The mission of Team Loncar is to raise money for our dad, who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, so that he can continue to receive chemotherapy. His treatments are out of pocket and the funds raised will help him win this battle.
On January 21, 2009, after a number of doctors visits stemming from a persistent holiday cough, our dad was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. As a result, our dad underwent a variety of tests, scans and second and third opinions, which all confirmed the original diagnosis. This diagnosis was both shocking and devastating as our dad has never been a smoker and has been in excellent health his entire life. So, what we thought to be a simple cough that would not go away over the Christmas holiday, turned out to be a diagnosis that has rocked our family's world.
Since our dad was diagnosed, we have been on a mission to find the most aggressive and effective treatment available for stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. We have sought advice from a number of doctors in the Buffalo and the New York City area to determine the specific course of treatment that will most effectively attack our dad's cancer. What we have learned is that our dad's cancer is advanced and that the cancer cells have escaped the left lung. Since the cancer is not contained to the lungs, our dad's cancer can only be treated with chemotherapy, eliminating surgery and radiation as options at this point. Although chemotherapy is the only treatment option at this stage, we remain hopeful that our dad will overcome this disease and reclaim his health. Our goal is to get our dad healthy and we are constantly searching for doctors to add their specialized expertise to help us accomplish this goal.
We know our dad has a long and hard battle ahead of him, and we are trying to do everything we can to support him and keep him both physically and mentally healthy. We understand that chemotherapy ravages the body and immune system and can seriously affect a patient's quality of life. We are hoping to avoid these debilitating side-effects and have chosen a promising low-dose chemotherapy program that will maintain his quality of life while preserving his immune system to better attack the cancer. Since this treatment is not done locally, our dad travels to Long Island for weekly treatments of chemotherapy. Obviously, this has not been the easiest or most convenient decision but we feel it is the option that offers our dad the most hope for a full recovery. Because we all believe in this treatment and want nothing more than to see our dad healthy again, we each take turns accompanying him on his weekly trips to and from Long Island. In addition to the weekly travel for chemotherapy sessions, we have completely overhauled our entire family's diet and lifestyle. We have eliminated all processed foods and follow a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish. So, now our dad eats handfuls of blueberries instead of handfuls of licorice, which is a lifestyle change he is still adjusting to. Everything we have is going toward our family's battle with cancer, we are willing to sacrifice whatever it takes, and do whatever needs to be done in order to win this battle.
The weekly travel for chemotherapy, the cost of lodging, the chemotherapy sessions, and our entire family's change in lifestyle has proven to be a very costly endeavor. Unfortunately, our dad's doctor is out of his health insurance network and, therefore, the insurance company will not cover the treatments. Since the treatments are very expensive, we are planning a fundraiser so that our dad can continue his chemotherapy treatments, which we believe will ultimately help him beat this wretched disease. We are, therefore, asking for your support because we cannot do this alone. We are seeking both the emotional and financial support of many to stand with us in our battle against cancer.
For those of you that do not know our dad, he is the father of the four of us: Shaughna, Billy, Meghann, and Michael. Our dad is the epitome of the all-American father. He is very much the dedicated family man, devoted to every moment of our lives. We are so thankful for everything he has given us and we could not have asked for anything more in a father. Over the years he has spent countless hours helping each of us grow and mature, and he has been a great role model and inspiration to our entire family. His dedication and sacrifice for his family has not gone unnoticed, which is why we are all at home right now trying to give him back some small part of what we have received from him over the years. In addition to being a wonderful and selfless father, he has been a great husband as well. He has been happily-married to our mom for thirty-two years and we would like to make sure they have thirty-two more.
Our dad is a very loving, caring man with a deep devotion to his family. His loving and caring nature extends beyond the family as well, as he is always willing to help out anyone who is in need. He is an active parishioner at Saint Gregory's Church and is a member of the volunteer group called People of Acts, which is a wonderful group of parishioners that assist anyone who is in need of help. All this activity keeps our dad very busy and without fail he is out the door every weekend helping others in some capacity either tutoring a child in need, donating blood, or shoveling our grandmother's driveway. Our dad is willing to help out anyone who needs it and all the while he keeps everyone laughing. He has a great sense of humor and is tons of fun to be around. We cannot let this dreadful disease take him away from us.
We are so thankful that we have so many family members and friends who have been incredibly supportive throughout this difficult time. We are asking for your continued support and prayers. Despite the advanced stage of our dad's cancer, we remain very hopeful that his youth, optimism and overall good health will help him prevail against this killer disease. He will win this war on cancer. Please help us so that he can continue with his treatment.