￼￼￼￼￼￼ BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY FIREFIGHTER / MOM ANSWERS THE CALL TO SAVE FELLOW FIREFIGHTER’S SON WITH LIVER DONATION ￼
Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma is a rare form of liver cancer affecting primarily adolescents who are otherwise healthy. Statistics state approximately 1 in 5 million people are diagnosed with this rare form of liver cancer. Due to the rarity of the disease, there are no treatment trials that have been tested on a large group of patients. Therefore treatment is often provided and based individually on the symptoms the patient has presented. In this case, where we are asking for your assistance, it involves an 18-year old (Jarrett Singer)who is the son of Canadian Fire Fighter, Mark Singer.
After rounds of chemotherapy and attempted surgical intervention were unsuccessful, Mark sent out a plea to friends, family, and those on Social Media to save his son's life. It wasn’t long before his colleagues at Ajax Fire and Emergency Services are also going beyond the call of duty and stepping up to the task of seeing how they can help.
Jarrett Singer, also a fitness and sports enthusiast, played competitive hockey Oshawa (AA and AAA) and represented Junior Team Canada in Prague for ball hockey. Jarrett also had been in school at the University of Guelph for Applied Human Nutrition. This is a young man who already has direction and intention for his life contrary to many of his peers. In our opinion, he is definitely a recipient who deserves to experience what his life can offer given the opportunity to live it.
That's why it is no surprise Nadine Young answered the ultimate call for help from her colleague (Mark Singer). When familial liver donors were not viable, it left a family relying on waitlists for organ donors. This condition requires a living donor to be matched, but only after extensive testing for both the donor and the recipient.
Nadine, like Mark, is a Firefighter in the city of Ajax, Ontario, and is known for her commitment to fitness/health, as well as her dedication to her profession. Nadine was matched with Jarret after extensive rounds of diagnostic testing that included MRI imaging, blood work, psychological assessments, and more. The donor candidate handbook, pre-op, and postoperative instructions are enough to remind someone this is not a simple procedure. The process is physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially exhausting for both families involved.
When she's not at work, Nadine loves being with her family, especially her two-year-old daughter, Adelynn. She enjoys family outings, going to the gym, walking her four rescue pups, painting portraits, fixing or building things, giving her time to a good cause, and always being available to help a family member, a friend, a colleague or even a complete stranger, just because she believes it is what she was meant to do. For Nadine, this is something she simply must do for Jarrett. When she decides to do something, it is going to happen, so it is best to just get on the bandwagon. So here we are.
For Jarret's family, the time off work to go through diagnosis, chemotherapy, surgery, and now the organ donation process, has been an emotional and financial strain. They've had enough ups and downs to last a lifetime.
For our family, while Nadine is hospitalized, the best solution logistically would be for our daughter, Adelynn, and I to stay in a Toronto hotel near the hospital. This will enable us to be there more often to support her through the surgery and hospitalization. Normally, we each care for Adelynn while the other works, however, while Nadine is going through the surgery and recovery process, she won't be able to work for at least three months. She will have also limitations on what she can do during that time. She won't be able to lift more than ten pounds for 6-8 weeks, which means she will not be able to hold or carry Adelynn. For a mother who's so involved in her daughter's daily life, it's devastating to think she won't be able to pick Adelynn up in her arms to hug her or tuck her into bed. I'll be taking care of Adelynn myself during Nadine's recovery. I love being a father, and would not miss any of it for the world, but during this time, I will miss out on work opportunities along the way. The unknown financial deficit to our family is a concern.
There are many considerations and emotional battles for Nadine, Jarrett, and our respective families. For Nadine, there’s the stress of her maternal instincts to save another mother from losing her child, responsibility to her family (Adelynn, Todd, who is a former police officer, and her four rescue pups), and the constant feeling of “what if something goes wrong?”
The surgery will last approximately eight hours and will require an approximate ten inch incision to remove part of the right lobe of her liver to donate to Jarrett. The next few months will be one of anticipation and a test of mental, physical, and emotional fortitude for Jarrett, Nadine, and both families. One mother will put her personal and professional life on hold, risk her own life, her quality of life, the needs of her own daughter, and family to help save the child of another mother. Jarrett’s mother has already been through so much, and still has to experience the agonizing wait to see if her son's body will accept the organ gift.
It is unfortunate financial issues become a concern for both families in a situation as important as this, but we are asking for help and donations. This would be to help provide care and support for Nadine and Adelynn, and to help our family meet unforeseen expenses during a time when our family income will be strained and unpredictable. Nadine and I are minimalistic in our approach to these logistics, as our desire is to provide your donations to Jarrett.
Both families are sacrificing much for this to have a successful outcome. Not having to worry about financial concerns would relieve some of the stress we're feeling as we proceed. Once we've come through this at the other end, we would like give the remaining funds to Jarret's family. Jarrett will need expensive medication for the rest of his life. Our reason for going through all of this is for Jarret to live a happy, productive, and fulfilled life.
We would be forever grateful for your part in helping all of us save this young man's life, preserving a family unit, and making this Mother's Day 2019 all about one mother saving another mother's son.
Thank you in advance for your prayers, support, and generosity. If you are only able to share this message, we appreciate your help in getting the word out there!
Todd Vinson (Fiancé of Donor) ￼ ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
Please view the photos below and see who you are helping with your kindness, generosity, and sharing our message.