Jeff Staudt's War On Brain Cancer
On December 3, 2015, I experienced what was thought to be a seizure or stroke. I was rushed to the hospital, put through many tests, and by the end of the day was being transferred to Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix with what was determined to be an aggressive brain tumor called Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). In an instant, my thoughts went from the joy the holidays bring to “what do I need to do to fight this and WIN so I can see my four beautiful children grow up?”
I was told to prepare for the worst and given 10 months as a projected time to live. How did this happen? It really doesn't matter. What matters is my wife Aimee and I fully reject it, and we’re committed to fighting.
On December 14, 2015, I had a successful extended surgery where the doctor was very aggressive in removing the tumor. Now, we prepare for phase two which is to heal and get ready for chemotherapy and radiation. My diet and mindset have completely changed and we are going straight ahead at this. I came home from the hospital on my oldest daughters 12th birthday- what a blessing that was to be home to celebrate with her.
Just two weeks before my diagnosis, my company had to go through lay-offs, and unfortunately I was on the receiving end of that cut. With word of the lay offs, I had been proactive in a job search and fortunately had a final interview set up in New York for a very good position with a great company. As it turned out the Friday before my surgery I had to contact the person I was supposed to interview with and take my name out of the running. Going through any unplanned disruption in a career is a severe blow to a family of six, but coupled with the news on the 3rd of December, we knew that we needed to reach out to those who love and support us, and ask for some help. This was not easy for Aimee and me. But through many discussions we know that there are good people out there looking to help, people who have asked what they can do to help, so here we are. We are asking you to consider helping us financially; so we can get through some tough roads ahead.
There is a large financial component in our immediate future and your financial support would go to our medical and family costs. We have also decided that the best thing for our family is to pack up our house in Arizona and move to Washington where we have the support of family to help during these difficult times ahead. Adding a move to our lives right now is a huge undertaking both financially and mentally, but we know it’s the right thing to do. I have been told after insurance, the costs are substantial. I have already had over $100,000 worth of treatment expenses, and have been told to expect over $1 million in costs. We have been in touch with some doctors and people throughout the country who are helping us gain valuable information on how we can go at this aggressively. This includes traveling to different hospitals to see specialists for clinical trials that are out of state and very expensive. I also need to keep my current health insurance which is an important factor for me maintaining a great level of care, but the premiums are extremely high. Any contribution you can provide will help more than you know!
From the moment we got the news, Aimee and I believed there was a bigger reason that this was happening to our family. We do not question why, but say HOW are we going to use this to help others? I have had great satisfaction helping many people financially in my career, and to be a long-term cancer survivor I envision helping so many more! Our hope is that one day we will be sitting across from a family who has received devastating news as we did, and tell them that there is hope. We believe this with all of our hearts, and our faith has never been stronger.
I am used to being on the giving side, but we find out life unfolds in ways we can never imagine. I am now in this role – one of needing and asking for help. I accept the fight and your help will allow me to cover heavy costs to do this. For those who are able to donate we will never be able to put into words how much we thank you. For those who aren’t able to donate, but hold us up in prayer we can’t thank you enough for that too. We are putting together a team to beat this, and we want every single person who reads our story to be on our team. It's a team that is dedicated to beating this, who believes in the win, and the glory that will come. We will pay this forward one day... it's our mission and we will not quit.
We remain faithful. We are blessed for each new day. We are strong. We are going to win… day by day we win each day!
Thank you so much for your support and your prayers.
