Earlier this year Joe (my brother) became very sick and ended up in the hospital where he was diagnosed with the E.coli virus. He was in bad shape, but managed to pull through. During that hospital stay, cancer was detected in his intestines. It wasn't long after that episode that Joe started experiencing severe pain in his side and back. In November 2017 additional tests were conducted that showed Joe also had cancer in his stomach, in his lymph nodes and in his lungs, then we discovered that the cancer had penetrated his spine and it had weakened his vertebrae and fractured it. In late December 2017 Joe had 2 emergency surgeries to repair the vertebrae. The first surgery went through his back, where they put steel rods and a plate to brace his spine, a day later a second surgery was performed where they went through his side, where they needed to break 2 ribs, deflate his lung and rearrange his internal organs around in order to place a second plate at the front of the spine. During the surgery they removed a large mass from his spine. A biopsy of the mass identified the cancer to be D-cell Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a very aggressive cancer that is doubling everyday. A few days before Christmas we were informed that the cancer has now spread from his bones, to his stomach and into his lungs. Today, January 4, 2018 Joe had a PET Scan to determine if the cancer has spread to the brain, we are waiting anxiously for the results, which we should receive tomorrow or Monday. Needless to say, Joe has been unable to work since July 2017 and the medical bills continue to mount up. The PET Scan alone was more than $16,000.00. He has no insurance coverage and no way to pay for the medical bills or any of his daily/monthly expenses. This week we applied for financial aid, but unfortunately were informed yesterday that financial aid is based upon the household income level, not at the individual level, so as he lives in a house where the household income is above the poverty line, he was denied, that was a big blow. We are now trying Medicare and Medicaid and have reached out to several charities for help. While things may seem very grim, we will not lose hope, we are determined to win this battle... we must win this battle, I cannot lose my brother. I lost my mother to this horrible disease, I cannot lose Joe. He means the world to me.
I know if we fight hard enough we can conquer anything! We would be forever grateful if you could help in any way that you are able, no matter how small. We appreciate any assistance even if it's with a similar experience or guidance to help us through this.
In closing I want to thank you for taking the time to read our story and would like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Shawshank Redemption...
Remember Red: Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies...
Again, thank you so very much for taking time to read this; life is precious, and if nothing else please take a moment to share this with your friends and family. Love and peace to all of you! Angie Shrewsberry (Joe's sister)
- Karen Roberts
- Jennifer Magin
- Bridget Sanders
- Carmela and John Peterson
- James Sheahan
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