Reed CURTIS BURNINGHAM Treatment

$214,658 of $214,188 goal

Raised by 2,478 people in 20 months
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Created June 15, 2017
Friends,

This is to advise you that (TPS S/SGT) Grant BURNINGHAM and his family are in desperate need of your assistance.  

On or about December 22, 2016, Grant’s 21-year-old son Reed CURTIS BURNINGHAM went to a clinic due to pains in this abdomen. The clinic was unable to take him, so he attended the hospital where his mother Leigh Curtis-BURNINGHAM works as a nurse.

Tests revealed tumours in his body. Immediately they were determined to be malignant, and Reed was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma - a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma recognized as the fastest growing human tumor rapidly fatal if left untreated.

Reed was already fighting for his life. He was placed in ICU in January, 2017. Doctors scrambled to deal with this devastating illness which seemed to change for the worse every time some positive stride was made. A coma was induced, he suffered respiratory failure, and as much as 3L of fluid was removed from his lungs at a time as his breathing machine struggled to have any effect. 

Reed started his first round of chemotherapy on January 5th, 2017. He finished his last session due to complications on April 6th. Reed was able to leave the hospital several times and he returned to his student job as a Toronto Police Lifeguard for a few days. This disease had caught him in the midst of his studies at Centennial College of Police Foundations. 

By May 10, 2017, doctors found another active tumour in him. Shortly thereafter other tumours appeared near his liver and abdominal area, and the fight was on with fury again. 

In the interim, the family incurred extreme emotional and financial hardship. Just parking at the hospital was costing about $400/ month. Leigh had to leave her position for the obvious stress and the need to tend to her son, decreasing their income by thousands of dollars.

Grant lost a large amount of weight, needs a hip replacement, and even had his appendix removed in the midst of this. He became physically sick at the start of Reed’s illness, and has not been able to work since December, 2016, having already used up over 900 hours of sick time.

On June 5th Reed was taken back to Sunnybrook with severe leg and abdominal pain. At that time they discovered new tumours in his lower abdominal area. He received more rounds of chemotherapy. 

Reed presently goes to clinic every day to recharge chemo bag, and is sent home with a 24 hour pump.

On June 8th, 2017, Dr. BUCKSTEIN advised that treatment options were running out. They were unsuccessful getting Reed into clinical studies. She advised of a drug called BLINCYTO that had been successful with similar lymphomas. This drug and others to be used in Reed’s treatment are NOT covered by OHIP. Treatment has already begun. 

The BURNINGHAM’s are now receiving bills to be paid out of pocket. For example, Grant was recently charged $985.00 for 10 pills, taken 2 per day, that will last 5 days. Reed has to take these pills for 60 days. 

COST PROJECTIONS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE

$6,000 per month for TREATMENT 1
$73,000 per month for TREATMENT 2 and
This and other costs can go on indefinitely

This is not only a young man in crisis, but an entire family in hardship. In order to meet some immediate costs, I ask that every one make a contribution of any kind, but contributions of $25.00 or more are more likely to help us reach our goals more immediately.

Please make your circle of friends, the friends and families of this family, and their contact circles aware of this fundraiser. I ask that Grant and Leigh's greater police and nursing family take this personally, and that every member contribute. I have no doubt this will happen. I know that the BURNINGHAM's  would enthusiastically do the same for you.

Thank you and God's speed.
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Leigh, Royce, Allison and I just want to thank everyone for the love and support, emotionally and financially you have provided our family over these past 8 months. The emotional support proved to be of more value than the financial support in the end.

Reed was so impressed and deeply touched by the outpouring of friends, family, co-workers and complete strangers supporting the Go Fund Me account. Reed had real hope as a result. With the funds in place and the dedicated staff at Sunnybrook Hospital, Reed was confident that he would beat this terrible disease. Leigh and I were as well and we all tried to feed off of each other's energy after any setback. Reed had several set backs but despite all that Reed was always positive and planning for the future.
My wife Leigh and I were always at Reed's side and his faithful beautiful girlfriend Allison was never too far away spending any available time she had with her Batman. Brother Royce away at school would come home every opportunity he had and when he couldn't he would Skype, text and email his brother. They loved each very much and Royce always looked up to his big brother.

