"Pennies for Patrick" is a fundraising effort started by the friends and family of Patrick McIntyre. Patrick's journey started last spring when he started having "stomach pain" and losing weight for no reason. After many strange medical events, including a misdiagnosis for gallbladder disease and subsequent (unnecessary) gallbladder removal, it was finally discovered that Patrick had a tumor in his bile duct, a rare and complex cancer called cholangiocarcinoma. Luckily, his wife Kathy was diligent, and got him an appointment at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Mayo Clinic is one of only a handful of facilities in the country that specializes in cholangiocarcinoma.
After several trips back and forth between his home in Colorado and the hospital in Minnesota, a myriad of clinical tests, discussion of liver transplant, and considering all the options, Patrick finally went through a liver resection, which removed about 70% of his liver and the bile ducts. The surgeons also did a nodectomy (removal of local lymph nodes that were affected). He has had and overcome many challenges and setbacks, including infections, bile leaks, and feeding tubes when he couldn't keep food down, and still has a great fight ahead of him. BUT we are all so hopeful that he will continue to make progress and beat this horrible disease! He is currently considered “at least stage 3”, although because of its complexity, more tests are needed to better stage his cancer.
He will continue making trips to Minnesota, the next being in just a few weeks for more tests and to meet with his team of doctors at Mayo to plan the next round of treatment.
As you can imagine, everyone is still in disbelief. No one had a clue that this was all happening with Patrick's liver. There were no signs or warnings, it's like it all crept up on us overnight. Even after receiving so many different opinions - everything from 6 months to 2 years, Patrick is determined to fight, and so are we!
And so, with the help of family, friends and maybe a few kind stranger, we hope to raise enough money to continue to make those trips to Minnesota where Patrick can get the medical care he needs to live and fight this unfortunate disease.
All we ask is for you to dig into your penny jars, cash them in at the bank, and help us help Patrick. If everyone who reads this sent in their pennies, it would be all we need to keep it going!!
Love and blessings to all, and thank you for your help!
We will be making regular updates to this site so you can follow Patrick's progress. He also has a CaringBridge site: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/patrickmcintyre