My name is David, I am setting up this campaign to raise money for not only the strongest person I know but my best friend, my fraternal twin brother Justin. My brother’s been my best friend, since before I knew what a friend was and before I knew what life was. Justin has always been a person who wanted to help and protect people, so any excess funds we receive will go to a foundation we are starting to help children with brain related illnesses as well.
It was 10 years ago in the spring of 2002, at age fourteen, when Justin had his first seizure, playing basketball. I didn't know then at fourteen that, this would be the beginning of a fight that would define my brother and my family's character. It also would be the splitting of a path in life for the two of us, which up to that point, had been the same. The seizure was a sign that something was wrong within Justin’s brain and surgery was the only way to find out what.
During that summer of 2002 is when my brother had his first of many brain surgeries. Doctors discovered a tumor on his brain located in his “temporal lobe”, potentially affecting his speech functions. During that initial surgery doctors removed a small portion of the tumor to study and analyze it, leaving a large amount behind. Like many young boys at that age he was heavily active in sports, and his only concern was, how long after surgery would he have to wait before resuming to play sports. That attitude and scenario would remain consistent over the next 10 years. As my brother and I continued to compete in sports like football, and baseball throughout our high school years, my brother continued to compete for a “normal life”.
Throughout high school, the most challenging time in a person’s life, Justin faced the common challenges of every high schooler, as well as his own unique battles. While most students are fighting to get up in time for school, Justin often fought epileptic episodes, enduring multiple seizures in his sleep. While most boys are concerned with taking vitamins to put on weight, he accepted having to take multiple pills a day for the rest of his life, to fight his condition. While most athletes are getting routine physicals to play sports, Justin had quarterly MRI’s to monitor the tumor’s condition as well as frequent meetings with his team of neurosurgeons. All of this while maintaining a positive attitude about life and the emotional grace of a person twenty years his senior. Justin would letter in two varsity sports, earn two championship rings and befriend an entire student population, during his high school years. He also would have three brain surgeries; two of which he was awake during (yes doctors physically woke him up in the middle of brain surgery to monitor his motor and speech skills while they operated). He would befriend the countless nurses and hospital aids he encountered, during those procedures.
After high school, Justin enrolled into college. Inspired by the many doctors, and nurses that have helped him, combined with his love of sports and fitness he pursued a degree in exercise science. He would ultimately graduate the top of his class earning recognition and awards for doing so. This too wasn’t with out obstacles and adversities, as he would be married, and have two children during that time. Justin would also undergo two more surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation to combat the continued growth of his tumor. That was two years ago and since then his tumor has been well contained however a year ago it resurfaced again newly located on his brainstem; an area of the brain that controls you entire body’s functions. Due to this location, operating was out of the question and due to his already being exposed to chemotherapy treatment and radiation those to weren’t viable options. Thus leaving doctors and us to consider going through with an experimental drug treatment, though the side effects from the treatment were uncertain. A year into the treatment my family and I began noticing weird side effects; Justin was walking unevenly, his speech was slurred, the right side of his face was somewhat droopy, his memory was getting bad and he began losing his ability to read. Needless to say that we visited doctors where it was discovered that due to the medicine, he suffered a mild stroke. After unanimously deciding to stop the treatments, it was at that time, that his doctors stated that they have done all they can for him. For us to seek help in institutions such as the Cancer Center of America. Unfortunatley the Cancer Center of America will not admit him, due to him having a cancerous brain tumor and their instituioin doesn't treat brain cancerous illnesses. Therefore we are seeking admission other institutions such as Duke University or City of Hope hospital.
I explain all of that, to say this; my brother has had a very resilient ten year battle with his brain tumor and condition, but after ten years it is beginning to get the better of him. It’s robbing him of his education, time with his children and ultimately regressing his quality of life. It currently affects his long and short term memory, his ability to read and speak properly, and has made him walk with a slight limp. It is only a matter of time before the tumor takes over his brain completely. Due to the location and the fact he has endured chemotherapy and radiation, his doctors have deemed it “inoperable” and deemed him “a patient they cannot help further”. Needless to say that, that hasn’t’ stopped his fight, or my family’s fight to get him better. Which is why we are looking to get him admitted into institutions like the Duke University, or the City of Hope Hospital where he can be in the care of doctor’s who will have alternative methods of treatment for him. His current health care insurance will cover 80 percent of the expenses for the trip and treatment however, leaving my family to come up with the remaining 20 percent to cover the costs. This is ultimately another obstacle that my family will over come, however we now need to seek outside assistance to do so. By donating to my campaign you will be helping to provide funds for travel expenses for my brother, treatment expenses administered by the hospital, admission and patient expenses for my brother’s stay at the hospital. Furthermore you will be helping an individual continue his fight for his life.
As I stated in the beginning of this campaign, excess funds raised during this campaign will also go to a foundation we are creating that will help children with similar brain related illnesses. My brother always wanted to help those in need, even when he was in need himself. One way to help is to prevent others from enduring the same struggle as him.
I would like to graciously thank in advance, any and all individuals whom contribute to my campaign and my brother’s cause. This will not be my only method of raising funds as my family and I will not stop fighting for my brother’s health as he will never stop fighting his condition. No contribution is too small and no effort is too little.
If your unable to donate, please say a prayer for my brother and my family.
For those whom are not comfortale with online donations you can send donations to:
J.A.W. FUND FOR BRAIN RELATED ILLNESSES
P.O box 5712 Manchester, NH 03108
Anything Amount Can Help
- Regradless of the amount anything donated will be a huge contribution. All funds raised here will be used for medical expenses, transportation cost and housing costs during Justin's stay at the Cancer Center of America.
- No amount is too "little" wether it is $1 or $100!
If You Can't Donate
- Share this on Facebook, twitter, Google+, ect. Share with everyone you know.
- Email Friends, family, co workers ect and ak for thier support.
- There is no effort too small!
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH