In 2012, at the age of 16, my brother was signed with the Cleveland Indians Baseball team in America. This was a dream of his and he was finally about to experience it all. After travelling to America and having a medical with the team, we soon realised something was not right. Medical personnel in America believed that Ben had developed a form of Cancer. On return home and after a month of further blood tests and biopsies, Ben was diagnosed with Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma. For the next 12 months Ben underwent two intense chemotherapy regimes, several weeks of radiation and his stem cell transplant. In mid-2013, Ben was finally in remission and we thought that he had finally beaten this awful disease and he could finally move on with his life. Unfortunately, in 2014, he was released from the Indians and he continued his baseball back home in Perth with the Perth Heat.
On a holiday in early 2016, Ben noticed a lump in his groin and after further testing we received the heart-breaking news, just a few weeks before his 21st birthday, that the Lymphoma had returned more aggressive than ever. For the next 7 months, Ben underwent more rounds of intense chemotherapy regimes and several more rounds of radiation. This was all leading up to a Donor Bone Marrow Transplant in September 2016. After finding a compatible donor, Ben was confined to a hospital room for almost 3 weeks. We were hopeful that this would be the end of his disease but unfortunately, Ben found a lump in his neck 3 months later and a biopsy confirmed our fears that the Lymphoma had returned. Since 2017, Ben has received bad news after bad news and has had to endure further chemotherapy and radiation, several lumbar punctures to inject chemotherapy into his spinal fluid and several emergency trips and admissions to hospital because of infections. Every time we have thought we were on the right track, we received news that the cancer has spread to new spots in his body.
Friends and family that know Ben, will all agree that he has been amazing through all the obstacles he has faced. No matter how sick he feels or how many needles, treatments, transplants, hospital visits, infections or bad news he receives, Ben has remained positive the whole time. He has never given up the fight and does not plan to. Currently, we have been informed that traditional chemotherapies are not working, and his disease is not responding like the Doctors had hoped.
There is now a new treatment drug that Doctors believe could be successful as it is showing promising results on patients with a similar disease that are resistant to treatment. Unfortunately, this drug comes at a cost of $23 000 as it is not covered on the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme). I have started this go fund me page to help raise the money we need to fund this treatment in the hopes that this could finally be the cure we have all be wishing for these past few years. :)
- Fadzai Makasi
- Lavina Goveas
- Jo Thomas
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