Hi everyone, thank you for taking the time to visit Team Michaud's GoFundMe page. My name is Christin DeMoss, and I am James' sister-in-law. James and Lauren are overwhelmed and so thankful for everyone's support and kindness during this difficult time. While James and Lauren have been very fortunate so far with having excellent medical insurance, they have realized that other expenses such as travel and lodging for treatment may be a reality in the near future. Additionally, due to his ongoing pain and discomfort, James is unable to return to teaching this fall. With so many people asking how best to support the Michaud family, we hope that this page will provide an outlet for some of that support.
James' Journey: On Saturday, February 11th, 2023 James and Lauren received the news that no one ever wants to hear - James has cancer. As James was feeling sick for weeks to months at that point, they were thankful to have a diagnosis but scared about what the future may hold. The next few days and weeks were certainly a blur for the Michaud family as they learned that James not only had cancer, but had stage IV metastatic melanoma which had spread to his spine, liver, and lung. He started treatment as soon as possible in the form of immunotherapy. After further testing, his doctors identified that James had a BRAF gene mutation which can cause tumors to develop more quickly. Because of this mutation, his doctors were able to switch James to a targeted oral therapy to slow the spread and growth of his tumors. Luckily, this treatment seemed to help James immensely for many months. Unfortunately, his doctors warned him that this was not a permanent treatment and its effectiveness would only last for 6-12 months. In July 2023, it seemed that James' success with the oral treatment finally started to wean. His pain which had subsided some during his oral treatment seemed to be returning. An updated scan showed his tumors had increased in size and number. He was switched back to the immunotherapy, which did not have the same positive effect as the oral medication.
August 2023: James and Lauren are hopeful that their team of doctors will help them find a promising clinical trial. Until then, Team Michaud appreciates any support and prayers you can provide.