This is to advise you that (TPS S/SGT) Grant BURNINGHAM and his family are in desperate need of your assistance.
On or about December 22, 2016, Grant’s 21-year-old son Reed CURTIS BURNINGHAM went to a clinic due to pains in this abdomen. The clinic was unable to take him, so he attended the hospital where his mother Leigh Curtis-BURNINGHAM works as a nurse.
Tests revealed tumours in his body. Immediately they were determined to be malignant, and Reed was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma - a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma recognized as the fastest growing human tumor rapidly fatal if left untreated.
Reed was already fighting for his life. He was placed in ICU in January, 2017. Doctors scrambled to deal with this devastating illness which seemed to change for the worse every time some positive stride was made. A coma was induced, he suffered respiratory failure, and as much as 3L of fluid was removed from his lungs at a time as his breathing machine struggled to have any effect.
Reed started his first round of chemotherapy on January 5th, 2017. He finished his last session due to complications on April 6th. Reed was able to leave the hospital several times and he returned to his student job as a Toronto Police Lifeguard for a few days. This disease had caught him in the midst of his studies at Centennial College of Police Foundations.
By May 10, 2017, doctors found another active tumour in him. Shortly thereafter other tumours appeared near his liver and abdominal area, and the fight was on with fury again.
In the interim, the family incurred extreme emotional and financial hardship. Just parking at the hospital was costing about $400/ month. Leigh had to leave her position for the obvious stress and the need to tend to her son, decreasing their income by thousands of dollars.
Grant lost a large amount of weight, needs a hip replacement, and even had his appendix removed in the midst of this. He became physically sick at the start of Reed’s illness, and has not been able to work since December, 2016, having already used up over 900 hours of sick time.
On June 5th Reed was taken back to Sunnybrook with severe leg and abdominal pain. At that time they discovered new tumours in his lower abdominal area. He received more rounds of chemotherapy.
Reed presently goes to clinic every day to recharge chemo bag, and is sent home with a 24 hour pump.
On June 8th, 2017, Dr. BUCKSTEIN advised that treatment options were running out. They were unsuccessful getting Reed into clinical studies. She advised of a drug called BLINCYTO that had been successful with similar lymphomas. This drug and others to be used in Reed’s treatment are NOT covered by OHIP. Treatment has already begun.
The BURNINGHAM’s are now receiving bills to be paid out of pocket. For example, Grant was recently charged $985.00 for 10 pills, taken 2 per day, that will last 5 days. Reed has to take these pills for 60 days.
COST PROJECTIONS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE
$6,000 per month for TREATMENT 1
$73,000 per month for TREATMENT 2 and
This and other costs can go on indefinitely
This is not only a young man in crisis, but an entire family in hardship. In order to meet some immediate costs, I ask that every one make a contribution of any kind, but contributions of $25.00 or more are more likely to help us reach our goals more immediately.
Please make your circle of friends, the friends and families of this family, and their contact circles aware of this fundraiser. I ask that Grant and Leigh's greater police and nursing family take this personally, and that every member contribute. I have no doubt this will happen. I know that the BURNINGHAM's would enthusiastically do the same for you.
Thank you and God's speed.
- alex j
- Tania Aitken
- Erick Plante
- melissa Kehler
Organizer and beneficiary
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