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Rick Earle's cancer battle

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A hardship fund forRick and Rhonda Earle

$4,740 given of $7,500 goal

Rick Earle's cancer battle

Started by: Julie Kline


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Many people know Rick and Rhonda Earle.

Rick, a former football coach for our local high school, is a hard working, family- loving, devoted husband and friend who loves fishing, camping, casinos and, quite simply, being with his family. Rhonda has worked at several area restaurants before becoming a nurse and devoting her career to the elderly in a nursing home. She is a caretaker by nature, giving her time and attention to co workers, residents at the nursing home, and family and friends alike.

What most people likely don't know is that Rick has battled Crohn's disease for the better part of his adult life. He has suffered through horrible pain due to inflammation and blockage of his colon. He has struggled to live a normal day to day life within the confines of this disease but has still endured multiple trips and admissions to the hospital. Then, about a year ago, he was also diagnosed with Lyme's disease. He began treatment for that, but since Lyme's isn't recognized everywhere in the medical community, his options were limited, insurance coverage nonexistent. All of this came to head at the end of last year when Rhonda rushed Rick to Sayre with severe abdominal pain, constant vomiting, and cramps. Surgery to repair the damaged colon was discussed and Sayre consulted with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. They agreed to take him, an exciting opportunity to hopefully get these two diseases under control. Before any real plans were made to get him there, though, Rick had to have emergency surgery for a bowel perforation. Recovery from that was slow and complicated as he fought infections, had to have more and more drains put in, struggled with high and low blood pressures, constant and severe pain, multiple failed IV sites, and more. After three weeks, he was finally able to go home, only to return to the hospital the very next day with a high fever and tremendous pain. He spent the next few months in and out of the hospital but did at least get to spend Christmas at home with his family.

On January 2, he had the originally planned colon surgery to repair or eliminate some of the damaged areas of his colon and hopefully relieve the constant pain and chronic obstructions. He had a foot of intestine removed and came through the surgery with flying colors.

Unfortunately, the worst news was yet to come.

They biopsied the piece of intestine they took out, as well as some lymph nodes, and discovered that Rick has stage 3 colorectal cancer.

At this point, Rick has been referred to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Rick has family who lives out there who can assist Rhonda with getting around, give her a place to stay, if needed, but they will still have their normal bills back home to consider, as well as money for food and gas and miscellaneous items while in Texas.

Rhonda has exhausted her benefits at work in order to be by Rick's side through all of this. She has cared for him around the clock, often sleeping in an uncomfortable hospital chair in case he has problems during the night. She has continued to work when he's home, as well as manage his continuous medications, TPN, wound care, troubleshooting insurance concerns, and running him to his appointments. She has worried about keeping her job, paying their bills, taking care of her other family members, all the while terrified by what was happening to her husband.

We don't know what the future holds but we know his best shot is in Texas. There are not many burdens in all of this that we can ease for them; the least we can do is help them not worry about whether they will have a home or a car when they return.

They would, and have done, anything for anyone they meet. They are not the kind of people who ask for help, they prefer to give it, so I'm asking for them.

Please consider a donation, an acknowledgment of all they're willing to do for others, during this difficult time; every little bit will help. And, please say a prayer for Rick and Rhonda and their family, and then share, share, share this fundraiser!

Thank you!

Latest Update

Hello everyone! For those of you who aren't on the #TeamRick Facebook page, I just wanted to share the updates from the last couple of appointments Rick has had. So far, so good! Thank you so much the the love and support, and please keep sharing this fundraiser. Rick and Rhonda still have a long way to go. From Rhonda today: Good morning all! Today feels like a new day with the amazing news we got. I was at work during the appointment but was actually able to Skype into it to speak with Dr. Cagir. He appeared very encouraged. He is happy with the abdominal wound and with the CT. This is exactly what we asked you all to pray for. How great you all are! Your prayers, your love and support! We cant begin to thank you all enough. We are now encouraged that instead of 4 more weeks of TPN we may be only looking at 2 weeks (**prayers) and once it's done, we can call MD Anderson and begin our next step. Our biggest hurdle yet! Thank you all so so so much!! We love every single one of you!

Posted by Julie

February 8 at 12:34am

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Hi everyone! First, I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of Rick and Rhonda, for the donations and the love. This fund has lifted such huge burdens, the least of which is knowing there are people out to there willing to share this terrible journey, willing to help a friend in need, and for that we are eternally grateful. A couple things we wanted to share. Rick and Rhonda had an appointment in Sayre this evening. Pathology results we're finished and we now know the type of cancer we're dealing with: small cell signet ring adenocarcinoma. Out of 16 lymph nodes they tested, only one came back positive for cancer so we're taking that as good news. The plan right now is to continue letting Rick rest and recover, hopefully get stronger and off his TPN. On the 18th he's going in for a PET scan to see if any other cancer cells light up. Then on the 20th, he will see this doctor again and hopefully at that point more definitive decisions can be made.

Posted by Julie

January 31 at 2:19am

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53 Supporters

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  • Karen Clark25 weeks ago Best wishes.
  • Valorie G. Berta25 weeks ago Continued prayers for healing!! Love, Valorie Berta Friend of Cory and Dave's
  • Kay Lauzze26 weeks ago Met you & Skinner on rig loads. I was the mean woman that told an Really terrible escort named Monty off! Best part of the day! Wish you all the best, hopefully prayers and wonderful family support will help!
  • Teri baird27 weeks ago We love you💕
  • Candy E.Clark27 weeks ago Special prayers for you and your family!!
  • Debbie Wood27 weeks ago Best wishes.
  • Anonymous27 weeks ago
  • Anonymous27 weeks ago
  • Dane Ray Gross27 weeks ago Sending good thoughts. You got this!!!
  • tracy a taranto27 weeks ago Rick and Rhonda....nuff said
  • Show 43 more supporters