Bittens Strong

$22,200 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 331 people in 49 months
Holly Muscolino
on behalf of Robert Bittens
 Newport, RI
This campaign is for my brother, Bob Bittens. In the fall of 2008,  Bob was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer called adenoid cystic carcinoma, or ACC.  A tumor had formed in his neck wrapping itself like a snake around his trachea and esophagus.  Though it took a heroic effort, Bob convinced  a group of doctors in Hartford to try a program of aggressive radiation treatment and chemotherapy.  The docs gave it a 50/50 chance of working  but to everyone's amazement, it worked. Since the end of 2009, Bob has continued to "manage" the disease. Despite showing up in his liver and lungs, his heath was relatively stable.... until now.

Recently Bob has started losing his voice. Along with losing his voice,  he started to become extremely winded after very little exertion.  The diagnosis is bilateral vocal fold paralysis. The nerves that control vocal chord movement start at the base of the brain, travel through the neck and the chest, and ultimately return to the voice box.  His problem could be caused by a tumor in the neck or lungs, a lesion anywhere on the neural pathway to the larynx, or some unknown head, neck, or chest trauma. 

Bob lost his job in August 2014. Unemployment comp ran out in February.  He recently took on a part-time job but he's not sure how long he'll be physically able to continue that.  

We are asking family and friends to contribute to help alleviate some of Bob's financial stress so he can focus on his health. He beat this monster back once - help him beat it back again!!
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It is with great sadness that I am reporting the passing of my brother, Bob Bittens. Bob was tenacious in fighting this awful disease, and was recently in drug trials that were showing promise. His passing was too soon and unexpected.

Many of us followed Bob closely on Facebook and we will miss his humorous posts, as well as the updates on his escapades with his much loved lab Max. He leaves a big hole in our hearts.

We are going to keep the Gofundme site up in support of Bob's widow Gail over the coming month.

Thank you very much for all your past support.

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In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, fate took another swipe at my brother, and burned down his house. Fortunately everyone got out okay, including Max, his beloved dog. We are asking friends and relatives to once again help out during this difficult time. How could so much bad luck happen to such a great guy??
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Thank you again to everyone for all your support! You are all incredible!
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Read a Previous Update
Bob Bittens
49 months ago
1
1

When my sister first mentioned she wanted to do this I was like, “Knock yourself out. People have busy lives and problems of their own, but what the heck?” Let me just say that I am amazed, humbled, and deeply moved by the response. People whose lives I barely touched or haven’t seen in twenty years have come forward to help out. And yes, it really does help a lot. Thank you.

+ Read More
Bob Bittens
39 months ago

I checked in here for the first time in a while. The fire is now six weeks behind me and I've begun a fairly aggressive chemo regimen over the last couple of weeks, and well... The cancer fight has given me time for a lot of reflection, and one of the more depressing things I've thought about is how little I've accomplished in my lifetime. Yeah, yeah, I know... I've accomplished a lot, blah, blah, blah. But I've actually been working hard for many years trying to come to grips with a chronic sense of under-achievement. As egomaniacal as it sounds, I feel that someone with my skills, talents, and instincts should have been able to make so much more out of my life. Nobody's been able to help me feel better about it. Then recently, due to the cancer battle and the fundraising efforts, I've reconnected with many people who I thought I'd barely touched over the years, but who came out of the woodwork to make donations and tell me how much I meant to their lives. It's helped me far more than any of the "professionals" whose help I'd sought. I know this is way over the top sappy, but I just wanted to say thanks.

+ Read More
Bob Bittens
40 months ago

Four weeks ago today life took a very strange turn when at 2am on a Tuesday morning, Gail and I found ourselves with our only option being to climb out our bedroom window, half-naked, in single-digit temperatures, in order to survive the fire that had engulfed our home. The outpouring of support - food, clothing, money - was and continues to be absolutely amazing. As the four to six month rebuilding process gets underway I just want to take a minute to thank everyone who pitched in to help make this life-changing event a little less overwhelming. We are deeply touched by your generosity and good will. Thank you!

