This beautiful family of six had their world rocked and faith tested when sweet Thomas was suddenly admitted to the hospital and doctors discovered a brain mass. Eighteen years young, just starting his senior year of high school, one of the sweetest most gentle boys you'll ever meet. A mysterious, rapidly growing lump in his brain pushing on his optic nerve turned his world upside down. Terrifying doesn't even begin to describe it.
Thankfully, after two brain surgeries, a multitude of testing, and hours of patient prayers, the diagnosis came out that the mass was benign. A germinoma grew quickly and we're all incredibly thankful to have avoided the worst. The doctors have created a treatment plan that will involve both chemotherapy and radiation. The intracranial germinoma is a highly treatable form of cancer, very sensitive to chemo and radiation. We're unsure of its specific nature as being purely benign. It has damaged the surrounding tissues (optic nerves, pituitary, hypothalamus, etc) and we are hopeful it will not spread. This tumor has found a localized, temporary home in his pituitary and optic nerves, but doctors are hopeful treatment can dissolve it.
Thomas has a long road of recovery ahead, and our first and foremost request is for friends, family, and strangers to continue praying for healing. Keep sharing only positive thoughts and kind words. Pray for Thomas to come out of this healthy and happy so he can get back to being a kid for a little while longer. We stand firmly on faith that Thomas's eyesight will be restored and he will respond positively to treatment.
Secondary to that, I know that friend after friend has repeatedly asked if there's a way they can help the Velez family. They are gracious people and counting their blessings with a benign diagnosis. If you know them, you know they would never ask for money. But I am on their behalf. This is how you can help. Two brain surgeries, countless tests, over two weeks in the hospital and ICU, upcoming chemo and radiation treatments - even with insurance, those bills will come in and pile up.
Please consider donating any amount to help the Velez family and Thomas Jay. Help relieve the stress of the medical bills that will undoubtedly come. Give them the opportunity to focus on Thomas. This family gives their heart to everyone they know. It's time we give back.
Thank you for your kindness and generosity.
Photo Credit: Angela Callisto
- Brad Tichenor
- Rick Schlitzer
- Bob Piljay
- Suzanne Szustakowski
Fundraising team (3)
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