Steve Clinton, of Lombard, IL, is married to Karen and they have three wonderful daughters. Steve and Karen have been married for 28 years and attended Glenbard East High School. Steve has been successfully self-employed since their girls were very young which allowed Karen to be home with their daughters. He was active in their lives giving his time to coaching their various park district basketball, soccer and softball teams and also participated with them in Indian Princesses. He was there for their band and orchestra concerts, badminton matches and other activities throughout grade school and high school, and supported their college interests. He also helped pay for their college. He worked hard to provide well for them.
Steve’s life took a dramatic turn when he was diagnosed with cancer on March 11, 2014. This diagnosis was preceded by weeks of testing to determine what type of cancer he had. Clear cell kidney cancer was the diagnosis. Kidney cancer is a slow grower and until recently there weren’t a lot of medical options for treatment. No one knows how long Steve has had the cancer, but the fact that it metastasized to his shoulder indicates it might have been there for years.
Steve’s doctors have tried several different “targeted therapy” drugs, as chemo isn’t considered successful with this type of cancer. The first drug, Votrient, was initially effective on both kidney and shoulder tumors. But after nine months the therapy became ineffective. At this point, the doctors felt it was a good time to remove Steve’s right kidney. Four weeks later Steve started a second targeted drug, Torisel, another late stage cancer drug. Several side effects of the Torisel resulted in the need for blood transfusions. The drug was stopped in October of 2015 as it was no longer effective. The cancer has spread to his armpit resulting in lymphedema. The swelling and pain due to the lymphedema has made it extremely challenging to use his right arm and more critically, to work at his job. Being self-employed means no benefits – no paid sick time, no employer-contributed insurance or 401K.
In October, 2015 Steve began taking the clinical trial drug, Opdivo, to treat the tumors in his shoulder and armpit. The side effects of this drug combined with the continued pain and swelling in his right arm (caused by the lymphedema) has severely limited Steve’s ability to work. As he is self-employed, his income has been substantially reduced. Karen has been working part-time in retail for over a year to help with finances while still being available for Steve’s doctor, therapy and treatment appointments.
Medical bills not covered by insurance, mortgage payments and other bills don’t go away – they still have to be paid. The money we donate will provide assistance in meeting these medical bills and monthly expenses.
Steve and Karen are good people. The health challenges that Steve faces with Karen are serious enough without the added pressure of financial issues. They have always been very giving of themselves to help others. Now it’s their turn to let others help them through their biggest challenge yet.