Drew Aufderheide is in a fight for his life. At 30 years of age, Drew was diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). Only 5,000 people a year in the United States are diagnosed with this disease, and because the cancer is caused by a chromosomal change, there is no way to cure it - only medication to keep it at bay. At the age of 35, it is extremely rare for someone like Drew to have this form of leukemia. It is normally diagnosed in people with an average age of 67, and the life expectancy is approximately 15 years. There are currently a lot of unknown facts surrounding Drew's case because physicians and oncologists do not often see CML in someone so young. And because of Drew's young age, his life expectancy is unknown.
What is known, is that Drew will have to take a maintenance chemo drug to manage the CML for the rest of his life, or until a cure is discovered. There are only a few drugs available at this time to treat this disease and because it is so rare, the demand for the drugs are low. This makes the cost for Drew's medication between $6,000 and $8,000 – a month. Medical Insurance only pays a portion of the entire cost of the drug, so Drew is faced with finding funding to make up the balance.
This disease has been an incredible financial strain on Drew and his wife Val, who have been married for six years, and with this medication, comes side effects that he must manage. Drew has met this challenge with his usual strength of determination, peace of soul, and warm and loving demeanor.
How can you help us make these dreams a reality?
Firstly, pray for Drew, his family, and a cure.
Secondly, you can donate by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And lastly, come and join us for the ColorFest Run/Walk, food, DJ, live auctions, and fun for everyone on September 7. This will be a day to celebrate a community coming together for one of it’s own, and promises to be an outstanding day for all who attend. Please join us.
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) Is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow characterized by a genetic change in one's DNA in which pieces of chromosomes 9 and 22 fuse together. This fusion, called the Philadelphia Chromosome, creates a cancer gene that turns on the unregulated growth of white blood cells.
There's much more info at the American Cancer Society.