"My wife Heather and I have been married for 10 years, together 11. We have a 10 year old boy named Tanner who keeps each day vibrant, just by being near him. He is curious, and loves with such an amazing heart. About 8 years into our marriage we found out that Heather had an aggressive and rare form of Lupus that has rendered her unable to work, or do basic tasks around the house/property (we live on 5 acres).
For 20 years I taught and competed in Martial Arts and earned my fair share of kicks, punches, falls, etc. This was my first job, and it was such a blessing in my life. With this career, I was able to learn and practice life skills that are proving to be critical to my life today.
From 2000 to 2017 I was in a constant state of pain, from what I thought to be contributed to my early career choice, so I dealt with the pain as most people would. Before I was hired into the amazing world of informatics at Samaritan, I went to my PCP to find some sort of answer as to why my life was becoming so physically limited. He ordered X-rays and an MRI of my spine. These showed that I had several compression fractures, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, and 2 lesions on my mid-thoracic spine (T4, T6). The biopsy showed that it was malignant, yet, it was low-grade with a pretty great prognosis. Being the person I am, I had a very hard time letting people (my wife/family included) in on this news. As horrible as this sounds, I kept this information from them, thinking that I could take care of the treatments, and move on without causing additional stress and worry to those I love so very much. I told my boss, only because I needed to start the FMLA process so the treatments could be possible. Linda (that's my boss) taught me that however nervous, scared, sick, or tired… I’m surrounded by one of the best support systems who want nothing more than to love and be there for me and my family. I never expected to get the response I did when she finally talked me into sharing my initial story. I wish the cancer stopped there, but unfortunately… it didn’t. To this day, I’ve been a part of more than 4 different treatment plans and I’ve been honored enough to ring that bell in the infusion center, only to return months later.
Over the recent months, I have had severe pain in my left leg, which led me to inform my doctor. New pain with any cancer is usually not a good sign. I have learned to listen to my body since the first encounter with cancer. The PET/CT, X-rays, etc show that I had a sun-burst lesion on my left fibula, which they ended up finding out that it is the same type as the cancer in my spine. Because of the metastases, I’m at stage 3 osteosarcoma with a high likelihood of losing my leg.
As much as I absolutely love my job, my mobility is rapidly lessening, which restricts me from being able to get to work some days. This, as well as my wife’s diagnosis, has put our family in a very uncomfortable position both health wise and financially. Your support will allow for more recovery time after treatments, which is often times desperately needed. I am so thankful and blessed to have such incredible, loving people in my life. Thank you all so much for your prayers and unwavering support over this past year and a half.
As Tyler's friend, I'll add a few words of my own. Setting a dollar amount on the needs for Tyler and his family is very difficult. Tyler is a hard working man who loves his family and deeply desires to be the "provider" for them. He has done a spectacular job at accomplishing this. I've witnessed him courageously show up at work, despite the incessant nausea from the cancer treatments and severe leg pain caused by the osteosarcoma. Tyler continues to work, even now, but the increasing medical bills and decreasing income, due to unavoidable loss of work, are becoming overwhelming. In this life, we all come up against hardship. The question isn't if, but when it will happen. Tyler and his family are at the pinnacle of a severe struggle, and they are counting on others for help. It is an honor to walk alongside the McQueary family through this battle! Please join me in lifting this family up. Thank you!
"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
― John Bunyan
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