Please Help Bob Sanford Fight Cancer

Family and friends from near and far, we reach out to you today to share some difficult news and ask for your help. Bob and Melissa, our parents, need assistance and we can no longer watch them struggle with the financial burden they are experiencing.  Our Dad has been fighting the hardest battle he will ever face……CANCER…...Stage III Acinic Cell Carcinoma, a rare aggressive cancer, to be exact. 

Anyone who knows our Dad knows he always puts everyone before himself as he is still doing during his battle with Cancer.  He is everyone’s Mr. Fix It (jack of all trades) that we all have on speed dial and he has been there for all that have ever needed his help day or night, rain or shine.  Our parents have been there for us through everything and so we reach out to you to please help us help this amazing man, father, grandfather and amazing friend. 

Our parents started a beautiful journey of moving to Indiana and making their dreams come true.  They purchased property and created a perfect little farm life of peace and happiness for themselves and their family to enjoy and create amazing memories.  Unfortunately, cancer stepped in and interrupted that dream.  

The medical bills, travel expenses and treatment costs continue to pile up and are not getting any less expensive.  Even with great insurance ….It’s not enough. The insurance has determined they will not cover any clinical trials our Dad may be approved for because of the rarity of this cancer.  Right now, our hope is the drug companies may provide some assistance if he is approved.  Fingers Crossed. 

We do know how hard times are right now for everyone, but we ask you to please donate whatever you are able to for our parents.  Donations will help them through this difficult and painful time and help them focus on staying positive.  We thank you deeply for the time you have given to learn of the situation our Dad and Mom are facing.  Please send prayers for them both!

Our Dad has written his story that we would like to share with you all. 

My story……. 

This may be a long one, but I wanted to update everyone on my current health and what Melissa and I have been going through since 2019. Please take a moment and read, no sympathy needed just prayers.

How it all started:

I am on our hazard response team at work, and it requires a full physical every year. Having completed my physical, I was found to have a slight trace of blood in my urine and was recommended to see a urologist and he scheduled a scan of my abdomen. My main physician saw the scan and immediately called me and informed me that a mass showed up in my right lower lung area. She requested a PET-scan on 6/04/2019 I was found to have a lung and neck mass that showed to be active. 

I scheduled to see a pulmonologist for the lung and an ENT for the neck. I had biopsies completed and was told they were both benign, sigh of relief. My pulmonologist highly recommended surgery to remove the right lung mass due to the possibility of it turning cancerous. We scheduled the surgery on 7/25/2019 and I started my recovery healing process after. The ENT told me that we had time and it wasn’t an issue postponing surgery so I can build up time off and finish healing from the lung surgery, NEVER once did he mention that there was a possibility of it turning cancerous. I needed to build up vacation and money for the time off I would need for the surgery because the lung surgery chewed all that up. So we monitored the neck. 

February it started to turn hard, swell and hurt. I was prescribed an antibiotic because the ENT doctor believed it was a cyst sack that was growing. I started to push to have the surgery and then COVID struck the nation and JB Pritzer stopped all elective surgery in Illinois, I asked to have it reclassified as urgent with no luck. 

After a grueling amount of time the restrictions were eased, another sigh of relief, and I had my 1st neck surgery to remove the Parotid gland on May 21st.  What was supposed to be a simple 1.5hr surgery turned into 6.5hr surgery. This is when I got the news…. they found I had stage III Acinic cell carcinoma, a rare aggressive type of cancer, that had wrapped around my left facial nerve. This caused paralysis of the left side of my face affecting my eyesight, speech and mouth. With this, I lost all faith in my doctor and the current hospital I was at.  With the help of some great friends, I was able to get into Northwestern and scheduled a follow up which proceeded in having a PET SCAN. The pet scan showed more active cells were left in the neck area and a second operation was scheduled at Northwestern on 6/23/2020. In this operation, they removed 52 lymph nodes and cleaned up the area from the 1st surgery. 

I was then scheduled for treatments at the Proton Center in Warrenville Il, 33 radiation treatments and 6 chemotherapy treatments. This was extremely tough to do, Melissa and I made the decision for me to stay close to the Proton Center and come home on the weekends in case complications arose due to treatments being daily, I looked forward to being home on the weekends. 

The treatments took its toll on me, but on Friday September 11th that would be my last radiation treatment. I went home, started my healing process and we started to get our lives back on track. 

It was about 4 months later, and I had a progress PET-Scan done. This showed that the cancer metastasized to the upper section of both my lungs, another round of treatments was scheduled, and these involved a new drug called Keytruda along with (Chemo) Carboplatin and 5FU... These are done every 18 days and I went home with a pump on for the 5FU for 3 days administered through a port in my chest. 

We applied for assistance for the Keytruda and were rejected. We also reached out to U-Chicago in March for a research study, but I did not qualify for it.

After a lot of testing, genetic testing and searching for other research opportunities I continued to be turned down, so I continued with my treatments, always keeping a positive attitude. 

On Monday February 15, 2021 (my birthday) I was scheduled to have another progress scan completed and this showed growth of the existing tumors and several new ones. We continued with the current treatment plan and scheduled another progress scan on 3/26/2021. This scan showed some growth and shrinkage on the existing tumors but no new tumors or spreading was found (good news). Treatments continued.

On 5/7/2021 I had another progress scan and it showed basically the same results as the previous scan, they determined it had stabilized and my treatment has been changed, dropping the Carboplatin for the next 2 treatments.  Another progress scan will be done after the 2nd treatment in June, and this will determine what direction we will go as far as treatments.

I have applied for several research possibilities and we are waiting for results and praying each day that I will qualify.

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    • $350 
    • 4 mos
  • David Rooney 
    • $500 
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Fundraising team (2)

Melissa Sanford 
Raised $2,138 from 20 donations
Rolling Meadows, IL
Troy Sanford 
Team member
Raised $550 from 3 donations
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