Illingworth Family Medical Crisis
As some of you know, Blaine Illingworth was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer on April 20th, 2014, Easter Sunday. Life became very complicated due to an emergency colostomy surgery on June 1st for an obstructed bowel. 3 more surgeries followed over the next year.
Blaine became hypersensitive to the various chemotherapy drugs being used on him this past summer and had to quit chemotherapy. He started a clinical drug trial in Pittsburgh in late August at the UPMC, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He traveled to Pittsburgh and stayed there alone for a week out of every 3. In December we found out that the trial drugs were not working and that Blaine's tumors were spreading and growing. There are now tumors on his adrenal glands, gall bladder, liver, lymphatic system and his lungs. One in his right lung is pressing on the bronchiole leading into the middle lobe of the lung and has it blocked and partially collapsed. This has led to incessant coughing and constant shortness of breath.
We are now trying Lonsurf, newly approved specifically for metastatic colon cancer treatment, but the oncologists say it has about a 10% chance of remission. It is hugely expensive. Initially, after approval by the insurance company, we were told that it has a $3,000 co-pay. Fortunately, the Lord performed a small miracle and within an hour we were also approved for a grant to cover the first 3 months of co-pay. After that, we are on our own.
As some of you know, we are self-employed. We have spent our lives helping others here and in the third world, Haiti, Uganda, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and more, with too little thought for our own future. Our small savings are now depleted. We were able to clear 2014 with the financial assistance of many, but we are now experiencing a lack of work and increased expenses as treatments and other drug costs build up. Cough syrup alone is $40 a bottle. We are behind in our mortgage payments and Blaine is mostly unable to work even around the house as the cumulative effect of the treatments and the reduced lung function have left him with no energy.
All contributions received will be used to pay delinquent bills, medical expenses and hopefully to get us ready to move into a smaller, more easily maintainable home.
If you are able to give to help us, we are grateful.
If you have already given towards our lives, we are grateful.
If you can pass this on to others, we are grateful.
We are just grateful. We continue to serve others where and when we can with whatever resources the Lord grants.
Almighty GOD has met our needs over these last 18 months. We are looking to HIM for everything, body, soul, and spirit.
We thank you for listening and prayerfully considering contributing to our expenses.
Blaine and Angela Illingworth
One of mom's experiences
At the post office today I saw someone Blaine used to have work on his cars. His first name is Joe and he is about Blaine's age. He said that he really admired Blaine as a free thinker. No need for nonsense. He enjoyed his conversations with Blaine immensely and always felt challenged to live better. I found his words soothing yet it stirred in me feelings of yesteryears. I adored Blaine. He was the smartest man I have ever met. No other person I know compared to his intellect. I believe he had a photographic memory. Somedays the loss of him is unbearable.
Thank you, Team, for being there when it is unbearable.
One of William's experiences
He reached out to Jim Donovan of CBS3 because of the work that Blaine had done with Jim over the years. They had done TV spots together and other events. Here's William's interaction with Jim, published with Jim's permission:
"Jim, I'm not sure if you were aware, but my father passed away on March 3rd, 2016. He always thought highly of you and spoke of you in even better terms than that. Thank you for the collaboration you had with him over the years and the efforts you made to promote dad's concerns to the local community.
And Jim's response: "Hi William -
I am so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. He was truly one of a kind, unique hat and all.
I considered him to be not only a wonderful news resource, but a friend as well. He personally inspected two of my homes before I purchased them, and even suggested that I get out of another deal before it was too late. I took his advice and never looked back.
I hope that your family finds comfort in knowing that while your father was on this earth he was truly a man of principle. He definitely impacted my life and others.
When working together on my reports related to defective stucco, Blaine would often say that the stains on the stucco indicated that the house had big problems. Those stains he said were like "stucco tears" and that the homes were crying for help.
Well today as I shed a tear for your Dad, I can't help but smile too... knowing that I've got another angel looking out for me above, and most likely he's already pre-inspecting what awaits for me on the other side.
My thoughts are with you and your family.....
For those in the Tri-State area, I wanted to let you know about an opportunity hosted by dad's professional network, American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) through their Tri-State Chapter. This coming Thursday, April 14th, they are hosting a soiree to honor dad and raise funds to assist with the family bills. For more information, check out this link: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=j7qiiicab&oeidk=a07ecfvy4ecbbc23f84
Memorial Service: https://www.facebook.com/events/237397126598315/
Live Stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iG91jWBbOA
In His grace,
The Illingworths & Family
We have been busy, distracted, grieved, dazed, and sometimes confused. While we made sincere efforts to keep the Facebook Team Bionic Blaine page up to date, we have not yet posted here to the GoFundMe.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce dad's passing on March 3rd, 2016.
The original Facebook announcement from that day is seen below. Thank you for your continued contributions to our family: there are many bills yet to be cleared. There is much more work to be done, and our hardest worker of all has taken his final rest. We thank you for your love, support, prayers, and condolences. This time is a time of deep grieving, but we are thankful that dad is finally at peace.
We as a family invite you to join the public memorial service to be held for dad this coming April 16th. We have many plans to care for in the meantime, and many people have committed to come from a great distance. See the Facebook event here for more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/237397126598315/
If you would like to communicate with the family, please feel free to contact us through the Team Bionic Blaine Facebook page, located here: https://www.facebook.com/TeamBionicBlaine/?fref=ts
With the deepest gratitude,
Posted to Facebook on March 3rd, 2016 at 9:25pm.
"Friends, Romans, countrymen lend us your ears: Today we said goodbye to our beloved Bionic Blaine. Husband, father, brother, son, PITA, Pop Pop, uncle, friend. He wore many hats and no words can express the void that his absence will create.
Charles Blaine Illingworth III
April 17, 1950 - March 3, 2016"
A lot will change.
The world will be busy.
On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.
The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.
The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.
All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.
The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me.
The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.
All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.
My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway.
Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over; about my waistline or hairline or frown lines, will fade away.
My carefully crafted image, the one I worked so hard to shape for others here, will be left to them to complete anyway.
The sterling reputation I once struggled so greatly to maintain will be of little concern for me anymore.
All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.
The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that so consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be before while I lived.
These things will certainly all be true on the day that I die.
Yet for as much as will happen on that day, one more thing that will happen.
On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply.
They will feel a void.
They will feel cheated.
They will not feel ready.
They will feel as though a part of them has died as well.
And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time with me.
I know this from those I love and grieve over.
And so knowing this, while I am still alive I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious—and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it.
I’ll try not to squander a priceless moment worrying about all the other things that will happen on the day I die, because many of those things are either not my concern or beyond my control.
Friends, those other things have an insidious way of keeping you from living even as you live; vying for your attention, competing for your affections.
They rob you of the joy of this unrepeatable, uncontainable, ever-evaporating Now with those who love you and want only to share it with you.
Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can.
It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die.
Don’t let your life be stolen every day by all that you believe matters, because on the day you die, much of it simply won’t.
Yes, you and I will die one day.
But before that day comes: let us live.
written by John Pavlovitz
CELEBRATE IT ALL!!!