I got called by my homie Toots from the Scrubs crew last night, literally in tears. She spoke to me about a close friend of hers named Lee who was seemingly in perfect health just a few weeks ago. The 39 year old began having seizures on November 1st, and just FIVE days later had to undergo the knife to remove a 2″ tumor from his brain. Even after a successful surgery, news kept getting worse.
You can see Lee’s full story below.
On November 1st, a friend of mine received some terrible news. My friend is Russell Martinez, better known to his friends and family as “Lee.” I met Lee through my boyfriend whom is Lee’s best friend, Chris. Lee and Chris are basically brothers and I’ve gotten to know Lee quite well over the past 4 years. Lee is a great guy, a good friend, a father, a godfather, a son, a hard worker, caring, helpful, sarcastic, hilarious, and altogether wonderful person.
Lee’s entire life changed forever on November 1st when he began having seizures. He was transported to Danville hospital, where he was then life-flighted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. He then was told he had a 2 inch tumor on the frontal lobe of his brain, which had also spread through his bloodstream and into other organs including his lungs, lymph nodes, and spleen.
On Monday November 6th, Lee went in for surgery to remove the tumor on his brain. Everything went great and then the wait began for results from the pathology lab to determine whether it was cancerous or not. Chris and I saw him that Wednesday and he was doing so good, much better than we had expected. Well, yesterday (Nov. 9th) the lab results came back and no one was prepared to hear it. We received the heartbreaking news that Lee has Stage 4 Malignant Melanoma. This 39 year old man who was seemingly still healthy 3 weeks ago had sudden seizures and then gets this terrible news that he has the most progressed stage of cancer. It’s still just insane and so incredibly hard to believe all of this.
After having surgery to remove the tumor, his medical expenses were at a total of about $202,000.00. I received this text from his mom: “Now to figure out where it started. Cyberknife radiation in about 3 weeks to brain. Immunotherapy after that is completed. A lot of left-sided weakness that could/could not get better. Going to have EEG done to evaluate for seizures. ” Lee still must have all of that done plus intensive therapy to hopefully regain his strength. He does not have health insurance so he must find therapy that will accept him and allow self pay for treatment. Everyone wants Lee to come home so he can be in the comfort of his own home with his friends, his family, and his dog. The hospital he is at now is about 2 hours away, so it is not practical for him to go to daily therapy near there. We are very thankful he has received excellent care there from wonderful nurses, but I know he wants to come home.
If you can, at least leave some words of encouragement, and some family love in the comments below.
Best of luck to you Lee. Stay strong and keep your head up brother!