On February 4, 2015, while at the ER for other reasons, a “spot” was noticed on a chest xray taken of Kenneth. Long story short, 2.5 months and many tests later, Kenneth was diagnosed with Stage 3a, non-operable, squamous cell lung cancer. At the time of diagnosis, the recommended treatment was chemo and radiation together and if done his life expectancy was estimated to be 12-18 months. However, due to his age (70) and underlying health conditions, Kenneth was unable to begin chemotherapy.
He completed 33 rounds of radiation, the side effects of which resulted in numerous ER visits and 2 hospitalizations. The good news is that the radiation has shrunk the 2 main tumors and one of the larger involved lymph nodes!! The largest tumor has encased the main aortic artery, so the shrinkage of this tumor has most likely bought him some more time. The remainder of the news is that due to his other underlying health concerns, he is unable to undergo chemotherapy.
Kenneth proudly and honorably served his Country in the United States Army for 10 years. He served 2 tours in Vietnam during that period of service. Kenneth’s one wish before he dies, his Bucket List wish, is to visit the National Mall and other sites in Washington DC and to be able to pay tribute to his fallen friends and soldiers at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
Kenneth is the kindest, most loving, yet non-assuming person I’ve ever known. He would never ask for anything, and in fact when asked if it was ok to create a GoGetFunding page, was quite uncomfortable at the thought of it. There was a time in his life after his return to civilian life that his PTSD and alcoholism got the better of him and he ended up living on the streets for over 7 years. During that time, begging and panhandling was the way he supported himself. On August 17th he will celebrate 16 years clean and sober and being a contributing member of society on many different levels. While quiet, private and unassuming, he has been involved in many peoples’ lives and activities behind the scenes, and always ready and willing to donate to the causes and needs of others.
Kenneth returns to his Oncologist in mid-October to determine the extent of the cancer’s growth. Until then (and hopefully after), he plans to LIVE with cancer instead of die from it. If you are able and could find it in your heart to help with the funding of his Bucket List Trip, your generosity would be most greatly appreciated.