‘Tis the Season…for Sharing!

December 14, 2011

Naturopathic Family Medicine has a history of collecting donations during the holidays. This year, NFM has chosen a local family to donate to during this season of giving. We are dedicating our efforts of collecting charitable contributions to the Warwick family. The Warwick’s have been members of our NFM community for a long time. Due to that, and the story you are about to read, they hold a very special place in our hearts.

Krystal Warwick, wife of Thomas Warwick and mother of their three young children, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in March 2011. At the time of her diagnosis, the kids were just 4 years, 2 years, and 6 weeks old. Krystal had suffered a spontaneous seizure the month before but was otherwise symptom free. An MRI revealed a tumor and Krystal underwent brain surgery on March 22nd, 2011.

The goal of the surgery was to remove as much of the quarter-size tumor in her left frontal lobe as possible. At the time of the surgery, no diagnosis or prognosis was known. After the tumor was removed a pathologic inspection was done. Inspection revealed the tumor was malignant, meaning Krystal and her family learned that she had brain cancer. Her surgery was followed with 5 weeks of intense radiation therapy in an effort to shrink the remaining cancerous tumor in her brain.

The type of brain cancer Krystal has is very rare and essentially incurable. Less than 1% of people diagnosed with brain cancer have this particular form of cancer. While surgery did remove much of the tumor, the course of this cancer shows that the tumor will inevitably grow back. The average lifespan for patients that receive this particular diagnosis is 8 years.

Krystal shares her journey through a blog: www.titusandfam.blogspot.com. The following is an entry describing her reaction after receiving her diagnosis and prognosis: “I am numb. I am hurt. I am living a shorter life. The average lifespan with my brain tumor is 8 years. Could be more, could be less…not necessarily 8 years, could be 3 years, could be 20, average for the majority of people with issues like me live about 8 years.”

Krystal’s treatment now requires careful monitoring to supervise the growth of the cancer. This process is done with expensive machinery and extensive testing protocols. The necessary imaging and testing is not covered by the family’s health insurance.

Early on the Warwick’s got support from friends, neighbors, and their community. While Krystal’s monitoring and treatment has continued to be expensive, some of the support has concomitantly tapered. Her need for testing, imaging, and treatment continues. We are asking for support from the NFM community to help Krystal and her family continue to receive medical care and to have hope.

Krystal describes her personal and heartfelt emotional struggle in a blog entry from April 2011: “The last two weeks have been crazy. I am trying to remain completely faithful to my God and understand that he wants me sooner than originally planned. I struggle the most with the idea of leaving my dear boys and daughter. Of course pain comes when I think of leaving my husband, but he understands, and we have [had] so long already to enjoy each other. The children on the other hand make my heart hurt when I think of how much I may miss. Graduation, Birthdays, falling in love, coming to Christ… I cry when I watch them and think what I may miss. I am constantly praying for a miracle, but know that my love for the Lord will remain if the tumor does too. Please keep in prayer that I am not part of the majority that live 8 years, but I am the one who gets 20!”

Donations can be made on-site at our clinic. Please consider purchasing diapers (size 4 Seventh Generation brand; size 3 other brands); toys for the youngest and only female sibling (no trucks, please!); gift cards for groceries at stores such as PCC, Whole Foods, QFC, and Costco; or gift cards for gas. You can also donate monetarily by making a deposit at any Chase Bank. The account number is: 2976735882.

Thank you for helping to support one of our very own this holiday season!




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