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This fundraiser ended on 07/05/10

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Our fundraiser is to help my daddy, Tommy Hawkins with his medical expenses and daily living expenses. He has Gliosarcoma, a malignant brain tumor.

PLEASE SEE THE UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE!

This is the story of my daddy, Tommy Hawkins…he is 57 years old and he has Gliosarcoma. Gliosarcoma is a histological variant of glioblastoma. It is a very aggressive and malignant brain cancer. He is at stage 4 which is the worst. As I write this he is undergoing a barrage of radiation and chemotherapy. Without it he only has 6-12 months. With it, we don’t really know…..

It was a Friday evening February 19, 2010 when we received a telephone call from my friend and daddy’s co-worker, Tammy. She called and asked us to come to their work, LabCorp, immediately because daddy was acting strange. LabCorp is about 4 minutes from our house; we made it there in about 2 minutes. Daddy could not remember the events of the day. He couldn’t remember where he had been or what he had done. He just said that he was really, really tired and he wanted to go home and go to sleep. He didn’t want me to drive him home nor did he want me to follow him. So, another co-worker insisted to at least let her follow him home and she did. Once he got home a close friend who also happens to be a co-worker too, and her husband came to his house. They thought that he might be having a stroke. Once she got there she told him, “You either go to the hospital with me or I am calling 911.” Giving him hardly any choice at all, he went with her. Nothing could have ever prepared us for the life changing events that were ahead of us all….

When we, as family look back now, we noticed that daddy had been having some memory issues, but nothing to be overly concerned about. After several tests and a CAT scan they found that daddy had a mass in his brain and it was bleeding. The doctors made it very clear that he needed to address it immediately. The tumor was not the size of, but was the diameter of a tennis ball. The following Wednesday February 24, 2010 he was scheduled for a Craniotomy, performed by Dr. Cavanaugh. Before surgery the doctors told us that daddy would be in surgery for about 4 hours, he would be in ICU for 5 to 7 days, he would be on a ventilator for 5 to 7 days and the staples would remain in his head in the incision site for at least two weeks. This was all so scary to each and every one of us.

The nurse called the ICU waiting area twice to let us know that everything was going great and daddy was doing just fine, this was wonderful news. Surgery lasted only two hours! Dr. Cavanaugh came to the ICU waiting area to let us all know that the surgery was complete and that daddy was going into recovery. He told us that he removed as much of the tumor as he could. For what he could not reach, he placed eight Gliadel Wafers in the cavity of the tumor. The Gliadel Wafers remit chemo into the places that are beyond surgery’s reach. Although much of the tumor was removed and the Gliadel Wafers were in place, the prognosis given by Dr. Cavanaugh was not good, and it was not what I wanted to hear....a year to a year and a half survival. This was the most overwhelming sentence anyone had ever said to me. Most brain tumor patients are given up to 18 months, I have read and researched and one man, David Bailey, has lived 13 years. I have my own faith and beliefs, I believe that God has better plans for daddy and I know that my daddy is a survivor and a fighter and he will win this fight against Gliosarcoma! After all, he was only in surgery for 2 hours not 4, he was in ICU for 22 hours not 5 to 7 days, he was NEVER on a ventilator and his staples were removed 5 days later! Tell me that is not a fighter, nor a strong man!


Daddy began his radiation and chemo treatments on March 22, 2010 at Louisiana State University Medical Center Health Sciences Center. Since he no longer drives, volunteers from the American Cancer Society pick him up at home everyday and take him to LSUMCHSC and then they bring him home when his treatments are over…everyday they do this for him. As for chemo, it is taken in a pill form everyday. It is monitored through the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, located also here in Shreveport. Other than some weight loss and not being able to eat, he is doing well with his treatments. He does get really tired though.


Daddy, at a young 57, is no longer able to work and has limited medical insurance. Our family is hosting a benefit for him on June 19, 2010 at the American Legion Post 388 in Koran, Louisiana. AJ and the Two Tone Blues Band will be playing. (http://twotoneblues.com/calendar.htm). We will be selling food plates, having an auction and games for the children. It is open to the public. Please join us!

I want to thank each and every one of you for your daily prayers, your thoughts and your kind words. They mean so much to my family and me. Please keep us in your prayers. Please continue to pray for a cure for all cancer, so that another child like Alyssa, doesn’t have to ask, “Mama, does cancer have babies?” And that no daughter ever has to hear a doctor tell her daddy, "Odds are, you will not beat this."

Tommy has two childern, myself and my brother, Thomas "T.J.", and one granddaughter, Alyssa, who absolutely adore him.

God Bless you all~ Hollie Hawkins and Family

06/14/2010 - UPDATE! As of June 2, 2010, all of Tommy's MRI reports came back really, really good! The doctor said he doesn't see anything growing or getting bigger. EXCELLENT NEWS! He will have to begin a year of chemotherapy by pill though this week. Keep him in your prayers! Thank you all so very much! Hollie and family.


 

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