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This fundraiser ended on 06/18/12

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The family of Greg Cummings are uniting to raise money to help with his battle against cancer.

What began as only a concern with a swollen lymph node in his neck, quickly turned into an urgent biopsy, which confirmed it was in fact cancerous. At the age of only 39, Greg was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Follicular Lymphoma, a cancer involving cells of the immune system. Although low-grade and slow growing, this type of cancer is not typically curable, but does respond to treatment with the opportunity for long remission periods. In essence, he has a long road ahead of him.

Since this recent diagnosis in April, Greg's days have become a whirlwind of surgery to remove the tumor, CAT scans, a bone marrow biopsy, and numerous oncology appointments in both Olympia and Seattle. Thankfully, Greg has had family to accompany him to his appointments, and they have spent hours researching oncologists, nutrition, treatment, as well as his medical coverage.

Until recently, Greg was self-employed and owned his own tiling business. However, due to our struggling economy, he was recently forced to close his business and is now unemployed. Although Greg does have medical coverage, it is what is known as a catastrophic insurance plan.  What this means is that each year Greg is required to cover the initial $5,500 deductible, as well as an additional $5,500 in co-pay expenses.  Even after satisfying his annual deductible and co-pay, some of the on-going tests and procedures required may only be covered once per calendar year, requiring additional out-of-pocket expenses. Another burden Greg is facing with this type of insurance is that many doctors and pharmacies require full payment up front, prior to insurance billing. Even with the help of health insurance, the thousands of dollars in doctor visits, treatments, tests, and medication, are taking a toll on his and Becky's finances. It is uncertain how long it will be until Greg is able to get back to work, from both an economic and treatment perspective.
The road ahead for Greg will be long, and at times, challenging. As of now, his CAT scan, blood work, and bone marrow biopsy have initially come back clear. With this type of cancer, however, it has the ability to hide within the hundreds of lymph nodes in the body, so we cannot be absolutely certain it has not spread. There is also an additional lymph node in Greg’s neck which will need to be closely monitored. Two separate oncologists have initially recommended two specific treatments at this stage; “watchful waiting” or undergoing localized radiation in his neck in an effort to eliminate any remaining cancerous cells. While the “watchful waiting” treatment is an option, not immediately removing any remaining cancerous cells could result in the cancer spreading quickly, reducing the opportunity for a prolonged remission. With radiation, there are possible side effects that could diminish his quality of life, and potentially aggravate non-cancerous cells within the lymph nodes, turning them cancerous.  As you can only imagine, the decision between these two treatment options is a very difficult one to make.  Despite which option Greg chooses, there will be on-going follow up appointments, continued testing, and extensive monitoring. In addition to the emotional uncertainty, this will also be extremely costly.

Greg is trying to remain positive and take one day at a time. The upcoming months will continue to be filled with exhausting emotions, moments of fear, and uncertainty. But it will also be filled with hope, a determined spirit, and faith beyond measure.  

We will continue to love and support Greg and we are committed to obtaining the financial support necessary to remove the stress and burden of his ongoing medical expenses. Greg needs to focus on his treatments and fighting his cancer, not the financial burden that comes with it.

Please consider helping Greg. Donations of any amount will truly help.

If you would prefer to mail a check, you may do so in Greg's name and send to his sister:

Nathalie Collins-Moon
2529 N Vista View Dr
Tacoma, WA 98406

All your generous contributions, thoughts and prayers are deeply appreciated!

Thank you,

The Family of Greg Cummings

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