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Help Derek Fight

$25,734 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 368 people in 9 months
Help Derek, a 10 year old who is in 5th grade and just diagnosed with a brain tumor on November 6th and his family by donating what you can. 

Donations will help defray medical costs, travel costs to Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, Hotel Costs as they await acceptance into the Ronald McDonald House, lost wages (his mother has only been paid 2 days since diagnosis) and household bills and more. 

Derek loves Dell Rapids and is a friend to everyone he meets. He loves his family, baseball, comics, and his dog Jeter. He hopes to be a teacher when he grows up, he just needs the chance.

Derek underwent surgery to remove a tumor from the base of his skull Wednesday Nov. 7th. The tumor was malignant. Derek has been diagnosed with Medulloblastoma. He will start 6 weeks of proton radiation therapy at Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota (4 hours from home) December 3rd.  Derek is looking at a minimum of a year of chemotherapy treatment to battle his cancer.  Any help you can give is appreciated. 

#fightDerekfight
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Everything seems to be going so well. I really try to just post the positive stuff, but then Derek calls me upstairs because he is throwing up and I'm reminded that I have a sick child.

My Brave Warrior continues to battle. He begins round 5 of 9 Chemo rounds next weekend at the Sanford Children's Hospital. He has completed 30 rounds of Proton Radiation therapy, 15 doses of outpatient Vincristine Chemotherapy, 4 rounds of inpatient Cytoxan chemotherapy, countless pokes and blood draws, countless needles shoved into his chest to access his port, and still has months to go. He wears leg braces full time because the chemotherapy has caused #Neuropathy in his legs and hands. He attends #Physicaltherapy and #Occupationaltherapy. He has audiology tests because the chemotherapy causes hearing loss his last appointment showed signs of hearing loss. Hearing aids are in his future.
He never complains. Please read that last line again. He. Never. Complains. He battles through all with a smile on his face. He laughs, teases, plays, reads, challenges himself, completes his assignments from PT and OT, practices his piano & saxophone and just does his damn best to be a normal 11 year old. The sad reality is though, he isn't normal. He suffers from Stage 4 #medulloblastoma #braincancer, he has #childhoodcancer,
I'm not too proud to say that we still need your help.
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I don't do this well. It is second nature for me to give my time, talents, money and effort to those who need it more than I, but I don't ask for help well. Yet here I am asking again for help for my family.

As I touched on last update, Derek has had to increase his physical therapy and Occupational Therapy. The chemotherapy has caused significant neuropathy in his hands, fingers, feet and toes. Without braces has started stumbling and falling daily, so he is now in leg braces all day.

The increase in services has meant more medical bills, gas money, caregiver pay, unpaid time off from work, new shoes that braces will fit in and are comfortable, etc.
It has been a rough stretch for us with two $1000 deductibles from burst pipes and failing plumbing in the house, replacing Donelle's car and then having to almost immediately replace the brakes on the used car we bought for her "AS IS".

If every little league team coach or parent that I have worked with or touched, if every youth group family that I have worked with and touched, if every comic book creator that I have had the honor of meeting, befriending, bringing in for SiouxperCon or advocating for, if every pro wrestling fan and wrestler who we have supported, If every SiouxperCon volunteer, staff member, board member and attendee past and present would donate what they can and share and challenge their friends and family it would take a burden from us that is getting heavier and heavier.

We love and appreciate you all.
#fightDerekfight
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Update on Derek
I feel like I haven't done one of these in forever.
Last week Derek had an absolutely amazing time at Sanford Children's Cure Kids Cancer Camp Bring it On. He is already looking forward to attending next year. So many amazing memories made there.
This week he is taking part in the Sioux Empire Community Theater Singin' in the Rain Jr. Camp. He is assistant director doing props, line prompts and whatever else asked He was very excited to tell me today about how proud he is that he got a couple walk on parts. One at the beginning of the show and one at the end. You can read information and get tickets for the performance here: http://siouxfallstheatre.com/productions/singin-in-the-rain-jr-performance/
This weekend is also Quarry Days in Dell Rapids. On Saturday morning Derek will be riding on the Dell Rapids Pink Ladies float in the parade. Sunday night he will be the Batboy for the Dell Rapids PBR team as they play the Flandreau Cardinals at Dell Rapids Baseball Association Rickeman Field.
That is all the really good stuff.
Derek has experienced a bit of a set back though. He has to wear his braces all the time now, not just for strengthening but for full time support. He is falling more. His ankles are rolling and his big toe is curling under. All this takes his balance and down he goes.
He is back in PT and OT full time. He sees one of the other on Thursday after July 4th. Tuesday's until then. His Occupational Therapist, Liz, reminded us "Derek you have to do everything possible to not fall."
If he gets a cut from a fall the bleeding can be very dangerous, not too mention the chemo weakening his bones.
This boy of mine...he doesn't complain. He just greets all of this with the most positive attitude that anyone going through the hell he faces could possibly have. Donelle and I couldn't be more proud of the grace he has faced this with.
I hope to see some of you out at one of Derek's events this weekend.
If you would like a T-Shirt, Sticker or bracelet please contact me. I have all here and am willing to mail as well.
You can also help by donating at any Wells Fargo to the Derek Gerlach account or to his Go Fund Me.
Help if you can
Share if you would.
#fightDerekfight #childhoodcancer #cancersucks
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We had a little scare on Memorial Day.
Derek didn't eat good on Sunday night but his energy level was good. He didn't eat well again on Monday. About 5:00PM he put himself in bed under the covers. He told us he wasn't feeling great, so temp taking time. 100.1 to 100.5 and climbing.
I called the Oncology team and they advised we take him to the ER. We spent 5 hours in the ER doing blood work and getting fluids and meds. Blood levels came back low but okay. Turns out he has an ear and nose infection. With Derek's compromised immune system from the Chemo every small thing has to be taken so seriously.
We got home around midnight and he went right to bed. He slept from Midnight to 11:00. He ate good today and had great energy with no fevers at all.
Donelle worked half a day and I am working half to lead my treatment groups tonight.

We appreciate all the continued support.
You, or any artist friend you may know, can still contribute to #sketchesforDerek for his sketchbook. 8x10 or smaller of anything you want to draw. Derek loves Harry Potter, Star Wars, Mario, Super Heroes, video games and pro-wrestling.

MRI this Friday and then back into the hospital on the 6th for Inpatient Chemotherapy.

Love and sincere Thanks,

Shane, Donelle and Derek
#fightDerekfight
#childhoodCancer
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Raised by 368 people in 9 months
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