Peter's Fight Against Cancer

$5,940 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 63 people in 10 months
Created August 23, 2017
Dear Potential Donor,

    If I may ask for a moment of your time, I would like to share my story with you;

  My name is Peter Carvalho, I am 27 years old, and I have an aggressive, cancerous brain tumor.
 
  In the Summer of 2013, I had my first seizure while driving and was rushed to a nearby university hospital by emergency responders, whereupon doing an MRI, doctors found a tumor the size of my fist -- one I had been born with -- in the left frontal lobe of my brain.
It was operated on and removed, as an emergency.
The biopsy came back; and the doctor informed me that it was a hereditary tumor and a very aggressive one, with a very high chance of growing back cancerous.
This news did not register fully, as the surgery had affected me in many ways. I found that I was not myself and had lost part of what makes me, me. I could not work for a year; I felt useless. This tragic, life-changing event, sent me into a depression that still lingers today. Part of me was missing, and I felt as if no one understood.
 
  I moved in the Winter of 2014 to be closer to my mother, and in the Winter of 2015 -- while working -- I had my second major seizure and was rushed to a hospital. Where, upon doing a CAT scan, the doctors found that the tumor had indeed grown back, and was doing so at an alarming rate. Not wanting to have another dangerous, invasive and expensive surgery, I continued to monitor it, as my will to live slowly diminished over time. I was diagnosed with epilepsy and deemed unfit to work. I am unqualified for any state or federal aid due to being a legal permanent resident, not residing in the state I am currently in for at least five years. The reality of it all has sent me into a spiral of debt and depression, making me feel more like a burden to my mother, who is struggling to support me, than a son.
I felt like less of a man, barely a person, I was completely hopeless, having lost my sense of self and will to live.

  On May 4th, 2017 -- my birthday -- I finally had enough and attempted to commit suicide.

On the note I was to leave behind, I apologized to my mother and a message left to my friends stating I would no longer be a burden to them.
While I thankfully failed; 
I had a mental breakdown that lasted many weeks and finally resolved to change my mindset, to turn my life around, to fight, to survive. I realized this is not what I want to be remembered for, as the son and friend that gave up, that took the easy way out, that failed them. I began to disciple myself for greatness, started reading books on happiness, self-disciple and healthy habits. I quit cigarettes and started exercising. I set up a daily routine and rituals for both morning and evening; I was finally feeling good about myself.
I made myself a 2-year plan to make it to Japan to teach English and start a YouTube channel to share my story and the lessons I learned along the way; my life mission, my purpose, and my ultimate goal, to make a difference.


  That is, until my last MRI -- on August 8th, my mother's birthday -- showed the tumor had doubled in size in less than 10 months.
The doctors have concluded that it is indeed cancerous, and I have been given two years until it reaches maturity, and eventually, kills me.
My 2-year plan for Japan suddenly turned in a 2-year death sentence. 
I was devastated and began to consider giving up on my dreams. My mission to teach in Japan includes getting a degree, which we cannot afford as is, but now has to include an expensive surgery and treatment that will not be fully covered by insurance. Something I must pay or risk being further in debt.

  This cold reality leads me to why this cause is so important.

I had a Thermal Ablation; First of its kind in the State- On December 12th of 2017   The Story 
The procedure was minimally invasive and I awoke feeling reborn. The tumor had caused personality changes that I only noticed after they were gone. Once the surgery heals, I will undergo six weeks of radiation followed by five doses of chemo over five weeks. The estimated payment of $89,000 (costs not covered by insurance) is due in late by July and an extension can be applied for December. 
If there is one thing willpower and self-discipline alone can't solve, it is lack of immediate funds to do the bare minimum required to reach one's goals.
The goal of $50,000 will barely cover the medical expenses not covered by insurance, and the college fees (which total at roughly $10k).

This fundraiser is my last chance to do something with my life, to live, to become something greater than the sum of my parts.
I wish to tell my story, to encourage and empower others that are in similar situations, through the power of YouTube. I want to teach, to learn, to live and to inspire.

Please help me achieve this simple dream by sharing this campaign, by telling your friends and communities about my story and by donating to my cause.

I would like to thank you for your time, from the bottom of my heart.
I appreciate everyone that has read this and shared it.

