Albeit is a senior at Heide Trask High School in Rocky Point, NC who is starting his senior year along with everyone else in his class with him receiving his class ring, senior pictures, but one more thing that isn't being shared throughout the senior class; an obstucle of the "unknown" ; the "unknown" of what will become of him this year...through a disease that lies secretly beneth his skin...one that doesn't show itself to others but consistly reminds him with excruciating pain , fatique, headaches, and with the people that have had to learn of this secret...such as teachers and coaches...he has suffered with secrets of discrimination...
This is my son...Albeit. The strongest person I know...a person that I can only strive to be like...one who doesn't complain of his pain and the heartache this disease has given him...already at the age of 18 has went through more pain than some of us will ever experience in a life time and heartache that some of us will never know...and has made decisons as a child that an adult should not even have to make...
This disease that lies beneth his skin is Neurofibromatosis Type I, it is only one neurological disease that afflicts my son, but right now is the most dangerous...NF causes tumors to grow anywhere there is a nerve cell, so Albeit has thousands of them...they can be benign or malignant...by the time they catch the malignacy it is too late...but with the doctors monitoring them so close they have found that a cluster of them called "plexiform fibroms" are growing at a rapid rate, in which, in most cases means Cancer...Albeit's grandfather and uncle have already passed due to a tumor becoming malignant...his father is currently being monitored for the same progression and went through one round of oral chemotherapy to no avail...
Albeit has been closely monitored since birth at the most reowned hospitals in the state, such as Duke University Medical Center and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill because they are the only ones that can treat and monitor such a unpredictable and deadly disease. He has been hospitalized several times, he has had spinal cord surgery and 3 different surgeries on his eyes to just mention a few incidents that Albeit has always kept a secret from friends...due to his wish of wanting to be normal just like all the rest of the kids...
but now Albeit's disease is progressing at a rapid rate and needs evaluation by a pediatric oncologist in Bethesda, Maryland on July 16, 2012.
With lifes own obstucles that we have indured over the last few months, with my husband's disease progressing too causing him not to be able to keep a part time job, a few animal rescues that we financed and other unbelieviable set backs we cannot afford this trip without putting our family at jeopardy of losing the house, in which we live in and the truck that we drive...so with a heavy and humble heart...I come to you with this fundrasier on the behalf of myself and my family to ask for finanical help to transport, as well as other survival expenses for the trip to take our son Albeit Winkelmann-Hodges to Bethesda, Maryland to the National Institue of Health to see Dr. Bridgett Widemann, a pediatric oncolgist. I will be the only one traveling with Albeit to keep expenses down and my husband will be staying with our other two children. We will be leaving on July 15th to arrive the same day to begin tests and exams the following morning...If the cancer is caught in the early stages my son has a chance at an extended life...a life he has already began as a volunteer fireman at our local department and has almost finished all his classes for his career because he has been a firefighter for 2 years...yep...my son started at 16 wanting to save your life or the life of your loved one...thats what he lives for...For I know the plans I have for you, "declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Now can you help in extending his life to one day to save another...
Thank you for all that you have done and all that you will do to help my son,
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