A couple of weeks ago US Army Officer Christian (Tian) Blevins was diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma, stage IV cancer in his spine and bones. They discovered his spine is covered in lesions and is crumbling, in addition his vertebrae are pinching the spinal nerves causing excruciating pain. As they were preparing for radiation treatment and researching clinical trials at Duke, they were hit with the news that there was a massive tumor in Tian's neck pushing against his spinal cord and surgery had to be done immediately. On September 8th, he went in to have the area around the tumor decompressed and stabilized. They received exciting news as the surgery went great and there was zero loss of movement, and after spending that night in ICU Tian was sent home September 9th. He no longer has the debilitating pain in his shoulder and neck from the compressed spinal cord and is scheduled to meet with the radiation, spinal, and melanoma oncologists at Duke to determine a program for the cancer.
The first hurdle has been cleared but there are going to be more to get Tian 100% well.
The prayers, love and support have been graciously received by the Blevins' family but this is only the beginning of a long road to recovery for Tian. In a state of complete exhaustion that I can't even begin to comprehend, they've asked for nothing but prayers and help with meals but I think together we can support them with a little bit more :) Tian and Katrina have 5 beautiful girls and 3 of their sweet kiddos are currently living with them. They are also expecting another sweet little bundle of joy in January... so to ease the financial strain of exploring treatment options, travel expenses, childcare expenses and everything else on their plate; I'm hoping to encourage their friends and family to pull together and make this extremely difficult time a little less stressful. The Blevins family encompasses compassion and selflessness and they bring joy and happiness to everyone they meet, its time to rally behind Tian and Katrina and support them the same way they would for any of us.