The surgery my brother had is called a Whipple Procedure. It lasted between 10-12 hours. This surgical procedure included the removal of part of his pancreas, his duodenum, his gall bladder, half of his stomach, part of his lower intestines and many lymph nodes. It was a daunting medical procedure. Regrettably, the surgery was not successful. They could not remove all of the cancer. In the 2-3 week period following the initial diagnosis, it grew onto an artery. They could only "peel back" the cancer from the artery. Thus, cancer remains inside of him and will continue to grow anew. He now has to undergo chemo for at least 6 months (3 weeks on, 1 week off). A very aggressive form of chemotherapy. Much harsher than the typical regimen. Then, he has radiation treatment.
His prognosis (i.e., life expectancy) is 1-2 years IF the chemo/radiation works.
His treatment will last at least 8 months. There is a good chance he will not be able to work during this time. One form of chemo, the one recommended, will certainly keep him out because he will take it for 5 hours one day and then need a pump for the next 48 hours. He will then be wiped out. He is caught between getting the recommended treatment and a lesser successful (data wise) form of treatment. If he can't work, he will need to apply for disability benefits, which will reduce his income drastically. In fact, his income will be only about 1/3 of his usual take-home income. He is the breadwinner in his family. He will still need to continue to pay health insurance, which he buys on his own, and which costs about $1,600 per month. He will also have to incur a large out-of-pocket expense for his share of the medical costs.
He has already incurred over $10,000 for out-of-pocket medical expenses. His health insurance policy expired at the end of January, and the new one began in February. Each with a $5,000 out-of-pocket co-pay. He exhausted the first $5,000, during his initiall hospital stay in January when they had to operate and put a stent in his live because the tumor was blocking the bile duct. The next $,5000 during the Whipple Procedure. Moreover, some of the treatments might not be covered by insurance during chemotherapy. Thus, his out-of-pocket expenses will likely be even higher than the $10,000 he has already incurred. He also has a modest life insurance policy I hope we could maintain. I don't want his son to lose his father, home, school and friends within months of each other.
As you know, my brother is far from wealthy. He is not self-employed. He works for a very small firm and basically lives paycheck-to-paycheck. He does not even have a 401k or other retirement account that he could borrow against. Despite his lack of wealth, he is always the first to help friends and family in need. He will never be able to pay these bills on his own.
Despite the 1-2 year prognosis, my brother is determined to win this battle. He believes that with his will and determination (i.e., thick-headedness and stubbornness), and with God by his side, he will win it. Those of you who know him also know that he is a fighter. I believe he will be in that small 6% of people who survive pancreatic cancer. I just don't want him and his family to be in a deep financial hole, when he does win it. He needs your help.
Also, even though he thinks he is invincible, he is only human and needs your prayers. "For man it is impossible, but not for God. With God all things are possible." ~Matthew 19:26
The intent is to return as much of the unused donations to the donors on a proportionate basis or to pay it forward to a cancer based charity in the names of the donors. However, given the poor prognosis, and if we meet our goal, perhaps we can allow Louis' wife and son to keep any unused funds in the event of his demise. We will also provide an accounting so that all donors will know where their money is going. As of today (3/7/15) we have not used any funds, however, he has already received an invoice for about $2,200 from 2 physicians for the January procedure and we need to pay about $1,312 for an insurance reimbursement.
Please contribute if you can. Thank you very much.
- Janie Galaga
- peter caruso
- Bob Granito
- Madarasz Family
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more