Johnny Roberts Fight Against Cancer

$8,095 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 109 people in 10 months
Created August 3, 2018
Team Johnny
Johnny Roberts, our Beloved Cowboy, Navy Veteran and Rotarian has Stage 3 Laryngeal Cancer and needs our help!

Johnny has been a huge influence in the Temecula Valley to those who know, love and respect him. He has given so much of himself to others and now it’s time for us to give back to him.

In 2006, Johnny was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and has been in remission for 12 years. In July 2018, the cancer returned.

The surgeons told him that his only hope of beating it a second time was to have his voice box totally removed and live the rest of his life breathing through a hole in his throat.

But Johnny and and his wife Jill kept digging for other options. Johnny has volunteered to be part of an Immunotherapy clinical trial at Moores Cancer Center at UCSD in La Jolla, CA

31864584_1533328836748277_r.jpegJohnny has lost 50 lbs. and currently requires  a feeding tube for nutrition.

For the next 12 months, he will get weekly infusions of new drugs that will hopefully kill the cancer cells.

However, his primary insurance has denied coverage.

Immediate treatments will require Johnny and Jill to drive an estimated 15,000+ extra miles over the next 52 weeks to get treatments. In addition, they will have to miss days of work and lose income.

There will also be astronomical medical bills and travel expenses in addition to their daily living expenses.

We are raising $200,000 to help pay medical and travel costs and defray some of the ancillary expenses.

"Johnny has always said to me, 'Everything will be ok. I promise!'' said his wife Jill. We want to be able to say that to him.

We want to help a guy who has given the shirt off his back
to others and needs our help now.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity.
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Friends, we are hoping to raise more funds to help the family with travel and housing expenses. Jill has been staying in hotels in San Diego to be near Johnny at UCSD in Hillcrest through his most recent surgery. A tracheostomy was performed to create a new airway for breathing. Through recent ct scans, we can see his esophagus has been compromised and this procedure is helping him breathe much better! It should have been done sooner.

Johnny has continued making the weekly 200-MILE ROUND TRIP to immunotherapy/chemo treatments from Anza to LaJolla. He has completed 39 weeks of the required 52. (He's missed the past 3 weeks due to ER runs and hospital stays)

The family hopes to get him back to the ranch in a couple of days. They have had kids flying in to visit and help their mom. Other family members are planning trips over next months so Jill can get back to work!

This costs the family a lot in gas and your typical travel expenses. Whatever you give helps a lot. Jill has missed 3 and a half weeks of work lately to stay near Johnny. If you prefer to donate to the Manzanita Ranch to feed the horses, you can do that at http://www.manzanitaranch.org/
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Hallelujah the treatments are working!

We wanted to send an update to everyone. John's most recent CT scan shows "no evidence of disease" meaning they could not see the tumor in his throat!

This scan was given after 16 weeks of IMMUNOTHERAPY at Moores Cancer at UCSD in San Diego. This therapy includes 3 non-FDA drugs by Pfizer in a clinical trial. John takes a pill 21 out of every 28 days. He receives an IV/infusion each and every Thursday of a 2nd drug then once a month he receives an additional 3rd drug via IV/infusion.

Fortunately, these drugs have not made him very ill. The major side effects have been SEVERE FATIGUED and fissures on his hands and feet.

He is still in a lot of pain in his throat and struggles to take that one pill each day. He's on a liquid diet but has gained a few lbs. back.

We have had a few emergency room trips and 1 hospital stay. He is challenged constantly with chronic bronchitis.

We had one required hospitalization trip because his stomach feeding tube came out. This required surgery to insert a new one. He was in a lot of pain for 24+ hrs. but adapted quickly. The new tube is thicker in diameter so he has been able to increase his intake of fruit and vegetable juices, in addition to his Rx Nutrition.

On Veterans Day, John was able to lead the Temecula Veterans Day parade on horseback carrying the American flag surrounded by other veterans and horses of the Manzanita Ranch as the parade's official color guard.

