Justin Denman and family cancer fund

After a few weeks of headaches, vision and reading problems, and a series of what were later determined to be seizures, Justin's doctor sent him to the emergency room at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on the evening of September 8th. Through an MRI, a large mass was discovered in his brain. On the evening of September 9th, much of this mass was removed through brain surgery and a biopsy was sent for study. Additionally, a small mass was seen in a CT scan in an intestine requiring a future endoscopy and biopsy. After a few nights in the hospital he was sent home to recover, now taking anti-seizure medications and waiting for the biopsy results for his brain tumor.

On September 28th, the day before Justin's and Alicia's 20th wedding anniversary, we received the news that Justin has a high grade malignant brain cancer called glioblastoma. We were told the average life expectancy for this cancer is 14-18 months. However, there are some things working in his favor. About 5% of people with this cancer are cancer-free after 5 years. Some of those people are patients of Justin's doctor, and he said some people in this 5% group share qualities with Justin: he is in his early 40s (most people get this in their 60s), his surgery went very well (with a large percentage of the tumor removed), and he is doing quite well after the surgery. It also looks like he will be eligible for a phase 2 trial for high doses of intravenous vitamin c, which will hopefully increase the chances of his treatment being successful. We are trying to focus on the positives and maintain an optimistic view as best we can.

Justin will begin radiation and chemotherapy on October 7th, and the vitamin c treatments should begin by October 14th. The endoscopy for that additional biopsy in his intestine is scheduled for October 12th. The radiation treatments will last for 7 weeks while the chemotherapy and vitamin c  will last for 9 months. Then there will be a recovery period after this. His doctor isn't sure if he will be able to work some during this time or not, and if he is it will most likely will not be a large number of hours.

We are applying for catastrophic leave and long term disability through Justin's employer, the University of Iowa. Assuming catastrophic leave is approved, he will be able to ask for donated vacation time from other UI employees. We're hoping to get enough donated time, when combined with his remaining sick and vacation time, to at least get him through the 90 working days before long term disability would kick in (assuming disability is approved). Once he's out of donated time, disability will be extremely helpful to have but we will still be losing a large percentage of his income. We are fortunate enough to have health insurance but will still have quite a bit of out-of-pocket expenses: Matilda had surgery for a broken bone early this year and will have eye surgery later this month. She also may need additional eye surgery next year. We will almost certainly be hitting our maximum family out-of-pocket expenses for 2020 and 2021. This also comes during a year where we had multiple house emergencies that have depleted our rainy day fund.

This is an extremely scary time. Justin wants so badly to beat this and to stick around for Matilda (who is now 7) and Alicia. That is a bigger concern than money, and but money is still a concern. This seems like such a large amount to ask for, but we think in the best case scenario, this is what we will need to keep our bills paid and alleviate that stress so that we can focus on Justin's health.

Thank you, and much love to you all.
Justin, Alicia, and Matilda Denman



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Alicia Denman 
Coralville, IA
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