Jerry's Story- In October of 2016, Jerry and his wife, Jackie, traveled to Hawaii to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Their trip was wonderful until the day before they were to fly back home to Holland, Michigan. While taking one last swim in the ocean near Maui, Jerry was forced down by a strong wave and hit his head on the ocean floor. He was rescued from the surf by nearby beachgoers but had no pulse and was not breathing. As Jackie watched in shock and fear, these caring strangers administered CPR and miraculously brought Jerry back to life.
After regaining consciousness, Jerry spent 5 days in the hospital in Maui. Once the initial swelling had subsided it was determined that Jerry had suffered no brain damage. However, he had seriously injured his spinal column and, despite subsequent surgery, he now has extensive nerve damage, including numbness in his hands, feet, legs and arms. These injuries have left Jerry permanently disabled and he is no longer able to work. Yet, even though these injuries could not be cured or alleviated, Jerry was incredibly grateful for the fact that he was still alive and would have time to spend with his loved ones.
Tragically, Jerry experienced additional health setbacks in the months following this near-drowning accident. It was discovered, through the extensive medical tests and treatments he needed, that he also had kidney cancer. Doctors then operated to remove the affected kidney and a nearby lymph node. Preliminary testing after this lifesaving surgery indicated that the cancer had not spread to his lungs or in his bones. His doctors then operated, yet again, to perform a complicated procedure to strengthen Jerry's damaged spine and prevent future injuries that might lead to permanent paralysis.
Jerry recovered from this successful surgery, and, once again, he and Jackie rejoiced for what they thought would be another gift of time. But, sadly, this was not the end of Jerry's medical challenges. Follow-up visits to an oncologist led to a determination that the cancer had spread to other locations in his body.
At this time, at the age of 64, Jerry is undergoing daily oral chemotherapy to prolong his life for as long as possible. His family, friends and loved ones are hopeful and eternally grateful for every day that Jerry is still with them- sharing his wonderful sense of humor, his passion for life, and the bounty of his gardens. They would like to ask everyone to join them in their prayers of love and support.
Jerry's relatives and friends have also established this 'gofundme' campaign to support both Jerry and Jackie with their urgent need to pay for the medical expenses incurred thus far and to provide Jerry with the palliative care he needs for a stress-free and peaceful quality of life in the precious months ahead.
Time with family and friends and the positive caring thoughts and prayers of all are the best medicine for Jerry as he continues his battle with cancer.
From prayers to monetary support, Jerry and his family are extremely grateful for the hope, kindness and generosity shared. They offer their utmost appreciation and thanks to all who are able to contribute to this campaign. All donations, no matter the amount, will be extremely helpful. Although Jerry is currently managing the effects of the cancer treatments, his health is greatly compromised and he is unable to work as the medical expenses continue to add up.
Please send Jerry a message of encouragement, and, if you have a preference for how you would like your contribution to be used for the support of Jerry and his family, please let us know.
With gratitude and love...
The family and friends of Jerry Elowsky:
Cal, Sharon and Bethani Prittie
Duane and Rita Bade
Mark and Tammy Timm
Ivan and Rose Buck
- Suellen Mertz
- Carmen Fleming
- Todd and Deb Buck
Organizer and beneficiary
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