"Z" Shebaro battle against cancer Fundraiser
Organized by: Alan Shebaro
On August 22nd I went to visit my parents who have been retired and currently live in Italy and attend the wedding of my best friend in Germany. Before I had left my father had what seemed to be a swollen lymph node on his neck the size of a bean, not a big deal and as he put it "Ehhh...it's nothing." When I had returned from Germany 4 days later it had grown the size of a grapefruit, he had trouble breathing and was waiting to be seen in Italy. He was seen a couple days later and given antibiotics, day before I flew out he said it was getting better and figured it was just a bacterial infection. I flew back stateside and a week after received a phone call from my mother after he had been seen again by a specialty team in Verona, Italy. My father had been diagnosed with Anaplastic cancer of the thyroid or Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma (ATC) on his neck, very rare and very aggressive. The surgeon said in his 48 year in medicine he had only seen 4 cases like this in his entire career. Not genetic and no known cause, my father has never smoked in his life and till the day he was told has been living a very active life. Even winning the 2016 Italian racquetball Open masters (50+) division at 69 years of age. There were only 600 cases nationwide in the US last year, only 2 cancer centers in the US that specialize in this form. I flew in to Tampa 2 weeks ago on Saturday to get things set up at the Moffitt Cancer Center and my parents flew in Sunday from Italy and soonest we could get him seen was on Tuesday morning due to the extended weekend (Labor Day). My father had gone from a clean bill of health to stage 4 cancer in 11 days, couldn't believe what I was hearing. 2 days after being admitted he had to have a tracheotomy, due to the tumor pushing his trachea making it very difficult to breathe, started chemo and was to begin radiation treatment within 3 days to slow down the growth of tumor. Due to the aggressive nature of this type of cancer it had pushed the first breathing tube and had to have surgery again to get refitted just a few days after. To make matters worse he had been taking blood thinners to prevent blood clots, in order to do surgery they had to stop the blood thinners and he had developed 2 clots, one in his arm and another in his leg. Pulmonary team had been concerned about his breathing and then was being treated for pneumonia. All this in a matter of 2 1/2 weeks, my mother or myself have been by his side since he landed in Tampa. Their insurance covers most of the costs but not all and due to the aggressive nature of the cancer there will be many more costs involved. My parents are in the process of selling their home and I've depleted my savings to contribute what I could with costs associated. The amount for just a single day dosage of Lenvatinib is $8000.00, which we have been told he will need for 6-8 weeks...this is just one of the medications which he will be needing. I want my mother and father to be concerned about getting well and recovering not finances or any other stress causing factors. At this point my only priority in life is the health of my father and mother being by his side fighting along with him, I've decided to put my pride aside and reach out to everyone I know and ask for donations to assist me in eliminating a portion of what debt has incurred and future medical costs and leave them with enough that can cover their medical expenses that will be related in his fight against this cancer. I have been happy and proud to assist in a wide variety of non-profits from animal shelters to disabled combat veterans and dependents. I have found my purpose in life and created my own non-profit with another fellow veteran (We Defy Foundation) to assist disabled combat veterans and veterans fighting PTSD/TBI by creating a community where they can fight the battle together and create a brotherhood through Jiu Jitsu. My father is a veteran, Retired Department of Defense civilian for 26 years, my hero and the reason I have had the courage and strength to do what I have done in life. It is because of his moral standard that I am the way I am and able to do the things I am doing. Without him I wouldn't of had the guidance and support to be a Special Forces operator, make it through multiple combat rotations or have the confidence to start my own business or anything I'm able to do currently. Without my mother and fathers influence I would not be the man I am today. Any amount will make a difference, all donations will be tax deductible. Sincerely, Thank you all for your support and your assistance in this matter.