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Iggy Strong

$23,198 of $43,000 goal

Raised by 226 people in 8 months
Created December 5, 2018
This is Lisa Simons, friend and co-worker of Nate Howells, whom I first met about 14 years ago when he watched my twins at their elementary school’s after-school care program. I’m starting this fundraiser because of serious health issues with his son, Xavier or “Iggy,” and Nate’s resignation from his teaching job because of them.

In December 2017, then 9-year-old Iggy was diagnosed with a rhabdomyosarcoma in his right thigh. Despite the chemo treatments meant to shrink the tumor, it had grown and needed to be removed. In the spring of 2018, the tumor was removed, but so were two of his hamstring muscles. After surgery, Iggy received radiation treatment.

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On August 2, 2018, the family received good news: scans revealed the cancerous cells had not metastasized. He continued treatments and PT. His soccer team got shirts that read, “Iggy Strong,” even as Iggy, a goalkeeper, watched the games from the sidelines.

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But on October 22, 2018, the second set of scans during his check-up revealed a mass on Iggy’s lung. Two days later, it was removed, but the biopsy determined the cancer had metastasized. (His bone marrow was tested; it was clear.) He quickly started his chemo treatments, which will be intense and require hospital stays, many up to a week at a time. At this point, doctors estimate that he will need treatment for about nine more months. As Nate posted on Facebook, “Things have become more difficult, but hope is not lost.”

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Please keep in mind that this is the second son who has been dealt a blow with his health. In December 2015, Iggy’s brother, Casi, on his 1st birthday, choked on a small object and lost oxygen to his brain. After a 72-day stay in the hospital, Casi, now almost four, is at home with 24/7 health care.

Nate and Jackie, Iggy’s mom, will be going to the hospital often. In order to better take care of Iggy, Nate had to resign from teaching children with autism at Jefferson Elementary. If you’re able to help this family monetarily, the funds will be used to replace Nate’s paycheck, which means the ability to buy gas, groceries for Iggy and his siblings (he has three brothers and two sisters), and pay for other expenses during Iggy’s treatment.

Thank you so much for your consideration and kindness, as well as thoughts/prayers of strength, courage, and love. #IggyStrong

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The Howells family wants to share some wonderful news: As Iggy nears the end of his second round of chemo treatments, the family is thrilled to share that his scans in January and April showed no abnormalities. He has one final five-day chemo cycle, and then he will have another set of scans after that last treatment. Iggy will then transition to radiation treatments for a few weeks. The Howells family continues to appreciate your love, support, and friendship as they take this journey day-by-day.

More wonderful news: the Faribault Abubakar As-Sadique Islamic Center leaders, including friend and former co-worker Bashir Omar, invited Nate and Iggy to the Friday midday prayer service on May 24, 2019. The imams shared the story about Casi and Iggy, as well as Nate leaving his teaching position to take care of his family. After reciting from the Qur'an, the imam reminded the congregants that Muslims are called to love their neighbor and that charity is for all who have need regardless of their religion or nationality, especially during Ramadan. In just ONE HOUR, the congregation collected $6,200 to donate to the family.

To date, the GoFundMe total is almost $23,000. With the generous donation from the mosque, the total is now $29,200, which is more than half Nate's yearly pay. If you can extend any more generosity to help the family the second half of 2019, I know the family would be so grateful. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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I cannot believe I'm posting another update, but there was more bad news for the Howells family. I originally set up this fundraiser to replace Nate's salary, so that he can take care of Iggy during his chemo treatment. But the family found out that they must also pay for the funeral expenses for Casi when they thought these expenses were taken care of. If you can, please help the Howells family during this tragic time. Your thoughts and/or prayers of strength, courage, and love are also deeply appreciated.

The Howells family will have visitation this Friday, January 4 from 4:00 - 7:00 at Parker Kohl in Faribault. Casi's funeral is Saturday, January 5 at 10:30 at Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Faribault. A luncheon will follow.
https://www.parkerkohlfuneralhome.com/notices/Casimir-Howells
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This is Lisa to add an update. Nate's three-year-old son, Casimir, died at home last night (12/13) after an extended illness. They need your support even more now. Thank you.
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$23,198 of $43,000 goal

Raised by 226 people in 8 months
Created December 5, 2018
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