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Jerry's Journey to Knockout Cancer

$18,800 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 121 people in 14 months
Created June 18, 2018
Laurie Imbimbo
on behalf of Debbie Wenzel McGovern
I created this page to try to help my sister, Debbie, my brother-in-law Jerry and their 4 children.  Two weeks before Christmas, the McGovern family was given some devastating news. Jerry, 55, was diagnosed with stage 4 poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma. The primary site was in the lung, with metastasis to the lymph nodes and then doctors also found 11 lesions on the brain. Immediately, Jerry could no longer work. He is a driver by trade and now he has found himself out of work & needing to apply for disability (which is half of what he normally brings in). Almost overnight, this young family’s world has just been turned upside down.

The diagnosis is devastating enough, but now they also find themselves in dire need financially. Jerry is the breadwinner in the family. In addition to stressing about how they will pay for the cancer care, they have bills & a mortgage to pay and have no idea how they are going to make ends meet. They have been told that a single dose of chemo is $30,000. Although Jerry has insurance, they still have deductibles to meet and still have to pay a huge portion of that. The thought of that, is completely overwhelming for a family that has barely any income coming in now.

Jerry began his cancer battle with radiation to first address the brain lesions before doctors could even begin to address his inoperable lung tumor. There is a ray of hope in all of this. Jerry was tested for and found out that he is a candidate for a new cutting edge procedure called immunotherapy. Only 1 in 5 are eligible to try it and he was lucky enough to qualify as a candidate. This treatment could potentially help him fight the cancer from the inside out and hopefully will give him the shot he needs to fight this cancer and God willing, eventually go into remission. After a battle with his insurance company who at first refused to assist in paying for said treatment, Jerry began the immunotherapy treatments and has been diligent with these treatments every few weeks for the last few months.

 It has been tough the last few months with bouts of nausea, diarrhea and weakness and multiple medications. After two pet scans, it appears the immunotherapy is working! The original brain lesions are shrinking. Unfortunately however, this past Monday, Jerry had an emergency MRI after suffering a  new bout of dizziness, disorientation & headaches. Although the immunotherapy is  shrinking the original brain lesions, two new lesions have now appeared. Jerry needs to continue the immunotherapy & now address additional medication & alternate treatment for the new lesions.

To top this all off, the insurance company will no longer cover Jerry (or his family) after July unless they purchase the insurance through COBRA. The insurance company will require Jerry to pay $600 a month just for his insurance (COBRA) & that doesn’t even include the rest of the family! Jerry & Debbie are beside themselves. They are in no position financially to do this. The bills are pouring in & they are falling behind quickly. In addition to insurance & new treatment, they also need to continue the immunotherapy which is extremely expensive ($15,000 each round). This treatment is Jerry’s greatest chance to prolong his prognosis & potentially save his life. Without it, he might not survive.

They have 4 children aged 12-22. Their two oldest sons are attending college. They also have two young daughters, one in high school and the youngest just in 7th grade. All are still living at home and depend heavily on Mom & Dad. If any of you could find it in your heart to contribute to this cause, or help in any way, you would be making a huge difference in the life of this family. They would be eternally grateful. Their future depends on the kindness of others who can help alleviate some of the worry & stress of this crippling diagnosis as well as its financial repercussions. Thank you so very much.
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Love these gloves that Debbie made in honor of Jerry's fight...
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Its been a month since the last update, and so much has been going on. It's been a month of ups and downs. Jerry has proven how he is fighting, he wants to win this battle, but many times he seems to get hit with some harsh news and an uphill battle.

After the six blood transfusions that Jerry underwent in one week it was a very scary time. He also was told that there is a new mass in his upper left lung, after having pain. He was sent for a cat scan and then a pet scan, and after all of that thank the Lord, it does not show that this new mass is cancerous. It is a fibrous tissue that is growing, but it is benign for now. They are treated this new tissue like an infection and Jerry is on an antibiotic for this.

Jerry also was able to see the results of how his current tumor in the right lung and the mediastinal lymph nodes are doing, as well as the brain tumors. Here the results were a mixed review. The lung tumor in the right has not decreased but it has not grown either. The lymph nodes are tiny bit larger. The brain was disheartening news, as before his brain was stable with no new growths, but this time there are new growths.

Jerry's brain oncologist said there are 5 new lesions and they are tiny, but it is devastating as it takes Jerry back to that frightening time in the beginning when Jerry was first diagnosed. Also, it is a set back when you think you've tackled that part and actually demolished some of the cancer and to find it's back. The Dr. wants to erase the tumors via cyber-knife, but it is very tricky as Jerry already had whole brain radiation and they need to see if they are actually growing before they can do cyber-knife. It seems like an oxymoron but it is the procedure the Dr. needs to follow.

Meanwhile, Jerry has been having a terrible time with his intestines. Because of that, his lung oncologist removed Jerry from the chemotherapy for a month in hopes that he will heal a bit and be ready for the next round of chemo. The next round will be a new chemotherapy and stronger. We're praying for Jerry's blood-work to have no red flags and continue to have good results, so he will not have to undergo any further transfusions.

Thank you for reading this long update. There really has been so much for Jerry and our family to process. If you would kindly share this Go Fund Me, for Jerry and our family, it means so much. We want to alleviate the stress from Jerry as much as possible so he can concentrate on beating this awful beast!

Please continue to keep Jerry in your prayers and lift him up to have the strength to conquer cancer. We thank you from the depths of our hearts ~~ God Bless you all!
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Happy 25th Anniversary today to Debbie & Jerry!!
(Pics part 3)
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Happy 25th Anniversary today to Debbie & Jerry!!
(Pics part 2)
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$18,800 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 121 people in 14 months
Created June 18, 2018
Laurie Imbimbo
on behalf of Debbie Wenzel McGovern
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