Help for Dad's Feeding Tube Costs

My father, Robert Tymo, was diagnosed with throat cancer in June of 2017, at age 65. He underwent radiation treatment at the Cross Cancer Institute, with his final treatment ending on September 28th. Amazingly, he beat the odds and was deemed cancer free and is currently in remission. However, it is dealing with the aftermath of the radiation, which is almost worse than cancer itself. 

My father has been unable to eat since the beginning of his radiation. He has survived on a sad diet of Ensure meal replacement shakes and plain H20, both extremely painful for him to consume. Basic nourishment was a daily struggle and it was terrible to watch him suffer such discomfort. Dad dropped weight drastically, going from a healthy 180 lbs. to his current frightening weight of 96 lbs. The nutritionists at Cross couldn't figure out the cause of the extreme weight loss, which only added even more stress to the situation. 

In his weak state, my father was rushed to emergency at the University of Alberta Hospital on December 27th. Diagnosed with pneumonia, he spent New Year's Eve and Day and Ukrainian Christmas in the ICU.  From there, Dad was transferred to a recovery ward. Numerous tubes, too many to count, were placed up his nose and down his throat. Adding even more stress to his illness, they discovered the radiation had paralyzed his voice box and burned a hole in his throat.

It was from here we realized he would never be able to talk or eat normally again. The hole disables nutrition from fully reaching his stomach and instead gets partly diverted to his lungs. The diversion is that caused his pneumonia. From here, my dad had no choice but to have a feeding tube attached to the outside of his stomach to enable him to have any kind of sustenance as well as his medications. 

This is where we have run into financial trouble and have to ask for help. The specific "formula' he has to take is not covered by medical. The brand Ensure is covered, which he was on before, but this new one is not. I have tried every avenue to have the liquid covered, but have only run into dead ends and no answers. The new formula as well as supplies for the tube costs up to $200 (it varies slightly due to supplies needed). It may not seem like much, but my father is unable to work due to not only a previous injury on the job but of course his cancer treatments. He lives off his Old Age Security and CPP, which combined is just over $1300 a month. After his mortgage and basic bills, he is left with less than $175 to live off, meaning sadly there is no way he can afford the food and tube supplies. 

It breaks my heart to see him struggle like this and to be in a situation where he has to choose between his liquid food or the electric bill. Any amount raised on here will go to pay for his nutrition and tube needs, with anything remaining towards his bills. No Canadian should have to face this. My father worked his whole life and paid into a system that can't help him with one last basic need. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and I will keep everyone posted on Robert's health. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your donation and your time. 

With love, 

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Jessica Tymo 
Edmonton, AB
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