The Staudt Family-
Jeff, Aimee, Chloe(12), Madeleine(10), Frances(6), and Jack(4)
WTD- “Win The Day”
December 3rd marks a very special and emotional time as it was three years ago I was diagnosed. You may recall that I was originally told not to expect to see another year. I am writing this to thank YOU...each and every one of you. I would be lying if I told you I wasn't worried, concerned and even scared at times. But with the love and guidance of my wife, family, doctors and medical team, I knew I needed to make a quick decision whether I was going to fight or accept. What completely blew me away is the outpouring of encouragement and support I received from each and every one of you. That lifted me in ways I still can't put into words. It gave me a crazy little thing called...belief! This belief started before I went into surgery...despite the stats you see about GBM on google and medical literature,and it grew from there. Many days, I had to reset multiple times to focus on belief I have a lot left to do, and I can and will do it. So many of you have confided in me that I have helped you in very impactful ways. I appreciate that so much, but it's still hard to accept that. I am beyond thankful to each of you for the lifting you have done for me and my family. I have a thousand messages for you but let me keep it simple. I am here for you. I am an email or phone call away. I know there are so many people who wear smiles or are outwardly successful but are hurting and need love and encouragement. My reason for being has simplified dramatically and my perspective on what is truly important has too. Please count your blessings each day. Please fix things that ego makes you hold on to...living the deferred life plan sure can blindside you. Say more sincere compliments. The list goes on. I am so thankful to you...please keep that in your back pocket for the next time you have a discouraging day or time and know how you have literally helped to keep me here. I am still fighting medically and also finding my updated role here on earth but words can't express my gratitude for what caring people can do for one another. Life can take you from riding high to a whole new experience very quickly. Through all of this, I haven't felt one day of "why me" rather I feel profoundly blessed. Please know whatever you face, you can absolutely take the first and then second and then third step to WIN if you just believe it first. I am hoping to talk to you and hear about how I can help you and I am setting my sights on my four year update. I have joked with many of you I am getting my PhD in Faith, Hope and Love! I believe I am but the serious part of this is I trusted God from the moment I heard about the prognosis for my life from some very smart people and I have trusted His path every moment of every day. I don't profess to know all the answers but the trust is so amazingly powerful. I am here for you...Because of you...I believe!!!
Win The Day!
December 3, 2016
A year ago...
A year ago I had no idea my life would change forever. My next sentence is what's going to be the curve ball. A year ago I had no idea my life would change forever...for the better.
On December 3, 2015 I was given the worst news of my life- unimaginable grief and pain walked through my door that day. But I was also given the opportunity that many of us turn a blind eye to- I was given the opportunity to forgive, to let go of the baggage I had been carrying around that wasn't productive or positive, to throw up my arms in complete faith, and to love harder than ever before.
A year ago today I woke up thinking the day would be much the same as all the December days. Busy, forgettable, a day that would come and go. Instead, I found myself riding in an ambulance with Jeff in the back, and as the day progressed we were given probably one of the most devastating diagnosis that one could ever receive. I've said it before, but it was just like it is as you see in the movies- the doctor comes in, the nurse there to witness what he's about to say (which by the way our nurse was an angel from God-Hattie- that's you), the door closed behind them and then everything seemed like it was coming from a tunnel of slow motion. I saw the doctors mouth moving, and I heard what he was saying, but it was a surreal moment I hope none of you ever have to go through. The bell was rung, the fight was on- we were thrown into the ring- going toe to toe with the biggest opponent of our lives.
When I say my life has changed for the better don't get me wrong. I don't wish in any way this happened, I would rather it didn't. But that's just it- we don't get to choose these things... the only choice you do have is how you're going to handle it. From that moment WE chose to pick ourselves back up, and to fight like hell, both mentally and physically.
A year ago today I had no idea what it would mean to wake up to a little note next to my pillow telling me how much he loves and appreciates me. I had no idea what it would mean to me to have him bring me a cup of coffee as I read that little note. I had no idea what it would mean to me to watch him play a sick air guitar and drums at the same time to a jam as we drove down the freeway. I had no idea what it would mean to watch him at lunch embarrass his kids by being the goofy guy we all know and love, and then hold their hands in the parking lot to protect them from danger and to help them get in and out of the car. No idea what it would mean to listen to him talk to his mom and dad who he's always loved and adored, as well the other people he loves and who are so special to him acknowledging this day, but also being so strong acting like it's no big deal as to what he's overcome in this last year. Let me tell you- it means more than words could ever convey.
I fell to my knees a year ago and begged God to spare my husbands life. I told God I needed him and my kids needed him, and he is the glue that makes our little family stick together. He is the calm to my every storm. I've known Jeff since I was 3 years old- I've loved him in some way or another for each of those years. But I have fell in love all over again this last year with a man who inspires me to be my very best. Someone who has been though hell and has done it each day with a smile.
A year ago I witnessed a coming together of friends and community who helped us get through this last year, and I truly believe that is what has kept us going. We have gained strength in all of you and the help that has been given to us in so many different forms and ways is a true testimony of goodness of human-kindness.
On Monday of last week jeff had an MRI and it was CLEAR! I can't tell you what it means to us to be able to take a deep breath of relief and to enjoy our daughters birthday on the 17th and Christmas a week later and truly focus on our many blessings. Last year at this time our lives looked very different, but nonetheless we got through it. And I never doubted for one second we wouldn't.
We still have unanswered questions as to how everything will work out and how we will make certain things happen, but don't we all? What I've learned is all we can do is take one day at a time and with faith, hope and love look to God to show us the path we are supposed to take.
