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Derek Berardi's Fundraiser:

Sam Payne Ackermann Cancer Relief Fund

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Derek Berardi


On Thursday January 24th, 11-year-old Sam arrived at Denver Health so doctors could treat what they believed to be an abscess on his right tonsil. After the doctors got in to take a closer look, they discovered it was not an abscess, but a tumor. Pathology was able to confirm that same day that it was a malignant tumor and that Sam likely had Rhabdomyosarcoma (cancer of the muscle). "Rhabdo" is an incredibly rare childhood cancer. Only about 350 kids are diagnosed with it each year.

Due to the location of the tumor, Sam will not have the option of undergoing surgery. Rhabdo is an incredibly aggressive form of cancer, and since surgery is not an option for treatment, Sam will undergo chemotherapy once a week for the next year. Because of the inevitability of infection due to a lowered immune response, it is expected that Sam will spend several nights in the hospital over the next year.

Unfortunately, Sam does not currently have medical insurance. His family has applied for insurance through the state of Colorado, but are unsure at this point how much of his medical bills will be covered, if any. Sam will need round the clock care for at least the next 9 months, which means Stephanie (aka, Mom), will not be able to work during that time.

With all that Sam and his family are up against in the next year, we’d like to ask that family, friends and even acquaintances lend their support to help them through this difficult time. All funds raised will go to medical bills, medical supplies and to help cover their basic living expenses. Any donation of any amount will go a long way in affording Sam the treatment he needs and allowing his parents to focus on their son when he needs them most.



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