I'm doing this for one of my best friends, Rick, who has an amazing 6 year old daughter called Ella and a wife called Amy and very unfortunately Rick been diagnosed with stage 3 cancer of his tongue and lymph nodes in his neck at the tender age of 41. My Dad who is 70 years old and myself would like to do anything we can to help so I will fly back to England from Thailand to to do the Oswestry Half Marathon on April 30th 2017 with my Dad (I'd like to do a full one but that might result in another fund raiser) in a bid to raise some funds for my buddy and the battle ahead. I've put a goal of $10,000 because its a nice round number but to be honest the only goal is to help my buddy so if you are reading this any support would be appreciated of course.
I'm not very good with words so here are some from my buddy's GoFundMe page......
"I want to start off by saying that posting this felt like one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make. Call it stubborn pride or whatever you want, but I absolutely did not want to take my wife’s advice on this until I realized that maybe I needed to put my pride aside and make sure that my family is taken care of. Unfortunately I think it may be that time.
I will be 42 years old on New Year’s Eve and it looks like I will likely be spending it sucking down any food that will fit through a straw (I don’t suppose anyone has a recipe for liquid steak?) because I will be in the middle of radiation and chemotherapy as I was just recently diagnosed with stage 3 cancer of my tongue and lymph nodes in my neck. I had to have roughly a quarter of my tongue cut out (won't gross you out with pics of it) and my neck was opened up to pull out 53 lymph nodes along with the neck muscle that had to be removed to get to all the nodes. So eating is going to be a little bit on the rough side while they’re hitting me with the radiation which is going to make it difficult to even swallow. The chemo will of course likely kill some of my appetite and if you know me...that is not an easy thing to do!!
So I don’t want to be overdramatic because the truth is that I am a naturally positive person and my life with my family is pretty freakin awesome (my beautiful wife and unbelievable little girl). Business has been good enough to provide a very comfortable and happy life for us and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have amazing friends that have been beyond helpful as well (you know who you are) so I am very blessed. However, since my diagnosis, everything has happened so quickly because this is a very aggressive type of cancer, so in the span of less than a month I have been diagnosed, to having some pretty important parts of me being taken out (turns out the tongue is pretty important for eating and speaking properly...sounding a little like Sid the Sloth from "Ice Age"), then being told I would also need to do radiation and chemo because the cancer has spread beyond the lymph nodes, so the costs have been sky rocketing day by day.
(Thought I would spare you the tongue pics in case you are having lunch or something lol)
We are from the US but have lived in Thailand for almost a decade and while we own our own business we are not required to have health insurance here. Luckily the general health care here is excellent and cheap compared to the US (but I think everywhere is cheap compared to the US, right?) until you start talking about major surgery and care for cancer, then it's always expensive. So I think it has been one of those “it would never happen to me,” mentalities, which I think most of us have been guilty of at one point or another. What is worse is that I did buy insurance a few years back but canceled it after a couple years because I, literally, never used it...ironic, right? (Queue Alanis Morrisette song here)
Anyway, fortunately, we were able to pay for the surgery and hospital stay, and will be able to pay for some of the radiation and chemo but we will likely be significantly short when you factor in all the other things, and there is so much more that goes along with having cancer that I do not want to bore or bum you out with. Unfortunately, radiation and chemo are not just simply the end of things. Hopefully, what we have posted will be enough to help with the rest but if I'm being perfectly honest, I can't say for sure, because every time I think we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel...damn tunnel gets a little longer.
Just as an extra big fat wrench in the wheel, schooling for foreign students here is very expensive and my six year old cutie’s tuition will be due soon and of course, we easily had her tuition ready to go, but then this fun little life twist happened...
...which brings me to my final point.
I want to be perfectly honest, because I'm not looking for sympathy, I am looking for my family's security. With that said, unless business and/or my health takes a horrible turn, we should be able to get back on track over the next year, maybe longer, hopefully sooner, but we should be able to. For now, though, this whole scenario is wiping us out and without help very soon we could wind up in a very quick and bad downward spiral. I don’t want to, and cannot, put my family through that. So while every bone in my body hates having to do this, I have to succumb to the fact that my family's welfare is much more important than my own pride, and me not being around for my family is not an option. I am fairly confident my wife wants me around for at least a LITTLE bit longer, lol, but I need to see my daughter grow up and much more importantly, I know she needs me there as well.
This is an EXTREMELY humbling experience, but we want to say ahead of time how much my family and I appreciate everyone's generosity and I pray that I can repay the favor to some of you, or at least pay it forward to the next person(s) that needs help as well. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy New Year! Now go have a damn turkey leg and glass of wine...cheers!
Help spread the word!"
Thank you for reading!