Joel's Brain Tumor

$77,807 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 876 people in 15 months
Created April 27, 2018
Fundraising team
on behalf of Rosanna Kvernmo
Joel Kvernmo is a father, husband, business owner, and all-around good guy living in Los Angeles with his wife, Rosanna, and their daughter Judith, born in January of this year.
Anyone who knows Joel has a story to tell about his generosity and sense of humor. Here is a guy who has enthusiastically shown you around Shorthand (the shop he and Rosanna own in Highland Park), welcomed you into his house for a meal, made you a carefully crafted cocktail at a backyard barbeque, lent you a hand and his expertise to troubleshoot a particularly tricky project - all with a smile and a quick wit. 
And now, the hard part. Joel was recently diagnosed with a Grade III Glioma Anaplastic Astrocytoma, after undergoing brain surgery on May 4th to remove a tumor found earlier this spring. In true Joel style, he's been updating friends and family via his Brain Tumor Gazette (you can catch up and subscribe here  if you're so inclined).
29472836_1528746554293764_r.jpegAt the moment, we know very little about what is ahead for him and his family, but what we do know is that he begins radiation and chemotherapy on June 12th. Fortunately, this treatment is mostly covered by insurance. Unfortunately, there are many expenses and hardships ahead for the Kvernmos, and this fundraiser is an effort to offset some of those expenses - specifically, the out of pocket medical costs and loss of work as both he and Rosanna focus on his health in the coming year.  
We've set up this campaign to offer some stationery themed treats to you in exchange for a donation to the Kvernmo family, including greeting cards from some of our stationery buds, and special edition Shorthand notebooks (see photo below). If you would prefer to just donate without receiving your gift, simply refrain from providing your mailing address. We'll be in touch after you complete your donation to determine which Shorthand option you'd like (notebook, task pad, or memo pad). Thank you for your help, every donation is so appreciated!
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hello friends:
thank you so much for your support, it's been a light for Rosanna during this hard time. I wanted to pop in and mention that the Shorthand notebook is no longer available as a donation thank you - instead, you'll be receiving greeting cards if you choose to get a package. Thank you for your understanding!
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from Rosanna:
Joel passed away peacefully on June 12th at 245am after complications from brain surgery. I was with him at the end. The last couple days have been intense (understatement) as I am suddenly making huge decisions on Joel’s behalf that we have never discussed in detail. He went into surgery Sunday morning to have the drain installed to relieve the pressure of the spinal fluid, and he never woke up. It was discovered Sunday evening that he had had a massive stroke so he was rushed into emergency surgery to release the pressure of the swelling that was sure to follow. The damage to his brain at that time was extensive, but his incredible team of doctors did everything they could to keep the swelling down. His incredibly healthy body kept ticking away, his blood pressure and heartbeat never wavering. By yesterday morning, I realized that I had some hard conversations ahead of me, it was apparent to me that it was becoming time to really consider that Joel might not pull through and that I needed to know how I was going to act. Kaiser has a wonderful palliative care team that walked me through various scenarios, discussions of ethics and quality of life. His surgeon and ICU doctors were there to explain what they were seeing and what that meant. Knowing Joel as I know him, loving Joel as I love him, the decision was so easy. Knowing what this decision means for me, has been so hard. I won’t go into the nitty gritty (though this already might be) but there were various artificial measures being taken to keep Joel alive on a most basic level. With each passing moment his brain was swelling past a sustainable point, but his healthy healthy heart kept ticking away. My goal was to keep his pain at a minimum so I made the decision to stop all artificial support and let his body wind down naturally. He remained unconscious. The doctors and nurses kept reassuring us that we should talk to Joel, that he could hear us. After making this decision, I put one air pod in his ear and one in mine and we sat and listened to our favorite album together. His family was then all able to be with him. At the end, it was just me again and I stood and held his hand and felt his heart. It was so dang strong until the very last beat.

So many friends have filled the waiting room at Kaiser these past couple days, giving me strength. I have really felt the love of so many prayers being lifted on our behalf these last few days. There is no other explanation for the clarity and calm I feel. I am so grateful for the experience I had Monday night with so many of Joel’s very closest friends. One by one, they came through his room to hold his hand and remember stories of the joy Joel has brought all our lives. He was a truly special person, an exemplary friend, the most wonderful husband and the absolute sweetest dad. He leaves a big hole in all our lives, but I know that our interactions with him have made each of us a better person. His thoughtfulness, his kindness, his goofs, his wit, his courage, his dedication have made me the person that I am today. I am unbelievably humbled to have been his wife for 10 years.

His memorial will be on his birthday, June 30th, in Los Angeles. I’ll have more information to follow, but I hope you’ll join us for a beautiful celebration of a truly wonderful life. Mandatory dress code: tye-dye and Hawaiian shirts. Judith and I will be wearing rainbows.

Thank you for being a part of this journey. I know the road to come will not be easy, but I am so glad that Joel's life ended with his faculties intact, his mobility intact, still his full self. The incredible unknown of when and how his life will end has been answered and I know he went out in the best way possible considering he had brain cancer.
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Hi everyone! Thank you so, so much for all your support - we're overwhelmed by the response to this, and so thankful for this great community. I wanted to pop in and let everyone know that we'll be reaching out this coming week to coordinate gift shipments, so keep your eye on your email. Talk to you soon!
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$77,807 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 876 people in 15 months
Created April 27, 2018
Fundraising team
on behalf of Rosanna Kvernmo
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