Please Note: tributes given on Caring Bridge are donated to caring bridge and do not go to Jon and family.
Ways to help:
Donate to https://www.gofundme.com/f/jon-hillukka
Or contact us to send it a different way.
Meals/chores and rides can be planned on https://mealtrain.com/2v86zm
Jon was a company truck driver. He does not have income from this job currently as he can not drive and by the time he can he will be in recovery from surgery and then needing to do 5 days a week radiation & chemotherapy.
What happened:On January 24th at 12:13am I called an ambulance to the hotel where we were staying in the cities. Jon had a massive seizure and a long post-ictal episode. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and where he quickly had CT scans.
The scans revealed a “golf ball sized mass” on his brain. After many more meds and scans and labs, Jon had an open brain surgery, craniotomy, on January 27th. A lot of the time between the seizure and the surgery is missing from his memory, but he came out of surgery doing great. He walked by himself to the restroom that night.
The next day, the hospital was full and Jon was doing ok. He was discharged from the ICU to “home” January 28th with many restrictions in activity and unable to work. Initially, we stayed with his sister, Karen, until February 3rd when we returned to our home.
Since January, Jon has seen numerous doctors and therapists, including occupational, speech and physical in Staples, appointments in Park Rapids, and follow ups in the Twin Cities. On Feb. 8th. he had a followup with neurosurgery and had stitches removed. Feb. 21st he saw the neurosurgeon and neurology. At that time we were told his tumor was cancerous and from the small piece they biopsied it was graded a “low grade” 2.
We were referred to the University of Minnesota to a Neurooncologist. We met with her Friday, February 25th. She informed us this diagnosis is incurable. Monday, February 28th, the Neurooncologist and her team met to discuss Jon’s case. A pathologist at the U of M is also a part of the team assigned to his case and based on the biopsy they performed the tumor was upgraded. They saw some aggressiveness that was not seen in the portion HCMC saw.
Jon has grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma. He will need to have another surgery to attempt to remove any remaining parts of the tumor. He will have many ongoing appointments going forward, including chemotherapy and radiation.
Jon is unable to work for a minimum of 3 months following the seizure. We know he can’t work during the 6 week, 5 days a week, treatment of radiation and chemotherapy that we have planned so far. It is undetermined if he will be able to when they do the 6 months of chemotherapy following that. These plans are all determined by many factors and will evolve as needed. Jon is our sole source of income due to my chronic back complications preventing me from working. There are many needs coming up. Our families have a Meal Train and a GoFundMe set up and have found other ways to get us donations.
Please continue to pray for him and our family as he fights this beast. We truly believe the Lord has a plan. We pray that we are able we to stay strong in our faith and remember that we have a miracle worker on our side. Thank you for all your love and support. Words cannot express our appreciation.
Jon, Krystal, & family