Finally, in December, doctors in Birmingham sent Kevin to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. There he was diagnosed with POEMS Syndrome - a rare multi systemic disease that occurs in the setting of plasma cell dyscrasia which cause Polyneuropathy, Organomegaly, Enydocrinopathy, Monoclonal gammopathy, and Skin changes. If you're interested in learning more about POEMS, check out this site:
Since then, the Roses have continued Kevin's treatment through both regular trips to Birmingham for intense radiation treatments (25 days in a row of radiation) and flights to the Mayo Clinic. Meanwhile, Kevin's vertebrae has collapsed under the stress from the radiation, and he's suffered through horrible pain. Next on the list will be a surgery to repair the collapsed vertebrae and likely stem cell transplant. They aren't sure what exact treatments will follow, but we all understand how emotionally and financially draining these trips and ongoing medical procedures are.
POEMS syndrome is quite rare and none of this treatment is routine, none of this is common, and all of this is very expensive. Besides the extensive medical costs, flights alone from Tupelo to Rochester are $500 each; hotel rooms are $200 a night; even the gas costs for all of the many round trips to Birmingham have surpassed $1000. This clearly effects Kevin’s ability to work, and Elizabeth needs time to take care of him and their two children. While the Roses focus on Kevin’s healing, the financial stress looms.
Over the last few months, Kevin and Elizabeth have both referred to Kevin’s fight with POEMS as a race – a marathon. We pray that this project offers them a drink of water, a sign of encouragement, maybe even a gel packet or loud cheer while they run together. Please donate to help them win this race. You can also follow Kevin's journey at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kevinrose
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