Robert's Medical Fund

$7,445 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 79 people in 49 months
Samantha Chirichella  WILMINGTON, NC
On our first date I knew Robert would be the man I would spend the rest of my life with. A lot of people thought we were crazy, that we were too young and that at 15 and 17 years old it would never last. Looking back over a decade later, maybe we were young, maybe we were crazy, but when I think about my husband and the father of my child I don't doubt for a second our decision to spend the rest of our lives together. After highschool we started our adult lives together in Ft Myers. In college on  November 30th, 2008 Robert popped the question and after graduation on September 5, 2009 we said "I Do" and started this journey called marriage! A few short months later we found out we were expecting our first miracle and on February 12, 2011 Robert Dominick Chirichella III or as most of you know him as Trey made his debut into this world! Our lives were really complete now.

As a little family we began the adventure of growing our careers and our lives and started a training program that would eventually lead us to Mobile, Alabama to open our Maximized Living Health Center to deliver the principles of health and wellness to our community. While training in Wilmington, NC Robert began getting headaches that left him incapacitated. Then he started becoming dizzy, having blurry and double vision, and began vomitting because of the pain. After a week  of non-stop suffering he went to the emergency room where he was admitted because of a mass on the left occipital lobe of his brain. We met with a neurosurgeon that diagnosed him with a brain tumor that was half solid mass and half cyst that had expanded to 4 cmx 6 cm and was putting pressure on his brain causing his symptoms. As strong as we were trying to be for each other,  initially our hearts both sank as we imagined our dreams of growing old together and raising our family together being cut short. We couldn't understand how this happened to Robert and so quickly. He was working and in the gym the day before his headache started.  They recommended surgery the next day to remove as much of the tumor as possible. His surgery was a success and Robert spent the next few days recovering in the hospital without complications. They removed as much tumor as they could see and the cyst collapsed once the solid mass was removed. They sent it to pathology to diagnose it. He was discharged to finish his recovery and healing at home while we anxiously waited for the pathology report to come back identifying the tumor. Several days later we receieved a call from his neurosurgeon diagnosing his tumor as an ependymoma. It was a lower grade but still considered cancerous. These tumors are rare in adults and are more commonly found in children so they werent able to answer our questions about when this started and what was the cause. Removing the tumor was all they could do at this point and we waited for his follow up appointment to learn more details. 

At his follow up appointment he was scheduled for a  MRI once the swelling has gone down to determine if any lesions or mass remain. They have added an oncologist and a radio-oncologist to his team to consult with in the event that radiation is recommended after the results of the MRI come back. They are also meeting and consulting with our doctors and oncologists at a Tumor Board to discuss the best course of care and to offer other opinions on treatment. In the hopes to avoid being faced with the possibility of radiation, Robert is also consulting with a doctor in South Carolina with a more integrative approach to continue determining the cause of why his brain grew the cancer and explore alternative therapies to help his body fight against whatever still remains. Unfortunately, our insurance does not cover the vast majority of his follow-up care and therapies and treatments that Robert needs to fight this. As you can imagine dealing with cancer, surgery, all of the doctors and follow up quickly begins to add up. We started receiving our first of many medical bills the day Robert was discharged from the hospital!  That is why we are turning to our friends, family,  and loved ones out there for help. I can't imagine a world without my best friend and we want to do everything possible to give Robert the best chance that he deserves to fight this and be around for his family for a long and healthy life! At only 28 years old, Robert has a long life ahead of him and his best shot at healing, recovering and making sure this never comes back are the tests and therapies he needs to begin. Not every doctor offers  what he needs,  so we are traveling out of state to make sure he has the best doctors added to his team here in Wilmington. We never imagined that during the holidays we would be faced with this. Our son is only 3 years old and doesn't understand why his Daddy was in the hospital and why some nights Elfie, his elf on the shelf , didn't come back. This whole thing has thrown our family through a loop and while we remain strong for each other, we would never imagine reaching out for help if we didn't need it. 

We have already been so blessed by so many prayer warriors out there and many of you will never know how much the Chirichella family loves and appreciates you for everything you have done for us. We have received so many calls, texts, emails, cards and sentimental gifts of thoughts and prayers and I know without every single one of you Robert and I would not have found the strength we needed to get through these last few weeks. We really had no idea how many people we had supporting us until something like this happened. 

Several people have asked for our address so that they may send cards.

 If you would like to send Robert a get-well card my email address is chirichella0923@gmail.com Email me and I can send you our home address.

I will update as we know more details. If you are able to donate to help offset the cost of his medical expenses we are forever grateful. If you are unable to donate we would love for you to share our page with your friends and family so that they may hear Robert's story.

Thank you and God Bless.
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Update 9
Posted by Samantha Chirichella
48 months ago
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I know it has been a little bit since Roberts last update. He has been doing well, he is 5 weeks into his protocols that he has been doing in South Carolina and really he has never looked or felt better. We are both back in our training office and trying to get back to life again (as normal as life can be). We are so grateful to everyone that has shared and donated to this page because Robert was fortunate enough to raise enough money to go through 5 weeks of treatment. We are continuing to raise funds because his doctor strongly recommends that he continues for at least 8 weeks total before she is comfortable moving him to maintenance therapy and protocols. We are still asking our friends and family to keep sharing this page and to keep Robert in your prayers often! If you are able to we would be grateful for any donations that could continue to extend his care out for the next few weeks. His doctor has been working with us to try and stretch every dollar we raise so that he can get the longest benefit possible.

