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Jan 23, 2018 Latest post:
Jan 29, 2018
Welcome Friends and Family of the Mannas! This CaringBridge site was created to help keep everyone updated in one place regarding the latest news with Gino and how he and the family are doing.
As most of you know, the Manna family was dealt a double-punch 2 1/2 years ago in May of 2015, when their oldest son AJ was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his leg just before his graduation from high school. A short time later in June, his dad Gino was diagnosed with stage-4 pancreatic cancer. Thankfully, through radiation and surgery, AJ is now cancer free, in college and doing well. However, it's been a very long road with many ups and downs for Gino - involving chemo, clinical trials, holistic medicine, countless tests, scans and endless appointments to determine where things stand and how best to proceed. It's been a hard, well-fought battle to say the least, and the fight continues.
Early on, the results showed progress and even shrinkage of the tumors in some areas, leaving hope for remission. This gift of added time was not wasted as he spent his "Good Days" in the kitchen cooking for the family, on the boat fishing with his brothers, leading conference calls and making new business deals, or just being "Crazy Gino" entertaining his friends at game groups or on the porch playing his guitar with a shorty in hand. We've all been so blessed to have this extra time with him to reflect on the many ways he's touched our lives. There's just no one else quite like Gino!
Too soon though, things began to spread and metastasize at a faster rate, moving into other organs, the lymphatic system and throughout his body. Over the last several months he started another horrible round of chemo treatments which were much stronger than before, leaving him sicker, in more pain and extremely exhausted. When the latest scan showed continued growth without marked improvement, they made the decision with his doctor to forego further chemo treatments due to worsening side effects and a poor prognosis for improvement. Instead, they decided to focus on pain management and quality of life. As a result, Sara has taken a leave of absence from her job to be with him and help manage his medical needs and bi-weekly fluid infusions at Mercy. The kids were also all home recently during the holidays and were able to each spend a little quality time with their dad as well. Again, it's these small blessings that count.
For the time being, Gino is sleeping a good bit of the day and getting out for his appointments as necessary with Sara's help. He has a lot of pain in his stomach, chest, upper back and neck region, but for now, it's manageable with medication. They're working with his doctor and the insurance company to bring hospice care in to help Sara keep him comfortable and alleviate his pain in the best way possible at home. Hopefully, this will be approved soon.
Sara and Gino wish to express their sincere thanks and gratitude for all the love and support extended to them from this incredible community over the last several years. Please continue to reach out, using this website to share stories, pictures, prayers and words of encouragement to Gino and the family. We'll continue to post updates here as we have them.
Also, please forward this on and spread the word to others that may not have received this initial email. I attempted to create a comprehensive list but simply do not have contact info for all the people that love and care for this amazing family. Anyone that wants to join may do so via the forwarded email link or by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
Again, thank you for taking the time to visit the site and please continue to send positive thoughts, lots of love and prayers out for this wonderful family during this difficult time.