A wonderful wife, Kayla. A beautiful home near Lake Tahoe. A great job he he’s enjoyed for more than seven years. His eight year old daughter, Awystn, had recently been joined by a very special sister, Posey, then two years old. A short time later, a handsome boy, Bodie, came into the world.
Then early in the morning on October 23, 2017, Kayla found herself rushing Travis to the emergency room. The day before, Travis had been dealing with some shortness of breath and tightness in his chest. As the pain radiating from his chest got much more intense, they feared the worst: a heart attack at age 29.
A short time later, an EKG, chest x-ray and all the normal tests had eliminated a heart-related event. However, a CT-scan showed a 3-inch mass in Travis’ chest. As they soon learned, Travis was about to spend the next 6 months of his life fighting something potentially worse than even a heart attack.
For the next month, Travis and Kayla were in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals. And yet despite the best efforts of many doctors, several ultrasounds from testicles to tongue, PET scans, needle biopsies, a thoracic biopsy, a bone marrow biopsy, and several consultations with oncologist specialists near home and at Stanford, it was unclear what type of cancer was invading Travis’ body.
Finally, almost a month later, Stanford confirmed a diagnosis: Primary B-Cell Mediastinal Lymphoma. The excruciating wait was over and the news was good: this form of cancer, while rare and brutal, was curable.
Life would go on.
After a chemo port was inserted and Travis and Kayla were prepped for how challenging the next year would be, a thankful Travis (appropriate, since it was the Monday after Thanksgiving) entered the hospital for the first of six week-long rounds of chemotherapy. At first, the process was tolerable. But, as expected, the treatments have become increasingly difficult.
Travis’ hair is all gone. So is his immune system. Nausea is ever-present, as is anemia. Sleep is hard to come by for both Travis and Kayla, despite both being terminally exhausted. And still, Travis – due in large part to the never-ending support of Kayla – is getting through this. After one more round of chemotherapy scheduled for mid-March, the hard part will be over. Albeit slowly at first, life will get back to a new version of normal.
Part of their new normal, despite decent health insurance? The medical bills that come from many visits to doctors and surgeons, six months of treatments, six weeks in the hospital, multiple procedures, trips down to Stanford, and so much more.
Travis would like to take this on all by himself, of course. He tries to stay strong. In fact, except for the days he’s confined to a hospital bed, he has only missed two days of work. But they need our help.
With at least that one final chemo treatment to go, and several months of after-treatment care, even Travis has come to realize that he and Kayla can’t do this by themselves. The physical and financial toll has been great. Now – despite the highest of spirits and the most positive of attitudes – the emotional toll is weighing on them both.
So they’ve agreed to let people in… to let them care. To allow us to fight alongside them… and to enable us to take some of the long-term burden away.
Their goal is to offset the high deductibles they’ve had to pay out-of-pocket for 2017 and already in 2018. Of course, there are the additional expenses that come with long-term cancer care like co-pays, travel expenses, gas for the nearly 100-mile round-trip Kayla makes to the hospital every day, extended day care, and more.
So please donate to the #TravisBeatsCancer campaign as you can. If you can’t donate personally, please share this campaign with your network. Every dollar, share, Facebook post, tweet, email and prayer helps!
Travis and Kayla genuinely appreciate your support – and so do the family and friends that love them.
From all of us to all of you… thank you.
#TravisBeatsCancer #f*ckcancer #goodtobealive #baldisbeautiful
- North Star Academy
- Mary Sweeney
- Scott Palat
- Jaclyn Goodpaster
- Mark Moran
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