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David Schelesky's Fundraiser:

Team Lleyton - GIST Cancer Research

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EVENT: Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon 2015

EVENT DATE: Oct 18, 2015

David Schelesky


In April, 2014, our son Lleyton was diagnosed with Pediatric Wild Type GIST, a very rare, orphan cancer, affecting the digestive tract or nearby structures within the abdomen. Lleyton came home with what appeared to be a severe asthma attack and horrible stomach pains and ended up on this journey called cancer. He was airlifted from Troy Beaumont Hospital to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital, where doctors were able to save his life through emergency surgery to locate the source of the hemorrhaging, as he had lost over 50% of his total blood volume, and then remove a 6 cm tumor on the backside of his stomach. GIST accounts for about 1 % of all cancers, with more adults than children being affected, in addition to more girls than boys. Lleyton continues to hit the odds! Although certain GIST tumors can be treated with medication, there are currently no known medications that will treat Lleyton’s sub-type (SDHA & SDHB deficient). In Lleyton’s case we’ve been told that it isn’t a matter of if but when tumor(s) will return. Funding has been cut through the National Institutes of Health (NIH,) where Lleyton receives his protocol for treatment. Lleyton’s ongoing treatment is at the University of Michigan Hospital. We need to find a treatment and hopefully a cure for our son and other GIST patients, which is why funding is so important! The Life Raft Group’s mission is to find a cure for GIST and to help people, like Lleyton, survive. To do this, the Life Raft Group focuses on research, patient support & education, and advocacy. In an effort to raise awareness and research funding for GIST, Lleyton’s father, David Schelesky has committed to running The Detroit Marathon, in full, in October, 2015! This will be David’s first marathon ever. Please help us reach our goal of survival, not only for our son Lleyton, but for others afflicted with this devastating cancer called GIST. No donation is too small. We need YOU! For details about Lleyton’s journey. Every day, 13 people are diagnosed with GIST in America. We are not rare. We are just people and we are bigger and stronger than we think. And we need the support of everyone in the GIST community to find our cure. Unfortunately, this pioneering research is in serious danger of grinding to a halt if new funds are not procured. Since institutions like the National Cancer Institute are funding just 4-5% of all research proposals, rare diseases like GIST are lost amongst the roughly 200 cancers competing for funding.


  • Stacy Witkowski



1% Raised of $10,000 Goal


Donor Comments

Stacy Witkowski

Stacy Witkowski

3 years ago