To all who know him, our Dad is kind, loving and approachable. He is quiet and thoughtful, constantly generous with his time and energy. Always willing to help others in any way he can but would never ask for help for himself. He is a cherished grandfather, father, husband, son, brother, uncle, colleague, and good friend to many.
His life has not been easy. In 1990, he lost his voice to a rare neurological disorder, Laryngeal Dystonia— at which point he was told he would never talk again. Fifteen years ago, after countless hours of work and research his voice started to return and continues to improve. In 2012, he was diagnosed with intermediate to advanced prostate cancer. Again, he fought back and was able to completely reverse the tumor in less than a year. So as one might expect, he is coping with his recent diagnosis in his usual fashion – with grit, perseverance, and humour.
While quiet in person, his voice and impact in our community has always been loud. Every year he was always the first to raise his hand to be our hockey team trainer, spending over 15 years in this role and once helping save a friend’s life whose kidney ruptured in a game. He has been a Mentor Angel for Imerman Angels, helping others with prostate cancer navigate their journey. As a start-up founder, tirelessly working to ensure his entire team remains employed during COVID. And as a volunteer firefighter, proudly serving his community for nearly five years. And many more community events.
As a father, our Dad has always gone “the extra mile” for us—whether that be in sports, the classroom or day-to-day life. He has always done everything in his power to help set us up for success. He has always been our first call when we need some form of guidance, wish to share our successes or are in need of support. He has always put his needs second to ours and we are now asking for your help to return this favour.
Using a combination of prescription drugs (Eliguard & Erleada), and complementary natural therapies medically delegated by a doctor or nurse practitioner, Dad has achieved significant reversal of disease in his lungs, liver, kidneys, and bladder. His lymph nodes have “normalized”. His bone metastasis is currently stable, aside from a new 3/4” hole in his L3 vertebrae. But the oncologists tell us that our Dad’s body will likely start to reject the prescription drug treatments in the next 12-18 months, and that any currently available prescription drug alternatives will not be as effective. So, he needs to act now, as quickly as possible, to do everything he can to beat back the disease and gain more time. He does not drink or smoke.
This campaign has been launched to assist our Dad with accessing the prescription drug XGEVA, which will help control the metastasis in his bones, as well as bone pain related to the metastasis. XGEVA is not covered by insurance for Dad because of his type of prostate cancer. In addition, Dad needs to continue with several medically delegated natural therapies, supported by clinical studies, that have helped him achieve his results to date and help him deal with the pain and nausea associated with the disease. These therapies include high dose Intravenous Vitamin C , which down regulates his PSA and ALP (an enzyme prevalent in bone disease), Intravenous Artesunate , which suppresses prostate tumor growth, and Intravenous curcumin which inhibits prostate cancer metastasis. He does a combination of these IV's twice a week, and needs to move up to three times a week for at least the next 6-9 months. The combined out-of-pocket costs for these treatments are just under $6,000 a month and they are not covered by provincial or private insurance programs. These are steep costs for anyone, costs our families can no longer manage on our own. We are seeking support to help offset a portion of the costs for the next 12-18 months of treatment.
Also, by sharing his story, Dad hopes to raise awareness and start conversations about the stigmas surrounding complementary natural treatments, and the challenges faced by patients trying to access complementary natural treatments that clinical studies demonstrate have anti-cancer effects. As Dad gets stronger, he plans to lobby the government to support additional clinical studies and funding for these complementary treatments.
Mostly though, we are asking for your support, so we have more time with our dad who means the world to us. Any help you can provide by way of a donation, no matter how small, and sharing our request for support, will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your support.
- Bill Athanasopoulos
- Marcelle Birgeneau
- Deborah Lynn Robinson
- Dennis Mooney
Fundraising team (4)
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