Help Ken Beat Cancer with Robots

It is with great hesitance, and with an abundance of gratitude, we are putting together this gofundme campaign.  It is quite a humbling experience to ask for help, and not something that we take lightly.  Thanks for reading and sharing our story.

At the end of November, Ken and I will travel to The University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.  He will undergo Robotic-Assisted Partial Nephrectomy to remove renal cell carcinoma from his left kidney.

Robots and Lasers

It was by chance, possibly serendipity, that during an MRI of Ken’s spine, a mass was found on his left kidney.  How could this finding ever be a “positive” thing, you ask?  The specialist at the University of Washington Medical Center explained that this type of mass could continue to grow and spread, unnoticed, and possibly without symptoms, for years.  That is terrifying, and we are thankful it was caught earlier than later.

We have been ensured that the mass was caught early enough, and isn’t embedded too deep, so 50-75% of Ken’s kidney can be saved.  This also means, less invasive surgery.  Instead of doing a full open surgery, Ken will get to have his surgery done with “the Da Vinci Robot”.  He’ll get about 6 incisions instead of 1 huge one through muscle.  This also means an easier recovery after the procedure: 4-6 weeks vs 6-8 weeks.  We still don't know what the treatment plan is after surgery, but we are hopeful!

What’s Next?

Luckily the robot had time in his busy schedule right away.  (This robot is in high demand!)  Ken’s surgery is scheduled for 11/27/2017.  We are fortunate that he has medical insurance, but it won't cover everything.

If we haven’t filled you in, we have had an interesting 2017.  Both of us have been off of work since July for other issues (which was the reason for that MRI of the spine that led to the mass being found).  

If you’d like to read more of our adventures of 2017, click here for the story.

We are reaching out now, because there are things that medical insurance will not cover.  The specialist requires Ken to stay in Seattle for at least a week after surgery, in case of any complications.  Expenses like travel, lodging, and meals aren’t covered by insurance unless you’re going in for a transplant.  (And we are happy to say, that is NOT the case!)  There are "known costs" we are bracing ourselves for, such as: deductibles, out of pocket maximums, and travel expenses.  But there are still unknowns after his surgery, regarding the next steps of treatment.  We will keep you up to date as we learn.  


Thank You

Thank you to all of our wonderful friends and family for taking the time to read and share this.  We love you!

We are so thankful for the screening that led the doctors to catch this early! 

Thank you for your kindness, and for sharing our story.






























  • Nancy Simpkins 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
  • Sitka Cancer Survivors Society 
    • $500 (Offline)
    • 44 mos
  • Shawn Bartels 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • Michelle Linenfelser  
    • $30 
    • 45 mos
  • Mel & Lisa O'Keefe 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Nickie Knight 
Sitka, AK
Kenneth Sprague 
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