+ Read More
Marcia Katz Berken
41 months ago

Wishing you health, strength a nd good luck for the new year

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Gail Roth-Bittens
49 months ago

I would like to express my gratitude to everyone for the outpouring of generosity, good wishes, and prayers you've been sending Bob's way. Special thanks to Holly for starting this ball rolling and for everything you continue to do for your brother, and to everyone who has taken the time to share this link with friends and family. Thank you.

+ Read More
Holly Muscolino
49 months ago

Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to support my brother! I can't even begin to tell you how much it means to us! You are all amazing!

+ Read More

$22,200 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 331 people in 49 months
Created May 4, 2015
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JB
$95
Jeff Berlin
5 months ago

I worked with Bob at WHCN in 1980. Just reading now about all he went through. He was a gentle soul, I hope he's found peace. Hope this donation helps a little.

$250
Marlene & Dave Nagel
24 months ago

Our hearts are so saddened by the loss of a great man and friend! Sending love and prayers to you Gail, Dave and Mar

MM
$100
Monte & Lynn Miller
25 months ago

We've known Bob and Gail for more than 25 years. We truly feel devastated by your loss. I know Bob was a great guy.

FW
$50
Floyd Wright
25 months ago
$100
Anonymous
25 months ago
PK
$20
Phil & Val Kirzyc
25 months ago

So sad to hear the news. So happy you guy's we're a part of our life.

PB
$50
Pam Brooks
25 months ago
PK
$25
Pam Karamas
25 months ago
1
1

Brooke, my deepest condolences for the loss of your Dad and for the challenges your family is facing. Myself and your BBY friends are here for you if there's anything you need anything ❤️

$50
Anonymous
25 months ago
RB
$100
Randy Borovsky
25 months ago
Bob Bittens
49 months ago
1
1

When my sister first mentioned she wanted to do this I was like, “Knock yourself out. People have busy lives and problems of their own, but what the heck?” Let me just say that I am amazed, humbled, and deeply moved by the response. People whose lives I barely touched or haven’t seen in twenty years have come forward to help out. And yes, it really does help a lot. Thank you.

+ Read More
Bob Bittens
39 months ago

I checked in here for the first time in a while. The fire is now six weeks behind me and I've begun a fairly aggressive chemo regimen over the last couple of weeks, and well... The cancer fight has given me time for a lot of reflection, and one of the more depressing things I've thought about is how little I've accomplished in my lifetime. Yeah, yeah, I know... I've accomplished a lot, blah, blah, blah. But I've actually been working hard for many years trying to come to grips with a chronic sense of under-achievement. As egomaniacal as it sounds, I feel that someone with my skills, talents, and instincts should have been able to make so much more out of my life. Nobody's been able to help me feel better about it. Then recently, due to the cancer battle and the fundraising efforts, I've reconnected with many people who I thought I'd barely touched over the years, but who came out of the woodwork to make donations and tell me how much I meant to their lives. It's helped me far more than any of the "professionals" whose help I'd sought. I know this is way over the top sappy, but I just wanted to say thanks.

+ Read More
Bob Bittens
40 months ago

Four weeks ago today life took a very strange turn when at 2am on a Tuesday morning, Gail and I found ourselves with our only option being to climb out our bedroom window, half-naked, in single-digit temperatures, in order to survive the fire that had engulfed our home. The outpouring of support - food, clothing, money - was and continues to be absolutely amazing. As the four to six month rebuilding process gets underway I just want to take a minute to thank everyone who pitched in to help make this life-changing event a little less overwhelming. We are deeply touched by your generosity and good will. Thank you!

+ Read More
Marcia Katz Berken
41 months ago

Wishing you health, strength a nd good luck for the new year

+ Read More
Gail Roth-Bittens
49 months ago

I would like to express my gratitude to everyone for the outpouring of generosity, good wishes, and prayers you've been sending Bob's way. Special thanks to Holly for starting this ball rolling and for everything you continue to do for your brother, and to everyone who has taken the time to share this link with friends and family. Thank you.

+ Read More
Holly Muscolino
49 months ago

Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to support my brother! I can't even begin to tell you how much it means to us! You are all amazing!

+ Read More
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