Greg's Brain Tumor Journey

$1,805 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 22 months
On June 30, 2016 Our lives changed.
As we were leaving the dentist with our son Blake, after his wisdom teeth removal, Greg collapsed, losing consciousness for a short moment.  He was then transported to the hospital by ambulance, where they were unsure of the cause. He followed up with his primary care doctor, & the Dr determined something wasn't adding up, & thankfully saved him and ordered an MRI. 
July 8th we got the call that there was a brain mass. at first glance, they called it a Pituitary Macroadenoma. (large tumor). 
We then met with an opthamologist & surgeon, who had his vision tested. It was determined that he had lost peripheral vision. The surgeon then scheduled what would be Gregs first of two surgeries for August 30. ,
August 30 arrived, and they started surgery thru the nasal passage, thru the transphenoid sinus, into the brain, to remove the "pituitary" tumor. 
after 3 hours of attempting to gain access, they discovered Greg's anatomy to be very distorted, and aborted the surgery, as there are vital structures there, and with distorted anatomy, could potentially blind Greg, or even kill him. 
The next day, they ordered a new more detailed MRI to look closer at the tumor. They then discovered this was much more serious. It wasn't a pituitary tumor, it was a meningioma. 
The surgeon said it was divine intervention that stopped them from proceeding that day. 
The surgical team was so very perplexed, and concerned. Time was running out. Blindness could happen at any time with this tumor and the area it had taken over. 
Due to the complexity, Dr Gust reached out to his collegues, & Gregs case was sent to University of Iowa and Mayo clinic for review and opinions. He was then kept off of any work until further notice. 
It was then decided that Greg would need a craniotomy, to reach the brain tumor. This was scheduled for Sept 30. 
The surgery went as planned. But what they saw was horrifying, as the meningioma (Benign) was completely wrapped around BOTH optic nerves, and also had them KINKED. This was extremely scary. He shouldve went blind this summer..  This tumor can continue to grow back, & Greg will require frequent scans and check ups to check tumor growth. 
After surgery, In critical care unit, Greg developed Air in his brain and that caused the new vision problems in his right eye. 
Recovery has been extremely difficult for him, and hasnt been improving as the medical team would like. His vision loss has caused balance issues, and the severe pain in his head leaves him having to lay flat for hours at a time, and has lost 3/4 of his vision field of the right eye, and some of the left eye.
The right eye vision has not improved, and we were informed this past week, that the vision loss may very well be permanent nerve damage, lack of blood supply to the eye, or even a small stroke. Another MRI has been scheduled for this coming Thursday, Nov 3rd to look further, to see if they can determine how much damage, the extent, and why he isnt recovering well. 

Greg hasn't been able to work since August 30, and so far they are anticipating a hopeful return to work in late December.
 He is a fulltime electronics systems technology student at Lake Area Tech in Watertown, working part time at Walmart. as a part time employee, he isnt able to get paid time off or short term disability, so all of this time away from work has been unpaid. his Wife Lisa is disabled, & has disability income, and they have 2 boys, ages 10 & 16. Blake is in 11th Grade, is an athlete in Special Olympics as well. Bradyn is a 5th Grade student.
This loss of income has left us with a very difficult hardship for the current & upcoming months, as savings has run out, & it is very difficult to come forward with this need for help, & we appreciate any and all help given during this extremely scary time in our lives... Any funds will be used for living expenses, travel costs to appointments, & any assistive devices to help Greg's vision, not covered by insurance. 
Thank you!!
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Saturday morning update on Mister Greg!
He is doing fantastic! Neurosurgery was by, & we met Gust's partner Dr. Wellman. Very nice man. They removed his Drain from his head, stapled that area closed, & ordering his helmet, so they may come today to measure him for that. No brain swelling either, so that's great.

He's graduating from ICU today!

His facial swelling is down considerably, so he's responding beautifully to the high dose IV antibiotics. Still some typical post operative swelling on the side of his head, but that's to be expected.
No word yet what the bacteria is, the lab is still growing the cultures. Big time praying for NO MRSA!
Pain is well managed now also. They have found the right combination for him.

We don't know right now when the surgery will be to replace his bone flap. He has to be on antibiotics for longer term, and ensure no infection return.

I just want to say we are so thankful for Dr Gust for putting up with my annoying persistence, personally calling us & taking the time listening when I voiced my concerns that something was going wrong, & for Gust listening to his gut feeling, as that is what has saved Greg's life, by him taking Greg straight to surgery to explore, & catching this early before it reached his brain! Amazing man. We love him so much, & can't thank him enough for what he's done for Greg... He's a true angel..

It feels so good to be able to post this positive update!

We Praise the Lord for so many positive steps forward, & for blessing us with so many angels!
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Greg's surgery today revealed that he has an infection. We are not sure what type of bacteria this is. They are having infectious disease doctor come in to help. He will be in intensive care now through the weekend at the least. They've started him on hefty IV antibiotics, and have had to leave his skull bone flap out for now as they treat the infection. He is stable, and his blood counts are too.
We could really use your prayers right now. Love you all
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Greg was admitted to Sanford today, with a possible infection & cerebral spinal fluid leak at his craniotomy site. He is 8 weeks post-op as of today . Surgery to explore the craniotomy site is scheduled for 3:10 tomorrow.
Please, please pray for no infection when they open the head.
The 30th seems to be the day for Greg. He collapsed June 30, first failed surgery Aug 30, second surgery, successful craniotomy, with tumor removal. And November 30 with this new complication/challenge.

We've had a few people ask for his gofundme link to be shared.

I will post an update after surgery tomorrow.
Please wear #grayforgreg tomorrow, Dec 1! Gray is for brain tumor awareness, and our hero, Greg!
We love you all ❤❤
This was a couple days ago before his face started swelling more.
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Quick update.
Easier to do the update here, and share it.
Greg spoke to the eye dr today. His vision scan on Monday showed his vision deficit to have worsened a bit. This can be from there swelling he has been fighting.
They are thinking about sending him to the University of Minnesota to a neuro-opthamologist to assess his optic nerve damage further.
We will be making an appt to meet with his neurosurgeon and go over everything and address his lack of pain control, and look at getting him established with a neurologist to manage the pain too.
He begun the taper of the steroid dose. We will know more as we approach the end of the week, and see how bad things get again.

Keep the prayers coming! Something good has to happen. We need it.
Love you all.

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$1,805 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 22 months
Created October 31, 2016
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$50
Anonymous
21 months ago
KA
$100
Kellie Allen-Wells
21 months ago

Hugs, love and prayers to both of you!

$25
Anonymous
21 months ago
RW
$100
Rose Wetzel
21 months ago

Continued prayers for Greg, and your family.

$25
Sarah Terry
21 months ago

May blessing surround you today and every day <3

$100
Ronald Regan
22 months ago

Gods grace will smile upon you soon.

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