You Never Fight Alone
The saying that by having a brother you have a best friend is the truth. My brother is my best friend and has been since the day he came into this world. Thomas is the most genuine man I know and is always willing to give the shirt off his back for anyone. My brother has been the rock of our family for most of my life and always there to take care of us. With mom being a single mom and dad out of the picture for most of our lives, Thomas stepped up and became the man of the house. Thomas is always the first one to ask, "What do you need? How can I help?" Well now the day has come that Thomas desperately needs our help. 2017 has taught my family that you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only option. In February 2017 my 24yr old brother, my hero, was diagnosed with advanced Hodgkins Lymphoma.
At first with a cancer diagnosis you wonder if life is real. Hard lesson learned cancer does not discriminate. My family is a strong unit and for this I am grateful. In a perfect world, every case of cancer would respond and be cured by first line treatment. Unfortunately in Thomas's case this did not happen, he is considered Primary Refractory with persistent disease.
"It's not the journey that defines you, it's how you define the journey."
The next step of this journey is a stem cell transplant. Thomas's future depends on a successful transplant. Transplant day will be Thomas's new birthday. Our goal is for Thomas to have a cancer-free future, many disease free years. The road of a stem cell transplant is a road known to be a hard one with many peaks and valleys. His journey is far from over. Thomas is not one for asking for help but it has come time that my brother needs help. The transplant process officially begins tomorrow, October 20 when he is having surgery to put a catheter in. Thomas will be in the hospital for an extended period of time. When Thomas is eventually discharged from the hospital he is required to stay local in Richmond and find lodging due to daily treatments. Thomas has to have a caregiver beside him 24/7 throughout this process. With being out of work for an extended period of time the financial impact is truly real. Financially this battle is taking a toll on the whole family as we all come together to support our loved one. The past nine months have been countless trips to Richmond for appointments and chemo-therapy treatments, meaning many days of work missed or shortened work days. Any amount helps and is appreciated more than anyone would ever know. My family has always lived by helping others, and now I hate to say it, but my family needs help. Once again thank you for any amount able to be given or a kind and inspiring word. God bless.
- Charles Stephens
- Chris Hilliard
- Beth Paice
- Harley Handy
- Craig Woythaler
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