Cancer Debt

I was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor. The tumor was growing off of my duedenuim, and had begun to encroach upon and wrap around the head of my pancreas. I was told that they would give me the best life they could for the next 5 years...I am still alive and should be for some time to come! Due to the serious placement, and size of the tumor, it was recommended that I have a Whipple procedure. Because the morbidity rate that the Whipple has, most suggest that you seek help at a hospital that does them all of the time. So we headed to MD Anderson in Houston TX.

After two years of taking daily chemotherapy, and visiting Houston about 5 times a year, they did perform a Whipple on me. The stay for the operation and recovery was just over a half month. I have had to continue to go to Houston about 3 times a year for the last two post-op years, going again in December.

The massive amount of travel has cost us a great deal of money. We had many family and friends help us along the way. All that giving kept us out of bankruptcy; however we still amassed a good deal of debt. We had to open 2 new credit card accounts to keep up with the hotels and air travel. We accumulated around $20,000 in new credit card debt for the cancer cost alone.

We have been in full-time ministry for 22 years, just making enough to pay our bills. My wife has been a teacher for the last 11 years, so again not a lot of income. For the last year I have worked a second job to help pay down debt so that we can attack the cancer debt. We do not drive new cars, or live luxuriously. We hope that you can help. Even if you are not able to help, please pray that others will.
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David Byrd 
Piedmont, SC
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