Sadly on August 23rd 2017 our Reed lost his courageous battle with this terrible disease. I want you all to know that even then Reed kept fighting hard with that indomitable spirit of his that was so true of Batman. This was not a movie and Reed throughout this terrible ordeal was more of a Batman than any actor could ever hope to portray.

We miss Reed so very much and we will love him forever. Thank you all for supporting our family and allowing us to explore every opportunity to save our son.

Much Love:

Leigh, Royce, Allison and I (Grant).
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with sadness that I provide you the following update. I regret to notify you that as of today, Wednesday August 23, 2017 at 12 p.m., with his family at his side, Reed BURNINGHAM succumbed to his illness.

For the last 8 months, Reed has been battling the most vicious Burkitt Lymphoma. He has endured virtually every treatment, test, and suffering possible, all with a smile on his face and hope for the future.

His father Grant, mother Leigh, and brother Royce have not let Reed pass a single moment without knowing that they were right there with him. They have lived out of hospitals, on hard makeshift chairs, disregarding their own needs, making the most of every glimmer of hope, and the least of each bad projection.

The doctors gave above and beyond, working hard to the very end, ever seeking anything in their collective expertise that could help this young man. They were invested warriors. If there were a cure, I know they would have provided it.

And when the call was put out to friends and family to help, within several hours it was as if a bomb dropped on this GOFUNDME website. All who partook, who offered to make meals, to clean, to transport, to just help, can be very proud of themselves for being the pillars that they are.

To me, Reed's life has proven a valuation immeasurable from beginning to end. But thousands have followed along in this nightmarish struggle in these last months.

When one asks why, perhaps a speckle of the answer is that we were able to witness first-hand an excellent example of a young man and his family fighting for life, allocating it its proper and priceless value, as an example for everyone to follow.

Because Reed had an appreciation...

Batman once said, “We both looked into the abyss, but when it looked back at us… you blinked.” I know that Reed didn’t blink.

Batman also said, “ I’ve worked so hard to gain their respect, they sometimes forget I’m flesh and blood.” Lest we forget that it was indeed human beings who showed us such class and set such an example. We must all do the same if called to.

Godspeed Reed. Straight to Heaven.

My sincerest condolences to the BURNINGHAM family, friends, and Reed’s loved ones.

Jack
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Jim Mackrell:
Grant Burningham, currently Staff Sergeant at 41, known to many having served at 55, 52, Marine, Afghanistan, and probably other Units I don't know, needs your help. It's not about money any more. It's down to good wishes and prayers. Call it what you will, but he needs all of us. His son, Reed, was diagnosed with cancer last Christmas. He has been fighting the fight ever since with the support of his Dad Grant, his Mom Lee, and his brother Royce. Reed was 21 years old and as fit as can be when diagnosed.

Reed is currently in Sunnybrook hospital in a very bad way. His parents are with him 24 hours a day. They are praying that test results from Boston will come back this Monday or Tuesday will offer hope. Until then they have implored the Sunnybrook staff to do anything they can to help him make it until that happens. Very bad.

Whatever positive thoughts, wishes, prayers, etc. you can send... please do it now.

Thank you.
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July 24th 2017

On Monday evening the lifeguards of the TPLS had a fund raiser BBQ for Reed. Reed has been a lifeguard with the TPLS for the past 5 summers. Reed had a fantastic time and was truly moved by the support and efforts of his TPLS family. The Lifeguards of the TPLS program are an amazing group that provide lifeguard service for the beaches of the City of Toronto. I would like to thank all the people that attended. Reed had an amazing time and was glad to see you all. Special thanks to Allison Plummer (lifeguard and Reed's girlfriend) and Bruce Hollowell the Operational Manager of the TPLS program. Thanks for a great evening.

Reed on the dock of TPLS Leuty Lifeguard Station Woodbine Beach.
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$214,658 of $214,188 goal

Raised by 2,478 people in 20 months
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Created June 15, 2017
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