Kevin Tipton needs help kicking cancer's butt!
Sunday, August 19th, 11:19 am. I received the worst text I’ve ever gotten. My brother Kevin informed me, my mom and our siblings that he has CANCER.... I shook my head. Out loud I sternly said, “No!” My wife asked what was going on. A little more loudly this time and with a bit of emphasis I said, “No @#$& way!” As she came over in obvious concern I showed her the text. I couldn’t say it. Not my brother. Not the boy I grew up playing baseball with in backyards. The one I fished with in our Grandpa’s lake. The one I fought with over childish things but looked up to and admired as he grew older. The one I now have long phone calls with about life, philosophy, the outdoors and our shared dream of traveling together for an epic hiking trip. We were all heartbroken, in disbelief and even angry.
My brother Kevin, is a travel RN that most recently finished an assignment at the University of Michigan in July. He then traveled to England, where he had served in the USAF and met his wife, Lesley, years ago.
Kevin and Lesley arrived in England and noticed on the drive from Heathrow to his in-laws home that he was having difficulty driving. The symptoms worsened over two weeks time prompting a visit to the emergency room. He has now been diagnosed with STAGE IV RENAL CELL CARCINOMA WITH METASTASES TO HIS BRAIN AND BOTH LUNGS.
Kevin is now scheduled for his right kidney and tumor to be removed next week, followed by stereotactic radiosurgery for the brain tumor. This will then be followed by targeted therapy. (Medication to disrupt cancer cell growth and ability to create blood vessels to feed themselves). This medication will be given for many months following the other procedures.
Kevin has had to cancel his planned assignment in Seattle and take care of his health needs. Since his treatment began while in England, he has opted to remain there for the initial stages and then return to the US for long term treatment and care. While very fortunate to have a home to stay in while there, the costs have already begun to mount. As an overseas self-pay patient all costs must be paid in advance for procedures there. Kevin does have health insurance which will help eventually to reimburse some of these expenses but expected out of pocket expenses over the next 5 months will exceed $15,000. With Kevin and Lesley both unable to work at the moment there are also going to be challenges with normal costs that will continue as usual such as mortgage and bills. Needless to say-- this has taken the family by complete and total surprise.
Kevin has always been active, adventurous and a hard-worker. As a PACU RN who has spent a good portion of his life caring for others (with particular love for pediatric surgery) he now finds himself on the other side as a patient and not the caregiver.
He has prepared financially by having minimal debt and a few months buffer in savings, but nothing to prepare for an event like this.
We have started this GoFundMe account to help ease the burden and stress for Kevin and Lesley so they can concentrate on getting Kevin well and afford the care he needs. We want to get Kevin back on his mountain bike, hiking the mountain trails and enjoying fine craft beers following a day of vigorous outdoor adventures!!
From the bottom of our hearts we humbly ask that you share this link with friends and family and if possible give a donation -- it's not the amount you can give but the amount of people we can unite together in this cause!
- Jin Xin
- Julie Woodward
- Jackie Bruno
- Nancy Winship