Welcome to #TeamWesley! This is where we will post updates, fundraisers, answers to questions, and other ways you can help. It is also a place where you can leave words of encouragement for Wesley and his family. Thanks so much for stopping by!
I know lots of you have questions, so I want to post a quick blog to help keep y'all informed. Let's get started.
Wesley Applebury is a 2020 graduate of Georgia College in Milledgeville. Very shortly after his recent graduation-despite the Covid-19 pandemic, I might add-he returned to our family doctor after not recovering from a sinus infection once finishing a round of antibiotics. An X-ray revealed that his lung was filled with a softball-sized mass and fluid. He braved this news without skipping a beat, even asking the doctor if he could go to the hospital at a later time because he had a job interview that day. If you know Wesley at all, you know this is SO him and just a small testament to how strong-and strong-willed-he is.
Upon checking into the emergency room, it was determined that he would need surgery to try to remove the mass from his lung. An entire liter and a half of fluid was pulled off his lung prior to surgery, and the pathology on it came back normal. We still thought perhaps the mass was a hematoma. Surgery was scheduled and Wesley braved his first-ever operation by himself, as we are all well aware of the visiting restrictions thanks to coronavirus.
When he woke from surgery, he was met with the last thing any of us wanted to hear-especially him being alone in the hospital. It was cancer. And it couldn't be surgically removed. In a 27-year old, otherwise perfectly healthy, recent college graduate. Instead of getting this news in the hospital, Wesley was supposed to be traveling Europe with his lovely and beautiful girlfriend Claire. The news hit us all like a ton of bricks. He was isolated in the hospital almost the entire time after finding out. The pain from not being able to see him was indescribable. Once his chemo port was placed and a treatment plan was created, he was able to go home for a brief stay to Claire and their fur babies-Finn the dog and 2 Chainz, the infamous cat.
After tons of questions and waiting for the official diagnosis and treatment plan, we learned that Wesley has an incredibly rare and aggressive form of cancer that is almost never seen in adults. Ewing sarcoma is a pediatric cancer-I'm pretty sure they'll write about him in a medical journal when all is said and done. Y'all know he has to do things big!
Shortly after going home, Wesley began to have trouble moving his leg. Returning to the hospital-and facing his worst fear of being back in the hospital alone-it was discovered that the tumor had expanded to and wrapped around his spinal cord. Surgery was needed immediately. Unfortunately the surgery was not able to remove much of the cancer. The tumor is very vascular and complicated, just as it is in his lung. Aggressive action was needed quickly.
A plan was formed to begin chemotherapy rapidly and aggressively. At this time he has received his first treatment and taken it like a champ! On Tuesday, he will begin his second round. It will be much more in depth and has required lots of preparation. Through it all, Wesley has been so brave.
Thankfully, visiting restrictions have eased up a bit. Our mom has tirelessly stayed with him every night for two weeks, with the exception of one night when I got to stay instead. He and Claire have been able to have a few "date nights" as well. Wesley is truly an amazing person with so much life left to live. He is so intelligent and handsome-with one of the biggest hearts I've ever known.
Instead of being angry or bitter, Wesley has faced all of this with the most dignity, grace, and positivity that I have ever known in my life. He has made it easy-but we all know it's not easy at all. He is fighting like hell. It is our job to help keep his spirits up. Please keep the outpouring of encouragement and prayers coming. He loves getting mail to read-and of course, baseball cards!
Many of you have asked how you can help and that means so much to our family. Unfortunately, Wesley is without primary health insurance at this time. Costs are obviously unfathomable. He is receiving excellent care at the Medical Center of Central Georgia/Navicent. We cannot say enough good things about the staff on his case there. We have begun one fundraiser and will continue to raise funds any way we can. I have started a cashapp account for monetary donations, as well. I am looking into starting a gofundme through this website. Any other ideas on fundraisers and collaborations are more than welcome.
I will update more soon. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, Sarah Applebury