Matt's fight against T-Cell Lymphoma

Matthew Ruona

After almost 10 years with a skin rash that was misdiagnosed multiple times, and worsened into tumors, Matt was finally correctly diagnosed with a form of lymphoma in March 2019.  He was told to move to the “mainland” where they could treat him better than in Hawaii.  So he moved from Hawaii back to MN to get the best possible care at Mayo in Rochester. He has been diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma, stage 3.  He has a more rare form that starts on the skin, barely visible, to very large tumors and spreads into the lymph nodes. It has spread into lymph nodes throughout his body. It was just confirmed that it did not spread into his bone marrow. We are thankful for that.

After Matt moved back to MN, he had to go to ER three times before his appointment at Mayo. Once at Mayo, the doctor took less than 10 minutes to have him hospitalized. He has been hospitalized for over a week now, and will be staying for a while longer.  He recently got an internal infection and is on very strong antibiotics.  He is also receiving initial steroid treatments to help decrease the skin tumors somewhat until final treatment is started.  Since it is his skin that has cancer, he has a lot of trouble regulating body temperature and managing pain.

Matt does have State Medical Assistance Health Care now, but has been told that he will not be able to work for a very long time. The cancer is treatable, but he will have to monitor and watch it the rest of his life.  He will be starting chemo soon. His financial needs will be medical costs, as well as normal life expenses on a day-to-day basis.  We do not know what that will be overtime, but any less concern he has about being a financial burden to his family, would allow him to focus more on getting better.

No matter what, the family appreciates your prayers and positive energy.  There will be updates on Matt as he goes through his treatments.

Thank you.


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Kathy Bohlke 
Eagan, MN
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