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Support the Graves Cancer Fight

$10,450 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 109 people in 21 months
Created September 15, 2017
The morning of September 8th 2017 started like any other for Wes and Melissa (Banken) Graves. However, this day would change the rest of their lives. Wes had symptoms of a cough for nearly a year. He went in for a procedure on Friday the 8th to take a biopsy of tissue that looked abnormal on a CAT (CT) Scan of his chest/lungs. At the end of the procedure Wes and Melissa heard the news they dreaded the most, but least expected. Wes has lung cancer…Let that word sink in for a minute. Cancer…what?! Yes, at age 51 after serving in the military, working in the public service industry as a corrections officer for Sherburne County, most importantly getting married and having children (5 to be exact), Wes was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. It is hard to wrap our heads around this diagnosis. Wes never smoked. Guess what? Lung cancer doesn’t care if you never smoked. If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer. It’s at this moment I will say cancer sucks.

Wes and Melissa waited anxiously over the next several days for the final pathology and additional imaging studies to return. They dreaded the nearing conversation with their children about the diagnosis. How do you explain to an 8 year old, twin 9 year olds, and your two grown children you have lung cancer? Seriously, I am asking. If you have tips, please let us know.

My brother-in-law and my sister are amazing people with big hearts. Yes, I know you have heard it before how great people are and yes most people are great, but Melissa and Wes are a step further than great. They are inspirational. They are people who make you want to be a better person. Even with insurance, medical bills can be a financial burden from doctor’s bills, insurance co-pays, travel costs, lost wages, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and other life-saving treatments are both difficult and costly. The funds raised will help off set the financial burdens this family will endure as a result of a truly sucky illness. While we can’t “fix” cancer, we can support those who suffer from the life changing words…you have cancer. Please log into GoFundMe to help lessen the financial burden or even to share your supporting thoughts. Thank you from all of us!
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Hello all! I am in the process of creating a Facebook page for those who wish to follow the Graves journey. We are also setting up a benefit in November. T-shirts will also be available for those who are interested. Lots of ways to show support! Thank you all for everything you have done for all of us. Your support and prayers are so meaningful! Thank you!!
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Our treatment journey (Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy) begins today. We thank you for the prayers and continued support that you have provided our family!

What we know so far after meeting with the oncologist on Wednesday...
Surgery will not be an option. He will have another PET scan after the 3rd round of chemo (approx 3 months) to see if the cancer is responding (shrinking). If responding, he will do more rounds of chemo on the same schedule then maintenance (lifelong) chemo from that point on. If he doesn't respond we will have to look at alternate therapy (clinical trials etc..). The doctor was very honest and said that Wes will die from the cancer but when exactly that will be will depend on how he responds to the treatments.

Our plan is to fight. #determinedtowin #cancersucks
Good hugs from his biggest supporters!!
Still keeping his sense of humor!!
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I just wanted to take a minute and thank everyone for all of the support and prayers we have received. You are all truly amazing! We feel incredibly blessed to have you in our lives!! Thank you again for all that you have given and done. Today will be the day that we find out the full treatment plan. Although we are nervous at what options will be available, we are ready to express our intent to fight with everything we have!
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We are so close to our goal and I know that is only because of all the amazing generosity of all of you! You have made a difference in our lives. This last week has been filled with many tears, mostly of devastation and fear of the future. In the last couple of days we had many tears of appreciation, amazement, and gratitude for friends and family like all of you. Thank you so much for making a positive impact on this family!
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$10,450 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 109 people in 21 months
Created September 15, 2017
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TB
$50
Timothy and Denise Bakken
13 months ago
JB
$50
Jamie Brandt
19 months ago
$25
Anonymous
19 months ago
JW
$25
Jane Ward
19 months ago
TC
$200
Tracy Casey
19 months ago
KF
$50
Kristy Fuchs
19 months ago
MS
$300
Mark Stromswold
19 months ago
TB
$50
Tonee Bennett
20 months ago
TS
$200
Tina Stanfield
20 months ago
KM
$50
Karla & Jason Milless
20 months ago
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