My name is Julian Alexander Byer (but you can call me Alex). From the outside, I probably look like a pretty lucky guy: I'm young, I have a job, I live with a beautiful girl (who I hope to make my wife) and I have awesome family and friends. Underneath, however, is something none of us ever expected.
For a few years now, I've experienced a searing pain in my right shoulder that no doctor could explain. After countless prescriptions; second, third, and fourth opinions and months of physical therapy, I finally accepted that I was going to have to live with it forever. That's when a new pain developed in my chest. Assuming I'd pulled a muscle, I went to an Express Care facility where a chest x-ray revealed a "shadow" beside my heart. Upon further investigation, I was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer which has manifested itself as a softball-sized tumor in my chest.
This tumor has to be removed, and the surgery required to do so is intense. The doctors will have to break open my sternum and possibly reconstruct parts of my Vena Cava and Aorta. At the moment, we're not sure if I will require additional treatments (such as chemo or radiation) after the surgery, but recovery time from the surgery alone will keep me out of work for more than a month. I've already missed a significant amount of time, and my doctor bills aren't getting any smaller. Unfortunately, being only part time, I do not qualify for Temporary Disability or any other paid leave of absence. I want to be able to dedicate myself fully to getting better and having a fresh start, but in order to do that, I need help.
I refuse to give up on myself. I want to get married. I want to be a father. I want to do a million different things with my life, and I don't want to be held back by cancer or by debt. If there's anything this experience has taught me, it's that life is far too short and precious to be placed on the back burner. Anything you can give to help me reach my goals is more than enough. In return, I promise to be the kind of person you would be proud to support, and I promise that when I can, I will help others the way you've helped me.
I can't thank you enough,