Hello. I haven’t spoken of this situation about my eldest son Derek till recently... A few weeks ago he complained about a small bump in his cheek. After seeing a dentist, an oral specialist and a tumor specialist, we found out it was cancer, Osteosarcoma. It’s grown rapidly over the last few weeks and on November 23, 2019, he was admitted to OHSU hospital in Oregon for surgery. The tumor was in his left jaw bone requiring a team of doctors to remove a section of the jaw bone, from the middle of his chin to the back of his cheek (surgery #1). The implant called for the removal/harvesting of his fibula to replace and create the new section of jawbone (surgery #2).
As you can imagine, this was invasive on both areas. The surgeries went well. The cancerous section was removed within anticipated margins and the bone from his leg was successfully transplanted. Once he is healed, he will start an aggressive bout of chemotherapy. The chemo will be hard on his body and mind, as it is for most people. We are hopeful that the chemo will eradicate any cancerous cells that may still be present. Derek is recovering well and his physical therapy is progressing.
Derek has a wonderful girlfriend and family that has welcomed him with open arms. I couldn't ask for anyone better to help him through his recovery while I am so far away. However, like most young adults, Derek lives pay check to pay check and will not be able to work for at least a year. This will be a financial hardship for him. Many friends and family have asked, "is there anything I can do?" This Go Fund Me page is the best way to help him directly. Thank you to everyone for the support, prayers and kind words. My prayers are with my son and I’m hopeful for a speedy recovery even though he has a long road ahead of him.
That’s all for now. I’ll update later. Thanks all.
- Tami Tarnow Joseph
- Steve Allen
- steven yannicelli
- SHannon Lenz
- Kevin Schaeffer