It was determined to be Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4.
After recovering from his first brain surgery Nicholas sought a consultation from MD Anderson in Houston. TX. Ranked #1 in the Nation for Cancer treatment (https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings/cancer). In the short 3 weeks between his first surgery and visiting MD Anderson, his tumor grew and was no longer confined to his right frontal lobe, but was also in his left frontal lobe and deep into his temporal lobe. With this information Nicholas and our family temporarily relocated to Houston, TX from our home in Georgia, for Nick to receive the very best treatment.This began a difficult 6-week schedule which consisted of daily chemotherapy, radiation treatments Mon-Fri, and infusion of a clinical trial immunotherapy drug every 2 weeks. After the 6 weeks were complete, we went home to Augusta to give Nicholas' body 3 weeks to rest and heal before returning to see if the treatment had been successful in slowing or stopping the growth of the tumor.
Unfortunately, the treatment did not work. Due to the increased size of the tumor a second resection surgery was recommended and took place on July 18th, 2019, at MD Anderson. Immediately after his recovery, Nicholas started a new chemotherapy treatment called CCNU/Lomustine. At first it appeared that this new treatment wasn't working either. Gratefully, when he returned to MD Anderson in October 2019, they determined that the new chemo was in fact slowing the growth of Nick's tumor!! He is current still taking this chemotherapy, which is administered every 6 weeks and requires us to travel back and forth to Houston every 6 weeks for follow up visits with his medical team. $4,000 of the funds raised will go strictly towards helping us with this medical travel in 2020.
Nicholas was extremely young to have this diagnosis (33 at the time). "The median age at diagnosis for glioblastoma is 64 years of age..."
I think our friend Jessica said it best when describing this situation:
"(they) are not receiving life GIVING news, but instead, and only perhaps, a possible hope for life PROLONGING news.
(with) 3 small boys. A husband, a daddy, a son, a brother, a hard working, honest, funny, full of serving others man in his early 30s who will have his life cut too short, far far far too short. Soon.
The statistics and likely prognosis are startling and incredibly difficult and sad."
Our first GoFundMe Campaign funded Nick's individual out of pocket medical cost for 2019 ($9,000) and our temporary housing in TX ($7,311.79), the cost of our children joining us in TX , flights, medication, and the start of some income replacement while we wait on Nick's Social Security disability to kick in. There is a mandatory 5 month waiting period for SS disability, even though his diagnosis falls under the compassionate care act. His SS Disability household max will still leave a large monthly deficit while (his wife, April) I'm busy being Mom, wife, and caregiver to Nicholas.
Please help in any way that you can $5, $50, $500, $5000 or simply share this with as many people as possible to help spread the word. Every dollar adds up to make a huge difference in our lives. Aside from the $4,000 that will go towards medical travel to Houston for this year, the remaining $9,000 that's being raised will all go towards meeting Nicholas' individual out of pocket medical cost for 2020.
From our family, we are thankful beyond words for the love and support that's been showered on us. If not for the funds raised, we would still be in Augusta with a misdiagnoses of grade 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma. Augusta is not equipped to deal with brain cancer, something we were completely unaware of prior to this. The donations, acts of service, cards, love and support make all the difference in this battle we have begun.
- Anne Morgan
- John Josephson
- Ashleigh Choat
- The Wilkersons
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