We are still trying to decide if he is going to go see the doctors up in Chapel Hill for a second opinion but so far Robert is happy with the decision to deny radiation and wants to continue the current course of care he has been following for the last few weeks. He doesn't have another follow-up appointment with his neurosurgeon until March but he is going to have a few diagnostic lab tests done to evaluate some blood markers and other things that his doctor in South Carolina wants to monitor.

I will keep everyone posted and hopefully he will continue his protocols in South Carolina for a few more weeks! Thanks everyone!
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Update 8
Posted by Samantha Chirichella
48 months ago
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Wonderful news to share! Robert's neurosurgeon told us that he was very pleased with the results of his MRI from earlier in the week! He is still healing but he wants to see him back in 6 weeks for a follow-up to make sure he continues to progress without complications and if everything continues as it had then another MRI in 6 months to re-evaluate.
His radio-oncologist is still recommending a 2nd opinion at Chapel Hill for radiation but until then Robert is going to continue traveling down to South Carolina to receive the alternative protocols he has been doing. Thwy have added a few new things and he has been responding very well and he has been feeling great. We are still trying to get a piece of his tumor sent to a lab to do specific diagnostic testing but the cost of the lab is very expensive and right now all of his fund raising efforts are going towards his care and treatment and hopefully soon we will be able to afford to do the lab. We are still so incredibly grateful for every single donation and share of this page....without every single person and penny and prayer I know that Robert wouldn't have had the opportunity to fight this the way he wants and for that, as his wife, I will never be able to say thank you enough to every person that has had a part in helping my husband and our family. Please continue to share his page as more and more people are reading his story and learning about what he is going through everyday. If you are able to, we appreciate every single donation as it will help him continue to receive the treatment he is getting.

Our family is also putting together a fundraising gold tournament on March 21st to help to continue to raise funds as Robert continues on the journey back to health. Please visit Facebook for more updates on how you can be apart of such a fun event to benefit Robert!
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Update 7
Posted by Samantha Chirichella
49 months ago
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Say a little prayer for Robert tonight, we are meeting with the neurosurgeons office tomorrow morning to find out the results from Roberts MRI he had on Wednesday!

Robert also had another great appointment in South Carolina today for his IV protocols. He has been feeling great! He even said his brain felt cold and he had a good sweat today which we attribute to his body flushing out toxins as his body is responding!

Once we know more I will post another update but please do keep Robert in your prayers as we continue to have faith that his body is healing and recovering exactly as it was designed to do!
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Update 6
Posted by Samantha Chirichella
49 months ago
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A few updates for Robert. Yesterday he had an appointment with his radio-oncologist. He is recommending a radiation program for Robert to start but wants him to get a second opinion from the radio-oncologists at Chapel Hill since they have more experience and resources with the type of tumor Robert had. This was obviously not news that we wanted to hear and not the direction Robert wants to take in his healing process. But the good news he started some of his alternative treatment protocols today down in South Carolina. His doctor is allowing us to pay by the treatment instead of paying everything up front so he started today with Ultraviolet blood irradiation therapy (UVBI) to improve oxygenation of the tissues and decrease inflammation. It also stimulates the immune system creating a cancer killing environment within the body. He also had IV ozone therapy which brings elevated concentrations of oxygen into the blood. Again this creates an environment in the body that cancer cannot survive in. He also had IV hydrogen peroxide therapy which again supply oxygen to the body to destroy cancer cells. He was started on these 3 first because of their ability to impact the blood brain barrier and have the greatest impacts on the brain and the rest of his body. Robert felt great today after his protocols. He is continuing his nutritional recommendations and has started exercising and is on a supplement program targeted for brain health. He is also going to start incorporating a couple other recommendations she has made for him. Now that his radio-oncologist is recommending radiation she is re-evaluating some of the protocols and when she wants to start them. His next appointment back is on Tuesday. She is going to add a few other thinhs at that time and build up to his ideal protocol as we can afford. Thank you again for everyone that has donated to Roberts fund and making it possible for him to fight this the way that he wants to! He would not be able to make these trips to south Carolina and get the protocols that he wants and needs without you. We will continue to fund this path of his care from donations from this page.

His next couple appointments next week are with his medical oncologist, his MRI both on Monday and then he has his follow up with his neurosurgeon on Wednesday, appointments in South Carolina on both Tuesday and Thursday and a follow up with a new doctor on Thursday afternoon....so it will be a very busy week for Robert. I will keep everyone updated over the next week.

Thank you for all the continued prayers and if you are led to please continue to share his page so the word can get out and support can continue to grow. We are so thankful for everyone in our lives that is contributing to his healing process!
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$7,445 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 79 people in 49 months
Created December 17, 2014
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JB
$500
Jason & Julie Barker
46 months ago

Love you guys! Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world..you're only getting better!

$25
Anonymous
48 months ago
RD
$20
Richard DiLorenzo
48 months ago

I know it is not much but when I saw this I had to donate something. When I come into more fund next month. I will contribute more.

CS
$40
Carol and Marc Shapot
48 months ago
HC
$100
Hollie and Ryan Cavanaugh
48 months ago

We are praying for you all!

$25
Margie & Dick Harper
48 months ago

Hope this small donation helps! Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We know of you through our Relay for Life in Crystal River meeting your mom and Matt there. Stay strong and beat this cancer!

$25
Rory Wells
48 months ago

I am a friend of Melissa and Matt in Florida and work Relay for Life with them. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I wish I could help more financially but I will be sharing Matt's post to help raise awareness with him in Florida.

$20
Anonymous
48 months ago
$500
Anonymous
49 months ago
KO
$100
Krysta & Greg O'Neill
49 months ago

You are a Cancer Killer Robert! Your ML family loves and supports you!

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