I’m writing on behalf of my brother-in-law Randy Johnson(RJ, Coach Johnson) who has been fighting colorectal cancer since July 2015. This is the last thing he or my sister Dianne would want me to do for them, but I believe it is necessary. It is also not lost on me that the timing on my part is not optimal, to say the least , but RJ's situation requires action.
Randy and Dianne have been together for 35 plus years. Although RJ was born and raised in the northwest suburbs, he has been a resident of the Southside of Chicago and southwest suburbs for the last 30 plus years. He taught and coached in the Catholic League for the last 30 years, first at Leo High School, then DeLaSalle, and finally at Brother Rice.
In late July of 2015 Randy was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer that had spread to his liver. Dianne and RJ decided that he should go to Boston(where I live) and seek treatment at the DANA FARBER CANCER CENTER. RJ lived with my family from August 2015 through May 2016. During that year he received chemotherapy and underwent a liver resection. The prognosis was still not good, but RJ had gained time. But then in September of 2016, doctors told RJ that he would need to have more chemo and radiation. He was able to finish out coaching the football season at Brother Rice High School(where he was a teacher and football coach) and then returned to Boston from November through May once again. This pattern repeated itself during 2017-2018. The doctors told RJ he would need to be on chemotherapy maintenance in order to live. With this in mind RJ was able to receive his chemo treatment back in Illinois and therefore be near Dianne and the kids. Currently, RJ continues to receive chemo every 2 weeks. Unfortunately, RJ has developed seizures as of late, which obviously adds to his medical challenges.
While undergoing chemotherapy and radiation RJ NEVER COMPLAINED. Instead while suffering the side effects of chemotherapy RJ would sit in bed breaking down game film for the Brother Rice football team. He managed to walk a few miles each day, which continually shocked doctors. RJ powered through because at the outset of his treatment the doctor told him physical activity would help keep him strong to fight the cancer.
When RJ returned to Chicago to receive treatment, Dianne and the girls were obviously happy to have him home. Throughout the last 4 plus years Dianne managed to keep ‘things going’ while RJ was in Boston and at home. RJ is no longer able to teach. In April of 2019 Dianne lost her job as a computer programmer/analyst, therefore neither Dianne or RJ are employed presently. Dianne continues to search for a position as a math teacher or computer/business analyst, while substitute teaching in the interim.
RJ's medical bills and cost of chemotherapy continue to mount. Now those costs are coupled with monthly cobra insurance payments. Savings have been exhausted and I'm reaching out to family and friends for any help you can give. Any donation size will assist in helping with expenses associated with RJ's treatment and insurance costs and will be greatly appreciated.
- Dan and Sue Novosel
- Tom, Joe, and Bill Gibson
Organizer and beneficiary
Orland Park, IL