Robert's Medical Fund
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 email@example.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.
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!
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!
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!
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!