Team A&W Tumor Takedown Part II
I’m certain many of you are keeping up with Team A&W via Glioblastology.com, faithhopeandwine.com, and their CaringBridge page ( https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/adamhayden). If you aren’t, you should check them out! Adam and his family have been battling glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer. Adam is now 8 months out from brain surgery, almost 6 months out from radiation, and he is continuing to plug away with ongoing chemotherapy and care for himself as the Haydens settle into a new normal. They’ve been diligently figuring out ways to downsize life by selling their home and one of their vehicles, navigating private and Social Security disability for Adam and the kids, and balancing Whitney’s busy work schedule with the needs at home and life with this diagnosis.
The family has been overwhelmed with the continued support of friends near and far. The continued thoughts, prayers, well wishes and support in both tangible and intangible ways has been extremely appreciated. It truly does take a village. Adam and Whitney are exceptional stewards of the gifts that this community has bestowed on them and they feel strongly about paying all of this support forward in the future. In addition to the outpouring from their community, both Adam and Whitney have been beyond blessed by their employers who have done so much to continue to make life manageable for them as they journey ahead on this battle.
All of these things in mind, the Haydens have encountered some setbacks that have made getting evened out financially, difficult. Given Adam’s disability and inability to perform the full time responsibilities of his former position, and Whitney’s move to part-time status to support with Adam’s health and needs of the kids, their income is now less than half of what it was prior to Adam’s diagnosis. Of course, the medical bills continue to roll in. In addition, Noah, the Hayden’s middle son, accrued medical bills of his own with a broken arm and surgery out of state, in January. As 2017 continues to march on, they are getting closer and closer to Isaac starting Kindergarten. Adam’s parents have upended their living situation to allow Adam, Whitney, and their three kids move in for the last seven months. This has been such a huge help both for financial reasons and for caregiving purposes. It’s time now though, as Kindergarten enrollment deadlines inch closer, for the Hayden family to get situated into a new place of their own. Unfortunately, limited income and continued medical and family expenses have made making this a reality, extremely difficult.
Our selfless friends, even during their hardships, have continued doing for others. They continue to be cornerstones in their community, even while fighting this terrible disease and continuing to manage the busy life of a family of five. People are often asking how they can continue to support Adam and Whitney, and while they would be too humble to make the request, the most tangible way right now to support this family we love so much, is financially. If you are able to give again or spread the word about the Haydens’ story- it would be much appreciated. Keep the good vibes, prayers and love coming the Haydens’ way. They continue to be humbled by your support and love! As we continue to journey with them on #AandWTumorTakedown, any opportunities to provide help or support will be shared. #AdamStrong
Join Adam Sunday, March 5 to hear him discuss the importance of community, relationships, and vulnerability when facing such a devastating medical diagnosis. Lessons that apply to hardships we all face in our lives—medical or not.
Donations will be accepted to support Adam’s young family and a portion of proceeds will benefit the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA).
Event to be held in the Community Life and Worship Center, accessible by the North Entrance of Friedens United Church of Christ (8300 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis) on Sunday, March 5th from 3:30 - 4:30 PM.
(If you are interested in donating an item for the silent auction, please reach out to Lindsay Eichelman at email@example.com.)
Update: Childcare will be available but we must have a firm head count to ensure enough babysitting volunteers! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your kid count by March 1st!
More details about the event in Adam's blog here:
Facebook Event for "Inside My Head: The Personal Story of My Walk with Brain Cancer" can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/778640135622287/
Team A&W Supporters- Thanks for stopping by. As many of you know, Adam was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Friday, May 13th. After an initial meeting with the neurosurgeon, it was determined that Adam will undergo an urgent resection within the week to surgically remove the tumor, followed by radiation/chemo to kill the "fingers" of the tumor that cannot be removed surgically. This sweet family has a long road ahead of them.
As Adam's brother so eloquently posted- Adam and Whitney are "cornerstones in their particular community." To know the Haydens is to love them! In addition to being community servants and loyal friends, Adam and Whitney are amazing parents to three smart, energetic and sweet sons under the age of five. The existence of all five of them, make the world an exceptionally better place. These selfless friends do so much for others - now it's our time to step up and do for them, as they would never ask of their own accord.
The outpouring of support they have already received has been tremendous and they are so grateful. Every single thought, prayer, social media post, message and word of support has been noticed and appreciated. I'm sure there aren't many things that provide as much comfort as knowing you have an army of friends and loved ones standing beside you. In addition, Adam's employer is extremely supportive and is already proving to be amazing on this difficult journey. Whitney recently went to part-time at work, so in addition to losing a significant part of the family's health benefits, her taking time off to assist with Adam's care pre and post-op mean she isn't receiving any income. One of those pesky details about adulting... you have to work to make money! And while love, good food and Thomas trains carry this family of five a long way, money also will assist them on this journey. So for those who feel compelled to "do something," this is a practical way to be useful and supportive. I assure you that every small bit will assist with medical bills and to support the entire Hayden clan.
For Adam, the philosopher and perpetual learner, his brain is one of his most important assets. Let's show that beautiful brain some love and continue to rally around the Hayden family as we venture with them on this tumor takedown journey. #saveadamsnoggin #adamstrong
A message from Adam:
Friends, thank you again so much for carrying our family during this difficult time. Here is a short update on how treatment is progressing. I am on a steroid program to help with brain swelling and anti-seizure medications to decrease and diminish the "episodes" of dizziness, weakness, and numbness in my left leg and left arm. The tumor is irritating my motor cortex and sensory cortex, triggering small seizures that cause temporary loss of function. I also experience a limited visual field on the left-side of both eyes. Doctor suspects there is no direct tumor invasion in my occipital lobe; instead, the optic nerves are likely pinched by the swelling in my brain on their way back to the visual cortex.
I am happy to say the medication is positively impacting these symptoms.
The surgery has been scheduled for the morning of May 26th at Methodist. I have one more MRI scan Tuesday, May 24th, a functional MRI, to track blood flow in my brain and map motor functioning to act as a guide for the surgeon during the resection on the 26th. The MRI can be rather uncomfortable under "normal" circumstances, and this fMRI requires additional focus and following instructions. It is expected to last more than two hours. It will be an exhausting scan, and the next hurdle to clear. I appreciate you holding me and my family in your thoughts.
Whitney and the boys are well as can be expected. We have tried to keep preschool and daycare schedules as normal as possible to keep things predictable for the boys. Thanks to my gracious employer, Briljent, I have been allowed to work from home as able this week. My parents and Whitney's parents have been a wonderful support, in addition to Whitney's brother and his girlfriend, my brother Austin and his fiancee, my sister Ashley, and Whitney's aunt and grandfather. Lots of love! A special thank you is in order for Lindsay who is administering this GoFundMe page. The support you all have given us has truly touched me and Whit. I can't wait to get through this difficult time and begin paying your gifts forward in the community.
We couldn't be doing this without all of you. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.
Adam, Whitney, Isaac, Noah, and Gideon