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This fundraiser ended on 09/30/12

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Please help support Spencer in his fight against metastasized testicular cancer. Your donations are greatly appreciated!

Spencer Cleveland, a 27 year old athlete, never dreamed he would one day be fighting for his life against testicular cancer. Growing up in a town just outside of Aspen, Colorado, Spencer has always been active. He started skiing when he was 2.5 years old and even earned a spot on an Olympic development team at the age of 15. He’s always played soccer competitively throughout the years and has also enjoyed hiking, running, and biking.

On January 7, 2012 his life changed forever. Having had symptoms for a while, it simply became too much to bear on that day. After going into the emergency room for extreme pain, Spencer endured blood tests, ultrasounds, and CT scans to eventually find out that he had stage 2 testicular cancer with metastasis in his lymph nodes.

Spencer went through three rounds of chemotherapy in Denver, and overcame roadblocks along the way, including blood clots, a torn hamstring, and his insurance company threatening to drop him for a “pre-existing condition.” After his final treatment in April, a PET scan indicated that the chemo was unsuccessful. Although it had killed parts of tumors in some areas, the cancer had ultimately spread to his pelvic bone, prostate, and muscles surrounding the area. The oncologist told Spencer he had “slim chances” of living due to his body resisting the chemotherapy.

After hearing the devastating news, Spencer and his family were determined to keep fighting. There was no way this was going to be it. Spencer’s mom contacted the founder of the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation who was eager to help. She got Spencer’s family in touch with Dr. Nichols who is one of most renowned testicular cancer specialists in the world, once treating Lance Armstrong when his cancer had spread to his brain. An appointment was scheduled and Spencer and his mom were off to Seattle for a second opinion.

A couple weeks before flying to Seattle, Spencer started feeling ill. He was tired, weak, and constantly nauseous. No one realized the severity of his condition until he flew to Seattle for his consultation with Dr. Nichols. Upon entering the hospital, Dr. Nichols and his team ordered blood tests and CT scans to determine what stage the cancer was at and ultimately to devise a plan of action from there. As the technician drew blood, he immediately noticed Spencer’s numbers were not right. After testing him multiple times, it was clear he was having kidney failure. Spencer was immediately admitted into the hospital and had emergency surgery on his kidneys the next morning.

Luckily, the surgery was successful and the doctors could then focus on what he came in for … his cancer.

After reviewing his blood tests and scan results, Dr. Nichols and his team came up with an intensive chemotherapy regimen that would hopefully kill the disease. He would also have to have two bone marrow transplants due to the toxicity of the chemotherapy drugs and the fact that they will essentially kill all of his cells during treatment.

At this point, Spencer has completed two rounds of intensive chemo, and will be starting his third round soon. He is being cared for at University Hospital in Denver, and will most likely return to Seattle for final testing, surgeries, etc. at the end of his fourth round.
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