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Drew Aufderheide was diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) . Only 5,000 per year in the United States are diagnosed with this disease and because the cancer is caused by a chromosomal change, there is no way to cure it - only medication to keep it at bay. At the age of 33, it is extremely rare for someone like Drew to have this form of leukemia. It is normally diagnosed in people with an average age of 67, and the life expectancy is approximately 15 years. There are currently a lot of unknown facts surrounding Drew's case because physicians and oncologists do not often see CML in someone so young and because of Drew's young age, his life expectancy is unknown.
What is known, is that Drew needs to take a maintenance chemo drug/pill each day to manage the CML for the rest of his life, or until a cure is discovered. There are only a few drugs available at this time to treat this disease and Drew's body has already rejected 3. He is on the last and 4th drug that is available at this time and because it is so rare the demand for the drug is low. The medication he is on now comes from Switzerland, the only place it is made. The doctor orders it through a lab in New Jersey, it is then mailed directly to Drew. This medication is not available through a pharmacy.
Because of the low demand, the cost for Drew's medication is approximately $11,000 per/month. Medical Insurance and grants pay a portion of the entire cost of the drug, so Drew is faced with finding funding to make up the balance. This disease has been an incredible financial strain on Drew. With this medication comes side effects that he must manage. Drew has met this challenge with his usual strength of determination, peace of soul, his faith in God and warm and loving demeanor.
Drew is very grateful for the prayers and financial support people have shown him in the past. Financially, the importance of any monetary gifts cannot be overstated. It has allowed him to pay for the medication to keep him alive. From a faith viewpoint, he cannot thank you all enough for your prayers. He knows from experience that prayer works. During this last year when weeks of side effects have kept him in bed unable to work, he felt your love and prayers.
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