done on Joe's house (pipes froze and burst while he was in the hospital), finishing some work he had started, cleaning out and cleaning up his house and making it a healthy space for him to return to for his convalescence.
We are all so grateful for everyone's help!!!
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Elaine Spicer
Dillon, MT

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