He is still active in Rotary and the Manzanita Ranch.

He is required to continue his 52-week treatment plan at Moores Cancer Center to be sure the treatments work. He has 32 more weeks to go.

In addition to the continued treatments, he will need speech and swallowing therapy. We have contacted the VA and have requested another laryngoscopy to get another good photo of the vocal cords and throat to see what the damage is caused by the tumor. He still struggles to speak but is more positive now knowing the treatments are working.

We found out that each weekly treatment is costing $24,000! Medicare has started to kick in and help.

We appreciate all the continued donations of those of you helping us on this continued journey. We have not been able to get through all this without the support of friends and community.

Merry Christmas to all and may God bless each and every generous soul out there!

Jill Roberts
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Hi everyone,

I wanted to post some updates about Johnny. He's been in the ER a couple times these past few weeks.

First, we took him to the Temecula Valley ER for bronchial symptoms worried his pneumonia was coming back. They treated him for both bronchitis and gave him antibiotics to ward off pneumonia coming back. He's also on an inhaler for wheezing.

After he was getting back on his feet from that, his feeding tube worked its way out of his stomach so we had to go back to the ER. They did surgery the same evening to place a new G-tube feeding tube back into his stomach. The good news from that is that they put in a larger tube so we've been able to put more nutrition through his tube in addition to his Rx formula. He has been putting organic fruit juices and vegetable juices into his tube.

After many stacks of medical paperwork and phone calls to billing offices, we have recently found out that each weekly clinic visit to Moore's Cancer Center at UCSD in LaJolla, CA is costing $24,ooo. He's prescribed 52 of these clinic visits for infusions. Do the math.

That's $1.2million dollars for just the weekly infusions!
John's HMO has denied every bill that has been presented to them because they consider the clinic in LaJolla to be "out of network."

The VA has refused helping with the clinic infusions because it's non-FDA approved drugs and they offered their solution which was to completely remove his voicebox and cut a hole in his trachea to breath out of the rest of his life.

That leaves MEDICARE. The billing dept at UCSD says that it could take up to a year to get Medicare to make payments and told me to be patient. We are hoping they will kick in up to 80% which will greatly help but will still leave us CRIPPLED WITH DEBT.

We continue to make the copays on time after all the Dr bills, labs, CT scans, Rx and incidentals are settled, so we can show good faith and keep him in the treatments.

Please continue to share and reach out. We appreciate everyone's continued support.

With love and gratitude,

The Roberts Family
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Hey all,

Johnny had his first CT scan after 8 weeks of treatment. The results showed that the tumor is not yet responding to the treatment. However, his oncologist at Moores Cancer Center at UCSD in LaJolla remains optimistic that these clinical trial drugs are the correct ones to use. We knew not to get our hopes up too soon, as they advised us that this is a long, drawn-out treatment plan of 52. Johnny remains positive and continues with the 200 mile round trip from Anza to LaJolla each week along with his weekly trips to Temecula for blood work.

Update on the bronchitis he was treated for in the ER at Temecula Valley Hospital a couple weeks ago: Because he was also presenting with fevers for a few days and had lots of chest congestion and fullness, they prescribed both an antibiotic and an inhaler. He is doing much better. Still sounds a little wheezy now and they, but much, much better.

The photos show his feeding pump where his liquid nutrition is hung in a bag above the pump and is gravity fed through the lines and into his stomach tube. He gets 2100 calories a day and liquid vitamins. The boxes that have arrived are his meds, feeding supplies and liquid nutrition prescribed by the VA.

He is enjoying the emails and cards, so if anyone wants to send a card to him the mailing address is: PO Box 390960, Anza, CA 92539

Thank you all for your continued support. 41 more weeks to go if he continues to tolerate the immunotherapy treatments well.

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$8,095 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 109 people in 10 months
Created August 3, 2018
Team Johnny
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