Update January 15, 2018.
Hello beautiful community, friends, family, and acquaintances of Mike Smith and his family. As Mike's sister I want to again thank all of you for your past and ongoing support of the family. Thank you especially to those who stand with Ashley and the kids today, as they work through their grief to re-build their lives.
Ashley has done an incredible, incredible job over the past many years, and it didn't stop when Mike's battle ended. A whole new battle began for Ashkey and she has put on her Superwoman cape and faced it head on. She's been stronger than I pray any of us have to be. And I'm so proud of her.
The family moved into a new and beautiful house to call home, they go to school, Ashley works at least one job at a time trying to make ends meet, and takes the kids to their hockey, football, and gymnastics to maintain their dreams and positivity. She has coped extremely well. Ahes even adjusted to her new normal income very well.. and that's a big difference when having two incomes and now boom -- you're the sole person responsible for making sure this house stays warm, there's food on the table, and the kids don't go to bed worrying. Oh.. and yeah.. for all the debt from the funeral too.
Ashley kept very quiet about the funeral cost, how she was going to manage with that, and has not asked for help even when I offered to post a GoFundMe update earlier on. Her patience came crumbling down today when pushed too far by the funeral home asking her for more money. She has made a strong effort to make reasonable payments to the home, but they just aren't on schedule with what the home would like to see. How stressful and frustrating.
At the time when you plan your loved ones funeral, you are at your weakest, wanting nothing but to do right by your loved one, and not convinced you're even going to make it yourself at that point so what's the harm in saying yes to the exuberant bill? Do you even really have a choice it seems in the moment?
If you've been there, if you understand, or even if you just feel for the family and Ashley who is working so darn hard to do this whole single mom thing.. please consider a small donation to help her get some of this debt off her mind.
Many thanks to anyone who can help at this time.
Please read the latest update for the newest information. *link below* Thank you.
Michael got confirmation in October 2015 that he has testicular cancer which spread dramatically to his lymph nodes. As a father of three beautiful children and husband to his loving wife, Mike not only worried for his own health and life, but his family's. We successfully started this GoFundMe page shortly after Mike stopped work in August 2015. We had a great fundraiser at the Royal Canadian Legion, many successful Yard Sales, a baseball fundraiser which was a lot of fun, Christmas toy drives, and more. Mike and the family are so thankful for everyones support! Family and friends have been amazing, and even people we do not know have donated to the GoFundMe page!
To summarize Mike's Battle: He was diagnosed with Testicular cancer, a pretty rare and aggresive type. It spread dramatically to his lymph nodes, especially in his abdomen and neck. The first several rounds of chemo at Peterborough Regional Health Centre unfortunately didn't work. Tumour markers didn't fall as expected and none of the tumours really shrank. The cancer is very resistant to chemo. He started seeing Princess Margaret Hospital specialists in February 2016. He had an extremely intense 16 hour surgery in March 2016. They removed infant sized tumours from his abdomen. He fought hard and got home safe and sound... only to find out.. the cancer spread to his lungs. He underwent inpatient bridging chemo at Princess Margaret in May and it hit him hard. But it wasn't over yet. He had chemo again, which released millions of stem cells into his blood so we could collect them. We He then had super high dose intense chemo followed by Stem Cell transplant. Well after it all, even that high dose chemo didn't work.
We tried to take out every piece of cancer we could see. He had surgery on his neck. That didn't work either. We tried to beg for one last ditch effort - lung surgery - and Mike was ready to take it on. We consulted with doctors from the states allongside the incredible team at Princess Margaret. But right as Mike was about to potentially sign up for this last ditch effort - we got word that it had spread even further. There's not nothing that can be done. He will be looking into life prolonging efforts to try and get as much quality time with his family as he can. But our efforts are now whole-heartedly focussed on helping Mike and his family enjoy what time he has left with them.
The family has faced a ton of stress and heartbreaking moments over the last year and a half. They also faced a lot of expenses. As you know, finances are a very annoying, stressful, and real part of the cancer treatment. With your help, the burden and stress was greatly reduced. Thank you.
My hope is that we can continue to find donors to help support the family through the time they have left with Mike. Help them continue to make memories. Help Mike and Ashley not worry about bills, gas, rent, food, etc. while trying to also say goodbye.
Please share, and help the family both physically, emotionally, and if possible financially through this time.
All our love,
- Brittany, Team Mike
- Shannon Prear
- Dana Capell
- Martin Prear
- June Wismer
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