Organized by: Sarah Sheppard
December 16, 2016
Ronnie "Ray" Sheppard (24) of Mocksville, North Carolina was diagnosed with t-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in August of 2016. He will be out of work for at least three years and needs to raise $15,000 to help pay for his medications and other medical expenses. Family always comes first for Ronnie "Ray" Sheppard. Ray is a hard-working family-oriented man. His number one priority is providing for his wife Kasey, two boys Mason and Noah, and newborn baby girl Sunni. “I have always worked hard for everything I have and everyone I love,” said Ray. He used to spend his weeks working as a lead tech damage coordinator, and weekends working around the house or coaching his oldest son in t-ball. He would still be doing all three if he hadn’t gotten sick. Ray was diagnosed with t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on August 19, 2016. “When I found out I was sick, I had to immediately put everything on hold. I wasn’t able to work, and they admitted me right away to the hospital. I had a lot of family members trying to help,” said Ray. Less than two weeks prior to being diagnosed with ALL, Kasey noticed a lump on the side of Ray’s neck that even he hadn’t noticed before then. He had been feeling fatigued, but thought it was from overworking and anticipating his daughter’s birth. “Besides that, everything was pretty much normal,” said Ray. Once Kasey noticed the lump on his neck, she called and made a doctor’s appointment to have blood work done. He was sent for an ultrasound of the lump. The next day the doctor called him in for additional blood work to rule out any infections for the cause of the lump. All of his blood work came back normal with no infections. Over the next few days the lump on the side of his neck grew rapidly, with new lumps popping up on the other side of his neck and forehead. The next week he went in for a biopsy and two days later, he got the call from the hospital to round up his family to come in to talk with the oncologist. “That’s when we got the news,” said Ray. “Everyone in my life was completely stunned. None of us had any idea that I was sick, much less that I was this sick. It was a huge shock to all of us,” said Ray. “I am a healthy guy, I never get sick. I am always moving, and never have been a couch-potato. I have never smoked cigarettes or intentionally did unhealthy things to my body.” Being sick has in a sense put Ray’s life on hold. “I am not able to work, provide for my family, be there for my son’s first day of kindergarten, take or pick up my boys from school, or even prepare my daughter’s nursery,” said Ray. “Not only am I sick and fighting this cancer, I’m fighting the reality of going from the care-taker to the one needing to be taken care of.” He is currently on week 2 of his third hospital stay. With the loss of income, Ray needs to raise $15,000 through for medications needed to get better and other medical expenses. “If my goal is fulfilled, I will be able to only worry about fighting this cancer and getting healthy for not only me but everyone that relies on me,” said Ray. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation and sharing Ray’s story today! With your support, Ray can focus on his fight and health to get back to doing what he loves – providing for his family.