Fast forward to today…17 year old Dustin is most comfortable spending most of each day in the dark, on his bed, in silence.
Early this year, Dustin was diagnosed with an EXTREMELY rare type of brain cancer, a rosette-forming glioneuronal tumour, which occurs predominantly in young adults. There are only about 45 known cases world-wide. There is no cure, and traditional forms of treatment are not an option and prove ineffective.
Dustin’s neuro-oncologist in Winnipeg reached out to cancer research facilities world-wide for help. Two experimental drug treatments were developed, one by a pharmaceutical company in Japan, the other by the Mayo Clinic. The first drug was offered to Dustin at no cost. However, the cost for the second drug is approximately $3,000 every 2 weeks, a total nearing $30,000. Although Dustin’s Mom, Lynda Moncrief, has fought tirelessly on his behalf to have the drug publically funded, to date this has not happened. To further add to their difficulties, Lynda and Dustin travel to Winnipeg on a weekly basis sometimes staying overnight, for medical appointments, and treatment. Consequently, Lynda has been unable to work since early this year, as she continues to provide care and support for Dustin.
Dustin decided to learn as much as he could about the beast that was affecting his brain and body function. His research discovered a neurosurgeon in Mississauga who has performed a successful surgery on a young woman with the same type of tumour. Dustin reached out to this specialist, and the two have corresponded about Dustin’s case, including sharing of Dustin’s MRI’s and medical files.
Last week, the decision was made by Dustin’s neuro-oncologist in Winnipeg to stop the drugs that Dustin has been receiving. He has been experiencing issues with his liver, his sight and increased dizziness…whether these are symptoms of the tumour or side effects from the drugs is unknown.
Dustin’s hope now lies with the surgery, in Mississauga.
The past months have pushed Lynda physically, emotionally and financially to the limit. As hard as it is for Lynda to ask for financial help, given her humble nature and her desire to provide for her son, on her own, she has realized that she can’t do it alone. Help is needed as they prepare to travel for this risky but hopefully life-saving surgery, and whatever else they may have to face in the coming months. Given this, Lynda and Dusty have agreed to let us share their story. Please join Team Dustin and help support Dustin and Lynda.
Any donation will be accepted in Lynda and Dustin’s way, with humble gratitude and much appreciation.
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