I pray that a year from now I will be writing a similar message. But I'm not going to even focus on that for very long. I'm going to focus on today, I'm going to focus on what's right in front of me which is all I've ever hoped and dreamed for- my husband and my kids.
A year ago WE asked God to somehow turn our grief into a blessing for others. To somehow let us give hope to others who might be struggling. I feel that those prayers have also been answered. I have been able to share raw emotion with you all that I would have never done before. I pray that we are able to continue to bring hope and give inspiration to others. Our work is far from done.
I have no idea why God chose us, or what is plan is- but I'll tell you this- we are still in that ring throwing jabs and punches, and we aren't about to quit. Pardon the expression but this SOB had no idea who he was getting in the ring with- there is no quit in us- giving up isn't going to happen. Knock out punches are still in us.
I am thankful- I am blessed- and silly as this sounds I'm at a loss for words to express my gratitude to you all.
Jeff Staudt WE WON TODAY-365 days WE WON! And guess what-we are going to do it again tomorrow with Faith, Hope and Love in our hearts.
I'm pumped, and I'm going to take my husband on a date!
Can I get a Hell Yes, a Hoorah, a Heck Yeah, or whatever just comes to mind!!!
Love you all!
We wanted to give you an update on the most recent MRI results Jeff had on Tuesday. First of all the show of financial support, comments and prayers mean so much to our family- thank you from the bottom of our hearts-you have all made a difference in our lives and we are forever grateful.
We just finished with Jeff's appointment today and there is a spot the size of a small BB that was there that wasn't on the April 4th scan. However, the doctor said he feels it is very likely that this is a blood vessel, but because it is in the same area as the original tumor they are not able to say for sure, and that we need to watch it. Originally he said Jeff would have an MRI as scheduled in 8 weeks. I said to him that I wanted one in 4 weeks and he agreed to that, but reiterated to us that he "was not worried". He also said he sees much worse very often that turn out to be nothing. Of course we wish that the scan was totally clear, but now more than ever we need to show God that our faith in him will not waiver. This is a test of will, and Jeff and I are not defeated, and we feel confident that in 4 weeks we will be assured that it is a blood vessel as expected. We will go the distance, and have a lot of rounds ahead of us to fight, and a lot of innings left to play. His next scan will be on June 14th. Keep your chins up because ours are, and we need you to be strong with us. We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers now more than ever- we know they work.
Let me make one thing very clear-we have been, and will continue to be victorious! We are going to beat this ugly SOB into a submission and oblivion that it's never seen before. It has chosen the wrong guy, the wrong family, and the wrong community of friends and loved ones standing beside us. Love you all. No one said it was going to be easy...but have no doubt that is going to make each victory even sweeter. We WILL walk out of this storm on two feet, stronger and better for it.
We won today- and we will do it again tomorrow with faith, hope and love in our hearts.
Jeff and Aimee Staudt
Hi Jeff, What am amazing update. YOU and your wonderful family are the epitome of what it means to have faith. I will share this with my brother and sister in law. She has breast cancer(again after 30 years), and a spot on her lung which will be biopsied after breast surgery this Friday. We are all praying for a good outcome. Keep on keeping on and WIN EVERY DAY.
Hi guys. Reading your posts brings back those early MRI memories. I too had a small fuzzy area that showed itself within 6 months of my tumor removal. They weren't sure what it was and thought it might be scar tissue. It hasn't changed in all of these years but we were terrified hearing that the scan wasn't clean as we had hoped. We will keep praying for you guys. Just thought this story from us might ease your stress over the scan. Also, doctors NEVER give hopeful news unless they are 99.999% sure they are correct. Prayers for peace during this journey.
Jeff, I heard about your health crisis from friends in NC. I'm sorry to hear about all that you've got to cope with. Your family might qualify for a free family retreat in Orlando. Anyone who loves kids will want to know about this top 4 charity for kids in the USA. www.inheritanceofhope.org. Take care!
I don't know you personally Jeff, but I don know many of your coworkers as they used to be mine as recent as last spring. Unfortunately I'm not at a point where I can donate right now but I have something even more precious and that is prayer. I will add you to my list of requests and pray that the medical team will be diligent in your care and that most of all you would feel peace through this time. I will pray that your children will feed off the the love and strength that you are your wife share and that they will find comfort in knowing that you are doing everything you can to be here for them for a long time. If my circumstances should change, I will be more than happy to donate. Know that I have shared your page and requested folks to consider donating but most of to pray that you will find the healing you so desire! God Bless