A GoFundMe has been started for a Maple Ridge man whose cancer has returned after losing an eye to a rare skin cancer.
Mike Smith, a father of two, was first diagnosed with ocular melanoma in his right eye in 2019 and had to have the eye removed immediately.
After surviving the traumatic event, the 50-year-old slowly started to resume his normal activities.
However, this past September his cancer returned with vengeance, read a post on the online fundraising platform by family friend Kathy Worsfold.
This time he was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma that spread to his liver and spine.
Smith is a super healthy man, explained Worsfold who is good friends with Smith’s wife Jessica Kennett. He does not smoke or drink and was always physically active, she said.
Smith has started immunotherapy – a treatment that helps the immune system fight cancer – and radiation treatments that are making him feel very sick.
Worsfold is trying to raise $25,000 through GoFundMe to help fund alternative therapies for treatment at the Port Moody Health Integrative Medicine and Cancer Care that are supposed to boost Smith’s immune system and support his traditional cancer treatments.
“It’s $400 per visit, three times a week,” said Worsfold.
“They are also seeing if he qualifies for trial testing in Edmonton,” for other therapies, she explained. A portion of the trial testing is covered by the province, added Worsfold, however the family would have to move.
Money is also going to be used to support the family and reduce financial stresses.
Kennett is trying to work, trying to get her children – Breanna, 10, and Braedon, 13 – everywhere, “and do all these things to help them maintain their regular lifestyle”, said Worsfold.
In addition, she said, Smith’s liver is functioning at such a poor level that he won’t be able to undergo his next immunotherapy dose.
The fundraising campaign was started Monday Nov. 8, and 17 donors have raised $1,520 so far.
Worsfold said they were just looking to raise money to help with other means of medicine to help give this father more time with his family.
To donate go to gofundme.com.
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