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This fundraiser ended on 06/01/12

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We can't fight his brain cancer for him, but we can help John Smith and his family financially as he fights this terrible disease!

John was diagnosed with one of the most aggressive cancers, a brain tumor known as glioblastoma multiforme, when our third child was just two months old. After having brain surgery to remove the growth at Washington Hospital Center, he underwent an aggressive treatment at NIH which included radiation, chemo, and a trial drug that they hoped would make his tumor more sensitive to the radiation. Post surgery, when the pathology confirmed that the tumor was, indeed, a GBM, we were told that the median life expectancy with this cancer is 52 weeks. It was that moment that I felt my world and thoughts of what the future would be like were shattered.

It was almost exactly one year later that we were heading to NIH for another meeting to discuss scan results. Our mood was high, since his scans were continuing to be clear. We were, in fact, making a list of people to invite to a celebration, a sort of Day of the Dead, which sounds morbid yet which in fact celebrates life and includes the lives of those that we love that have passed. Unfortunately, this time there was another tumor.

His second brain surgery was at NIH and seemed to go well. There were two major situations that arose next, however. The first was almost as scary as the initial diagnosis. The dura covering his brain was not healing well and he was experiencing a fluid build-up at the site of the surgery. This eventually gave him the first (and so far/hopefully, his only) seizure. They had to open him up again in order to drain the fluid. He remains on restrictions until the next scan, which means he isn't supposed to lift our kids, walk the dog, do any strenuous activity, he can't drive for 90 days after his seizure, and has been struggling to find a way to deal with these things since he has spent his life being the guy that can do "more than your average bear".

The second problem is not something I will get into with much detail. Suffice it to say, due to the amount of time I needed to take off work to help care for him and for our two youngest children, I experienced work related complications and a change of employment. My portion of the health benefits is $400 a month. While I am making the same amount of money per hour as before, my work time has been significantly reduced. Any holidays or days off my former coworkers have paid, I will not be receiving checks for.

So now we find ourselves, two people with college and graduate degrees, who fancy ourselves to be hard working, committed, dedicated, and responsible, in a position where friends are needed for us to be able to provide milk and bread, and a local charity is trying to keep our electricity from being turned off and find ways to help supplement what we do have to cover our rent. I am researching times when the local food banks and social services office will be open so that I can make it there after the work that I do get, or on days when work does not come in.
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