Support the Graves Cancer Fight

The morning of September 8th 2017 started like any other for Wes and Melissa (Banken) Graves. However, this day would change the rest of their lives. Wes had symptoms of a cough for nearly a year. He went in for a procedure on Friday the 8th to take a biopsy of tissue that looked abnormal on a CAT (CT) Scan of his chest/lungs. At the end of the procedure Wes and Melissa heard the news they dreaded the most, but least expected. Wes has lung cancer…Let that word sink in for a minute. Cancer…what?! Yes, at age 51 after serving in the military, working in the public service industry as a corrections officer for Sherburne County, most importantly getting married and having children (5 to be exact), Wes was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. It is hard to wrap our heads around this diagnosis. Wes never smoked. Guess what? Lung cancer doesn’t care if you never smoked. If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer. It’s at this moment I will say cancer sucks.

Wes and Melissa waited anxiously over the next several days for the final pathology and additional imaging studies to return. They dreaded the nearing conversation with their children about the diagnosis. How do you explain to an 8 year old, twin 9 year olds, and your two grown children you have lung cancer? Seriously, I am asking. If you have tips, please let us know.

My brother-in-law and my sister are amazing people with big hearts. Yes, I know you have heard it before how great people are and yes most people are great, but Melissa and Wes are a step further than great. They are inspirational. They are people who make you want to be a better person. Even with insurance, medical bills can be a financial burden from doctor’s bills, insurance co-pays, travel costs, lost wages, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and other life-saving treatments are both difficult and costly. The funds raised will help off set the financial burdens this family will endure as a result of a truly sucky illness. While we can’t “fix” cancer, we can support those who suffer from the life changing words…you have cancer. Please log into GoFundMe to help lessen the financial burden or even to share your supporting thoughts. Thank you from all of us!
  • Timothy and Denise Bakken 
    • $50 
    • 40 mos
  • Jamie Brandt 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Jane Ward 
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Tracy Casey 
    • $200 
    • 45 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Bobbie Banken Bertram 
Saint Cloud, MN
Melissa Graves 
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