Thank You,
Peter H. Carvalho                    
Follow, Like and Share My Facebook Page For Daily Updates
                                                 
U of M Article on My Surgery

                                                      !!!NOTE!!!
                                     Rony Franca is my mother.
She is set up as the beneficiary because I have no bank account of my own

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Time to get real; The reason I have been absent lately:

While it is nice to celebrate a victory, life is never, has never and will never be fair. There is no true victory in life, only compromises. This is post-op week 5, and it is time to start thinking realistically. With my fiance gone (regardless of why or how she left, she's gone), and I have to go back to my 2 years and 7-month plan to Japan, which involves 1 year and 8 months of school. This directly conflicts with the treatments, as it will be 3 months of chemo and radiation combined and another year of chemo.

I cannot do the intense schooling and treatment simultaneously. I cannot delay my plans as it would push me to the 5+ year mark (no offense, I can barely stand the idea of staying here another 2 1/2 years, let alone half a decade). Not to mention, chemo pills and fertility clinics (because chemo would make me sterile) are not covered by insurance. So I cannot afford (both physically and financially) both of them anyway. Even if I were to delay my plans (again, not an option).

So I have a real Sophie's Choice decision here.
My dream, or health.

If I can find a way to pay for school, and the out of pocket tests I have to take in order to test out for credit, I will be moving forward with my plans for Japan and put off treatment until I arrive there.
If I cannot figure out a way to pay for school and the out of pocket exams, I will have to do the treatments (somehow) and give up my dream (the longterm and short-term side effects are.. rough, to say the least).

In other words, I am screwed either way. Rock and a hard place type situation. I have until the end of February to figure everything out as that it when I am supposed to begin treatment or sign up for classes.
I have 40 days to make huge decisions about my future and my health, none of which are the optimal choice.

I'll say it again; there is no winning in life, only compromising. I enjoyed this small victory for 5 weeks. Now it's time to wake up and face reality.

Thank you for the continued support, everyone.
It has meant a lot to me. Unfortunately, these things don't always work out the way we want. I am still a long, long way's away from my original goal (which is now not enough to cover the new surgery totaling $89K out of pocket). My mother is in personal debt as a result of having to support me for the 2 years I couldn't work. As a result, I am stuck because of money.

No amount of drive, determination, motivation, self-discipline can fix these things. Unfortunately, we live in a world -a society- that revolves around money, not potential, not discipline, not drive, but money. It's sad.

Thank you again for your continued support. Although at this point it seems futile, please continue to share my story and my fundraiser. Every little bit helps.

Thank you for your generosity,
-Peter H Carvalho
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Here are some of the press my story and surgery have been getting, in order of appearance.

https://www.neurosurgery.umn.edu/news/new-technology-minimally-invasive-approach-gives-u-m-brain-tumor-patient-second-chance

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2018/01/08/laser-brain-surgery/

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/4386775-hibbing-man-revels-results-brain-surgery-never-performed-minnesota

http://www.startribune.com/u-doctor-performs-brain-surgery-through-a-pencil-sized-incision/468862873/

Shortlived, but there it is. I made a small ripple in an endless ocean.

Please do continue to share and donate.
I need it now more than ever. More about that on the next update to follow

-Peter Carvalho
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Here is a link to the story that was written about my procedure and my change.

https://www.neurosurgery.umn.edu/news/new-technology-minimally-invasive-approach-gives-u-m-brain-tumor-patient-second-chance

Making history. Who knew.
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What's Next For Peter:

Unfortunately, my attempts at recovering my relationship with my fiance have failed. At the beginning of December, she got fed up with me. Largely due to the tumor's effects on my personality and behavior. She has not responded since before my surgery, despite my many attempts at making her understand the situation. It is officially over. So I will resume my plan to finish my BA and join JET to go teach in Japan. This will take longer (at least two years) but it can't be helped. Back to square one. I'll be fine. I have bounced back from far worse.

Next is treatment. I'll begin in February (likely) and finish by May-June (hopefully). I plan on only doing radiation because the tumor was pretty much all taken out by the surgery. We will see. Until then, I look forward to your continued support.

Happy New Year,
Peter Carvalho

Please remember and be kind enough to share my story and donate in any way you can (your time is most precious and appreciated).
You are my last hope if I am to accomplish my goals I can't exactly go to school if I am swimming in medical debt. The government doesn't cover all of the school costs, it will have to come from my pocket or insanely high-interest student loans.
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$5,940 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 63 people in 10 months
Created August 23, 2017
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