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It is with a heavy (but hopeful) heart that I am starting this campaign for my brother-in-law, Dave Gerraughty. He has been feeling exhausted for the last few weeks and a visit to the doctor this week has revealed that he has pancreatic cancer. His scans are also showing nodes on his liver and lungs. They will be pursuing a treatment consultation at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston this week.
Dave is one of the most kind, gentle souls that I have ever met, and he is a blessing to my big and loving family. He and my sister, Seely, have been married for more than 40 years. They met in Omaha, NE at Creighton University and relocated to Houston, Texas, to start their careers in journalism and social work. After decades of working for someone else, they decided to leave the corporate world and forge a new living as innkeepers in Dave’s old hometown of Narragansett, Rhode Island. They have been running their 3-story Inn for almost 18 years (self-employed = decades of huge monthly medical insurance expenses.) They had just begun the process to sell the Inn and were looking forward to a move to one-level living to ease some of the physical strain on their bodies. And then, this shocking diagnosis of cancer.
The funds raised will be critical to helping pay for the out-of-pocket expenses for the already long list of tests he has endured for this diagnosis, future medical bills, potential travel expenses for treatments, and ongoing living expenses while he is out of work on medical leave. Dave passionately works for a local non-profit, Clean Water Action Rhode Island, and has very limited sick leave and few benefits to help close the gap from his loss of income to the household. This latest catastrophic medical emergency comes on the heels of Seely’s emergency back surgery last August that has already stressed their financial resources.
A more supportive husband, son, brother and brother-in-law you could never find. He is everyone’s cheerleader in the things that matter the most in life. A longtime Boston Red Sox fan, Dave always looks forward to the chance to pop up to Fenway on his rare day off. He keeps more player stats in his head than I ever knew were possible to remember! (His history of covering the sports beat in his former career sure helped to fuel that passion!) Dave has always been the consummate Uncle to all of his nephews and nieces across the country and is often the first to instigate a good game or competition with the kids. He is well known for his love of crossword puzzles and usually has a stack of puzzles to work at his side. An avid reader of all things, Dave is never without one or more books in progress and he is always current on the politics of the day (also a result of his working the national political beat.) He and Seely both love a simple walk or romp with their pup, Gretchen, in the local dog park.
I know that my sister and Dave are two people who NEVER in life would ask for help – because they are always the ones giving it wherever and whenever possible. I am hopeful that they can accept the need to put aside that pride at this critical time in order to help ease a portion of their financial situation so they can focus on moving forward with treatment plans or whatever the next steps hold as they begin the journey into the crappy world of cancer.
Any contribution to this campaign would be gratefully received and I cannot thank you enough for your consideration of reaching out to your circle of friends to expand the reach of this effort. Every single dollar will make an immediate impact. Equally important, all your positive thoughts and encouragement are welcomed. Updates will be provided as more information is available.