Vernon West Jr's Leukemia Recovery

Vernon West Jr and his wife Anne-Marie were preparing to leave for a weekend Cape Cod getaway when Vernon reluctantly decided to drop by his doctor's office in an attempt to diagnose a small fever. It was during a routine check-up when the doctor told Vernon that he needed to be escorted to the Emergency Room immediately--that his white blood cell count was spiking far beyond what's considered healthy. With the help of my mother's uparalleled understanding and constant reassurance, they shifted gears. What was about to be an overdue weekend of relaxation turned into the most tumultuous period of their lives.

Vernon has been diagnosed with Acute ALL Philadelphia-Positive Leukemia. Thankfully, this particular form of leukemia is treatable, though not without a challenge. Vernon's cancer treatments moving forward require him to be hospitalized for 4-6 weeks, followed by a minimum of 5 months of strict rest and recovery at home. This is after having spent two weeks in the hospital and two months partaking in chemotherapy.

I only mention Vernon and Anne-Marie's Cape Cod plans as a way to illustrate their perseverence and patience in such darkness. Vernon, a movingly motivated man, continues to soldier through his daily chemotherapy treatments by regularly attending his job, working nights, weekends, and accepting extra hours in order to continue to support his home and his family. Before Vernon's diagnosis, Anne-Marie had accepted a part-time job after a 35+ year career at Verizon. It was an uplifting and well-earned decision, but by the time Vernon's illness surfaced, they quickly began questioning the reliability of their financial situation.

So it is for this reason that we ask you for your contribution. With Vernon forced to spend 6 months recovering and reacclimating, our home and our ability to support it is at risk. The backbreaking effort my parents have put into their family and home throughout the years has suddenly been halted, and all focus is now on Vernon and his full and comfortable recovery. With your help, any help at all, we can begin to take some of the weight off his shoulders. If there is a chance that my father could be able to focus on his mental state and emotional recovery--rather than fixating on how he's going to afford to live--then we're taking it.

Vernon is a man like no other, with a heart as big as his will to fight. Think back to when you sat down with Vernon and noticed how honestly and warmly he looked back into your eyes as you confided in him. Or when he hugged you so tightly that your back cracked in three places. Think of all the times you saw Vernon light up the stage, ripping his bass guitar and belting out vocals with such purity and joy that it moved you to pay closer attention to your heart. Remember just how much of a saint this man truly is, and how much he has given back.

It is with a heavy but open heart that we ask our friends and family to help support Vernon when he needs it most. Any contribution at all is a sign of love, and love in any form is forever appreciated.

On behalf of my whole family, thank you for taking the time to read.

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Organizer and beneficiary

Vernon West 
Peabody, MA
Vernon West 
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