We are uniting to raise funds for medical/living expenses for retired Navy veteran Rob Odette while he battles a non-cancerous brain tumor.
My little brother, Rob Odette, 41, retired from the US Navy after 20 years of service in the spring of this year. He, his wife, Melanie, and his young family -- Chloe, 12; Jack, 10; and Sophia, 8 -- relocated to the Miami area so he could pursue his dream of becoming a nurse while Melanie home-schooled their children. Rob has been unable to find employment since they moved, and his school admission has been delayed, all exacerbated by a previously asymptomatic, non-cancerous brain tumor called a cavernous hemangioma. The tumor began pressing on his cerebellum and brain stem, causing migraines, memory loss, disorientation, falling, and other issues. A couple of months ago, in July, Rob underwent five Cyberknife radiation treatment sessions as a non-invasive option to try to shrink the tumor, but the dizziness, headaches, and other problems resumed, and Rob was readmitted to University of Miami Hospital today (Sept. 2) with inflammation and bleeding near the site of the tumor. As I type this, he is awaiting admission to the ICU. Rob and his family are in the direst of financial situations right now. While he receives a small pension from the Navy, the backlog of VA claims is more than a year long, and his other benefits will not kick in until those benefits can be processed by the government. They are struggling to put food on the table and to make ends meet. Rob and his family have already been through so much -- in 2003, they lost one of their three-day-old twin boys to a condition called twin-twin transfusion syndrome. His surviving twin, Jack, has been officially diagnosed of short stature and until recently was on daily shots of human growth hormone. I started this fund-raising page as a way to help my younger brother and his family get through these tough times, and I hope you will join me as we fight the repercussions of his illness.