THE CHALLENGE Laurie and Terry Vanderheyden and their 7 great kids, really need some help. Specifically, $92,270 CAD ($70,000 USD) to fund her therapy treatment in the US.
Laurie has a type of brain tumour that is called an acoustic neuroma. It initially caused partial facial paralysis, including the inability to close her right eye. Hearing loss (which seems to have begun)on the same side is another effect of the tumour as it grows.
The paralysis began Aug. 15, 1992 but the tumour was not discovered until 2005. The tumour has been slow-growing but now measures 4x3 cm (1.75x1.25"). There is now also an extension over the carotid artery which is very concerning.
Because the tumour continues to grow, Laurie and Terry have been looking at various treatment options for some time.
THE TREATMENT The surgeon she has dealt with would like to remove it, though is concerned with the possible risks to the surrounding area and has said it would result in hearing loss and complete facial paralysis of the right side.
Their radiation oncologist confirmed that surgery is not a good option for Laurie, nor is conventional (termed "gamma knife") radiation therapy. The head of radiation oncology for Princess Margaret Hospital (Toronto) has recommended "fractionated proton beam" radiation therapy, a less harmful and more appropriate and effective type of treatment for her type of tumour. Proton Beam is only available in a handful of centres worldwide.
Furthermore, Loma Linda University (where the treatment was invented) published a series of 30 cases of acoustic neuroma treated with proton beam, all of which completely resolved with the treatment.
Sadly, Laurie has been denied coverage from the Ontario Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health reasoned that she should take an optional treatment in Ontario, but as mentioned earlier, the safest and most effective treatment for her situation is the Proton Radiation.
She needs to get this treatment in the US.
THE COST ($70k USD IS FOR THE TREATMENT ONLY) The treatment encompasses 7-8 weeks, starting with a pre-consultation 1-2 weeks before commencing 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments (Monday-Friday).
THE PLAN Laurie and Terry plan to travel as a family as it would be too long a time for the family to be separated and also because Laurie home-schools the children. Terry will be working part time on-line, helping with the homeschooling and making sure Laurie gets any needed rest.
Laurie and Terry are hoping that some of you generous and loving people will be able to help them out. If you cannot help personally, please pass this information on however you may, and please pray for Laurie's healing.