Commitment to Conquer Colon Cancer
Day by day it’s an uphill battle that with your help we can make it easier on Richie and his family. The enormity of two major surgeries, indefinite treatments and medication are a burden no one needs to face while fighting for one’s health.
Last April, Richie Etting was living a normal, healthy life. He didn’t drink, never smoked, ate a healthy vegan diet, and exercised regularly. Like most 26 year olds he was non stop active- he worked six days a week, coaching gymnastics, which he loved, played organized soccer weekly, golfed sporadically, repaired his home in Lacey on the weekends, and spent time with his family daily. All of that changed suddenly. By mid April he got sick, was admitted to the hospital due to severe dehydration and within the week his nice, normal, happy life was turned upside down. He was diagnosed with Colon Cancer- at 26 years old! He had surgery to remove the tumor and part of his colon. Within weeks of the surgery he began his 6 month course of chemotherapy treatments to tackle this disease. Most of his normal life and activities were put on hold during the course of treatments, but progress was quick and things were turning a corner.
By December he was tested and told he was free from the cancer and healthy! He was ready to begin the monitoring phase of this process. Sadly by the beginning of March he was sick again and his world came to a crashing halt. The cancer was back and it had spread. His oncology team thought he was beyond treatment this time. His surgeon would hear none of that! He set to work in an over 7 hour life saving surgery! He had to have his small intestine resectioned 4 times and he now lives with an ileostomy bag. The recovery has been slow. Another trip back to the hospital was needed due to dehydration and fluid build up in his abdomen and lungs. After some set backs he was finally ready to begin treatments again thanks to his amazing, caring, and compassionate surgeon and his new oncology team! He has his second chemo treatment this week where he continues to fight against this insidious disease! Even though he has lost a large percentage of his body weight, he cannot eat solid foods yet, and is very slow moving around he is in good spirits with a positive attitude ready to battle this disease head on!
We are starting this campaign for two reasons- (1) to give Richie some financial support so that all he needs to do is focus on getting well again; and (2) to show Richie some emotional support. Not long after symptoms started showing up a second time, he was let go from his job and his insurance was dropped. After a long battle he was able to regain the insurance. Still, without a job, and the ability to work, medical bills, including; insurance premiums, hospital expenses which are quite extensive due to his three trips in the past two months, and prescription costs, student loan debt, and regular daily living expenses add up. There is a great financial strain added to this already difficult physical and emotional strain.
It is incredibly difficult to ask for help as it is to fight. He has never asked anything of us but we ask for him for your help to help alleviate expenses. If not for these dire circumstances we would not be sharing his story. His story is one of many sadly because this disease can affect and destroy anyones life. Please stand with us as we fight for Richie, as we fight with Richie, as we fight against this disease that should not be allowed to destroy any more lives than it already has!
We are so very grateful for your contributions, for listening to his story, and for sharing his story.