Our dear daddy, Alex, at 56 years old, was diagnosed with stage 4 renal cell carcinoma on January 23, 2013. A 9 cm tumor was found on his right kidney with metastasis to the mediastinal (chest) lymph nodes, lymph nodes near his kidneys, adrenal gland, and psoas muscle (the back muscle behind the kidney). His right kidney. right adrenal gland, and effected lymph nodes were all surgically removed. Since then, he has endured 3 different immunotherapy drugs (sunitinib, axinitib, everolimus) which, at this point in time, have all been unsuccessful in controlling the metastasis of his cancer. He now has visible tumors in his lungs which previously did not exist. Renal cell carcinoma, unlike many other cancers, is unresponsive to traditional chemotherapy and radiation. Currently, there are no known ‘cures’ for this type of cancer, just a handful of immunotherapy drugs which could potentially ‘control’ the metastasis of his disease. His next option is the last FDA approved immunotherapy drug called avastin which can only be administered intravenously in the clinic. If this final drug doesn’t work, the only hope we have left is clinical trials. And unfortunately, clinical trials are not covered by our insurance, and patients are often expected to cover any additional costs. He has already made it through one and half years since diagnosis which is quite amazing since the statistics predict otherwise at his stage and condition.
Our family’s most recent development has been anything but ideal. We are struggling to finance the medical bills (doctor’s office visit copays, pharmacy copays, etc.) that come along with the treatment of cancer and by creating this page, we are hoping to help the current situation and prepare for the future of clinical trials. We are sure every family has experienced or knows of someone who has been in a similar situation and we know that we are one of many going through hard times like these. We know my dad would never approve of this fundraising idea because he wouldn’t want to burden, let alone tell anyone, of the struggles he goes through each day to keep afloat. He is still working full time to maintain his medical insurance. Other bills have really fallen on the back burner including but not limited to the mortgage and all other expenses any family needs to survive. Everyone, at some point in their lives, needs a helping hand, and whether or not you can offer monetary help, we beg you to pray for our dad and send a message his way to keep his spirits up. His health is deteriorating every day, sometime he can hardly stand or let alone get out of bed but despite his physical limitations he’s hanging in there. His strength is truly an inspiration to us and we hope that one day we can have half the amount of strength that he does.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your help.
With lots of love and gratitude,
Alessandra, Angelo, and Andrew
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