Everything can change in a day, a moment, or a split second. It can either change for the better or, the worse. Everything changed the night we received a call from our sister saying "something is wrong with Mike." She went on to describe how my brother-in-law felt a mass earlier in the week, and further testing would need to be done. After weeks of testing, the diagnosis was in... METASTATIC MELANOMA! How could this be the diagnosis? Not Spike! I felt helpless, living so far away from them, yet knowing there was nothing I could do to change the diagnosis if I were there. The cancer is in at least six lymph nodes and recommended treatment is immunotherapy as surgery does not look like an option at this time. If you are not familiar with this type of therapy, it is extremely costly, with one drug costing $400,000 over the course of four sessions. That is just ONE drug out of the three that Mike will need. Thankfully Mike has insurance that covers some of the cost, however, like all insurance, there are deductibles to be met for the calendar year 2018 and 2019 which totals $14,000. Prescriptions need to be filled, work will be missed during recovery and other unforeseen expenses that drain finances needed for day to day living are sure to come up.
Instead of feeling helpless, I have decided to do what I can to lighten the load for Mike and Delilah. I am asking friends, family, and anyone who can to join me in support by doing the following.
1) PRAY! We as a family believe in the power of prayer. We believe in divine healing. We believe in miracles. Please agree with us in prayer for Mike's complete restoration of health. Pray the side effects of treatment are minimal. Pray for peace and guidance for Mike, Delilah, and their five children.
2) GIVE! I can't think of someone who gives more of himself to his family and everyone he comes in contact with than Mike. He is a giver. He gives of his time, his talent, his finances, his incredible cooking abilities (everyone loves Mike's pizza), and his heart. If you are blessed enough to know Mike, you love him. Every donation is significant. I am not sure how long this storm will last, or how many mountains and valleys there will be. I do know that having the support of each and every one of us will make the burden easier to bare and the journey to health possible.
3) SHARE the hashtag #fightformike in order to gain social media presence whenever you post something about Mike on any of your social media pages. The more traction gained, the more attention, resulting in more results.
I can't thank you enough for your prayers, your giving, and all of your acts of kindness towards Mike, Delilah, and their entire family.