Luke's Fight Against Cancer - CDH1
Our brother has stomach cancer and is facing an epic odyssey ahead. Please support him during this very uncertain and challenging time.Wellington
A couple of years ago it was discovered that our whanau carry the devastating CDH1 Gene mutation. You may have heard of the CDH1 gene through the documentary by Stan Walker: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12021139
Mutations (gene changes) in the CDH1 gene are associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer of approximately 70% for men and 57% for women by age 70.
My brother Luke was found to carry this gene change and as such he began to plan for a prophylactic gastrectomy (total removal of the stomach), which is the most effective method of prevention/treatment for the hereditary diffuse gastric cancer caused by the gene change.
During this time however, a recent Gastroscopy & biopsy showed that the cancer had already started to grow in his stomach. Immediately following this Luke had a CT scan to see if the cancer had spread from his stomach.
Luke is now faced with 2 equally daunting and fast approaching medical outcomes. If the cancer has not spread past his stomach, he will immediately go for a total Gastrectomy, (complete removal of stomach) The other outcome is that the cancer has already spread past his stomach so he will need to go onto Chemotherapy straight away to reduce the cancer, and then he will need the surgery to remove his stomach after this.
Both options have come up incredibly unexpectedly as on previous advice before his cancer was found, Luke was steadily losing weight to have the prophylactic surgery at a future date.
Luke will be seeing a medical oncologist and surgeon in the next week to get a definitive plan for his care. Best case scenario Luke will have at least 3 - 12 months off of work which is why we are fundraising to help alleviate the financial pressure of this scenario and to help support Luke and Amber to focus on busting that rust! Worst case scenario is something we're not ready to face yet as we want to remain hopeful and positive for our brother.
The costs of being sick are quite high for example, transport to and from hospital for appointments and treatments/procedures, parking at the hospital, unpaid leave for Luke's fiancee Amber, the special Optifast diet Luke has been put onto from his surgeon (which is not funded), and ultimately lost wages for Luke. As we all know, the bills still need to be paid.
We as a whanau are pulling in behind Luke and Amber and we ask for your support for them to ease the financial aspect of this situation so that they can focus on the most important thing which is getting Luke better.
Please follow the below Facebook page for updates on Luke's journey fighting this cancer https://www.facebook.com/lukesfightagainstcancer and we would really appreciate you sharing these Givealittle & Facebook pages to help us get as much support for our brother as possible!
James Burke's involvement (page creator)
I am Luke's older brother
Use of funds
Funds will be used to support Luke and Amber financially throughout this extremely challenging time.
Other page links
Yesterday, Luke went into surgery and came out without a stomach, and hopefully free of cancer!
Today, Luke stood up! The physio has come to visit Luke and they stood him up and got him moving a little bit, it was hard work but all worth it!
They will try to move Luke into a lazy boy tomorrow as this helps with recovery and then hopefully onto a ward when a bed becomes available.
Luke has some numbness in his right arm which may be a stretched nerve from surgery but doctors are monitoring this regularly.
Now that surgery is completed we are now into the journey of recovery where things still remain a bit uncertain and best case scenario Luke will still need 3-6 months off work. With finances tight and expenses still rolling in we are still fundraising to help us get through this tough time with one less worry, our finances.
Any Koha to support Luke while we get through the rest of this time is greatly appreciated, nothing is too great or too small.
We so kindly appreciate everything everyone has done for us so far. If you aren’t able to give a koha we would really appreciate a share of the Givealittle or Facebook page.
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This page was created on 18 Mar 2020 and closes on 18 Mar 2021.