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Help me help him, please

$10,700 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 238 people in 9 months

My name is Johel Maza. I live in Nashville TN and Jose is a friend and my sister's partner. The funds collected will be sent to Jose upon request via bank transfer to Jose's ban accounts outside of Venezuela to pay for medical bills as they come about. 

From Jose:

My dad is a thoracic surgeon and has worked over 12 hours a day nonstop his entire life, helping or saving hundreds of people. 
About a week ago he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma. 
The treatment is extremely expensive. Just one round of treatment could cost up to $5,000. We need to start treating him as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we live in Venezuela, a country currently undergoing a severe political and economic crisis. Common medication here is very scarce. If we manage to find it in neighboring countries, we would not even be allowed to import it. 

My plan, and his safest bet, is to take him to Argentina or Brazil. They might be able to help him with the right medication and medical exams. At the very least, we would be doing everything we possibly can.


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We are a good family. A happy family. Please, help us.

------------------------------------------

SPANISH:

Mi padre es un cirujano torácico y ha trabajado más de 12 horas al díatoda su vida, ayudando o salvando a cientos de personas.
Hace una semana le diagnosticaron Melanoma en estadio 4.

El tratamiento es extremadamente caro. Una ronda de tratamiento podría costar hasta $5,000. Necesitamos comenzar a tratarlo lo antes posible. Desafortunadamente, vivimos en Venezuela, un país que actualmente atraviesa una severa crisis política y económica. Hay escasez de medicinas y comida. Si logramos encontrarla en países vecinos, ni siquiera podríamos importarla.

Mi plan, y su mejor alternativa, es llevarlo a Argentina o Brasil. Podrían ayudarlo con la medicación y los exámenes médicos adecuados. Por lo menos, estaríamos haciendo todo lo posible.

Somos una buena familia. Una familia feliz. Por favor, ayúdanos.

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MY DAD'S MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

After hesitating about taking him to either Brazil or Argentina in order to find his treatment, one of his colleagues informed us that a trial was starting in Mexico which sought to experiment on patients with advanced melanomas; and they accepted local as well as foreign patients. We contacted the doctors in charge of the study and decided to take the opportunity.

Thanks to the donations received, we were able to relocate him to receive treatment in this cancer center. In November of 2018, he and my mother travelled to Monterrey, leaving me and my sister behind in Venezuela. Everything has been difficult, because our financial resources are obviously limited. Eventually, they found a house without furniture or heating that they could rent only to later realize how hard the winter can be, a concept that is practically non-existent in our hometown. Little by little they managed to buy a bed and a heater. A local church has given them donations like cooking utensils, another heater, and other things to withstand the cold and make their stay more bearable.

That same November of 2018, he entered the CA224-047 clinical trial to receive his treatment. This trial is carried out in the “Axis Heilsa S. de R. L. de C. V” Institute (ALTHIAN), located in Obispado, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico.

Initially, he felt an improvement but slowly the treatment (based on nivolumab and relatlimab) stopped being effective. Currently, the oncologist says that his cancer has most likely mutated and that he may need an oral medication that is extremely expensive. This is not provided by the study, and we would have to acquire it ourselves. That is mainly the reason why we need financial help.

He is in a lot of pain, it hurts to walk, and can barely sleep. The situation has gradually generated fatigue in all of us. Mainly in my mom, who has cried a lot. Due to how difficult the situation has become, my sister traveled to help them and now the 3 of them are working towards improving his quality of life. We have had to acquire anti-inflammatory medication and morphine patches to manage his pain. An expense that we never saw coming was a fungal lung infection, a result of his low defenses, which worsened his cough and general condition.

Even though his illness has progressed, the doctors have given him hope with examples of other patients who have been in similar situations. However, everything depends on the upcoming weeks. If his body does not respond to this last dose of treatment, we would be left without the clinical trial’s help.

We do not want my father to be left unprotected, without medication. Help us please.

LA EVOLUCIÓN DE MI PAPÁ:

Luego de dudar entre llevarlo a Brasil o Argentina para buscar el tratamiento de mi padre, una compañera de trabajo de él nos dijo que en México se estaba iniciando un estudio y necesitaban testear en pacientes con melanomas avanzados, aceptaban tanto extranjeros como locales. Nos pusimos en contacto con los responsables del estudio y decidimos tomar la oportunidad.

Gracias a las donaciones pudimos trasladarlo para que fuera asistido en este centro oncológico. En Noviembre del 2018, se fue con mi mamá a Monterrey, dejándome a mi y a mi hermana en Venezuela. Todo ha sido difícil porque nuestros recursos monetarios son obviamente limitados. Eventualmente conseguimos una casa sin muebles o calefacción que pudimos rentar solo para luego enterarnos de lo duro que puede ser el invierno. Un concepto prácticamente inexistente en nuestra ciudad de origen. Poco a poco lograron comprar una cama y un calefactor. Una iglesia les ha dado donaciones como utensilios de cocina, otro calefactor y otras cosas para soportar el frío y de hacer de su estadía algo más soportable.

Ese mismo noviembre del 2018, ingresó al protocolo CA224-047, para recibir su tratamiento. El protocolo es realizado en el instituto Axis Heilsa S. de R. L. de C. V (ALTHIAN), ubicado en colonia Obispado, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México.

En un inicio hubo una mejoría pero lentamente el tratamiento a base de nivolumab y relatlimab dejó de ser eficaz. Actualmente el oncólogo médico afirma que lo más probable es que su cáncer haya mutado y que tal vez necesite un medicamento oral que es extremadamente costoso. Este no es proporcionado por el estudio, el quedaría fuera del protocolo y tendriamos que adquirirlo nosotros. Esa es principalmente la razón por la cual necesitamos ayuda monetaria.

El siente muchísimo dolor, le duele caminar y apenas puede dormir. La situación poco a poco ha generado fatiga en todos nosotros. Principalmente en mi mamá, quién ha llorado muchísimo. Debido a lo difícil que se ha vuelto la situación, mi hermana viajó a ayudarlos y actualmente los 3 están esforzándose allá por mejorar su calidad de vida. Hemos tenido que costear antiinflamatorios y parches de morfina para manejar su dolor. Un gasto que jamás tomamos en cuenta fue una micosis sistémica, producto de sus defensas bajas, la cual empeoró bastante su tos y estado general.

A pesar de que su enfermedad ha progresado, los médicos del centro le han dado esperanzas con ejemplos de otros pacientes que han tenido una situación similar a la de él. Sin embargo, dependemos de los resultados de las siguientes semanas. Si su cuerpo no responde a esta última dosis de tratamiento, nos quedariamos sin la ayuda del protocolo.

No queremos que mi padre quede desprotegido de su medicación. Ayúdanos, por favor.
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$10,700 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 238 people in 9 months
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