My name is Michael Vanwinkle I’m 16 years old and I live In Rochester Hills, Minnesota with my Parents and my little brother, I’ve been thinking about creating a fundraiser for my parents for some time.
My little brother Tommy was born on March 30'th 2010, he got diagnosed with Neuroblastoma 7 months ago and It's been a long road to recovery for little Tommy. In the beginning, the symptoms were a little vague and made it difficult to diagnose, then a tumor appeared on his Stomach, he would always be feverish, complain of being weak and sore.
The past couple of months has truly been an emotional ordeal for my entire Family, my little brother has gone through a series of Chemo treatments at the Boston Children’s Hospital, a college friend of my Parent’s who works as a Nurse at the hospital tried her best to see to all of Tommy’s needs and at one point it looked like he was getting better but the situation took a turn for the worse, he used to be all smiles but now I can’t see his smile behind the breathing aide. Every time I go to visit Tommy in the hospital I feel tears well up in my eyes but I know I have to remain strong for my parents who are doing everything they can to support him psychologically. We pray to God everyday to give him the strength to fight cancer as a lot of children and adults are fighting right now all over the world. Health insurance was able to handle some of the payments and my Dad and Mom were able to foot the bill on some other payments (I’m a bit spotty on the details) but now they are in a mountain of debt.
They never complain about it to me or anyone else for that matter but I hear them talk about it sometimes and when I ask if everything is alright they tell me not to worry and assure me that everything is going to be alright.
The house seems lonely now, Tommy used to be the hell raiser, the one that got everyone smiling, I miss him being home so much and I can’t go and visit him as often as I would like because of the long commute, sometimes it makes me wish we lived in Boston, my Mom took leave off work so she could stay with him through the therapy and my Dad and I visit most weekends but I can see that it puts a lot of stress on them even though they won't say it, nobody plans for stuff like this, so all we can do is pray for the best . Tommy still has about 3 weeks of Chemo left I think and after that my parents would have a sizeable amount of bills to pay. Tommy Always wanted to go to Disneyland and my mom and Dad wanted to take him there as a surprise for his birthday this year, right now we all just want him home safe and healthy so the house won’t be so lonely anymore, we always go to the park on Saturdays to talk, he’s my little wingman and we used to have a lot of fun, I could keep going on about my little brother and the little ridiculous things he used to do but I just want to get the message across to anyone reading this, we need your help. Please help put smiles on my Family’s face again.