Monday, June 09, 2014

June 2014 - Gilmore Gazette - URGENT PRAYER REQUEST for Ericlee

Dear Friends & Family,

As many of you may have heard, we received the news 10 days ago that Ericlee has melanoma cancer on his lymph nodes near his right hip flexor. This has been a difficult week for our family as we have tried to process this news and continue to wait for a consultation with specialists at the Melanoma Center at UCSF. The earliest appointment they have available is June 25.

The History

Ericlee first noticed a long black and blue mark on the inside of his right thigh back in February. He dismissed it as a bruise from a workout. At the end of February, a bump/small nodule started to form at the top of that mark near his hip flexor. He had a friend who is a physical therapist check it out, thinking it might be a torn muscle. However, he never felt any pain or loss of any strength in that area. During this time, Ericlee was training for a half marathon. Throughout March, he also was competing over five weeks in the worldwide CrossFit Open Competition.

On March 16, he ran the California Classic Half Marathon with our friend Steve Ganzenhuber. He still felt no pain but following the advice of our chiropractor/holistic doctor Ericlee made an appointment with our family practitioner. The first appointment available was April 23. In the meantime, he had another physical therapist take a look, and he said he had never seen anything like it before. He was surprised that Ericlee experienced no pain given the size of the bump.
Ericlee traveled to Haiti with a Construction team April 11-19. During that time, he experienced the first strange pain in that area. Upon return, Ericlee met with the practitioner who ordered an ultrasound. Nothing showed up in the ultrasound. Ericlee participated in the Wildflower Half Ironman Triathlon on May 3 to celebrate his 40th birthday. (Yes, this man is crazy!)

The following week on May 14 he had an MRI done. That revealed a torn labrum muscle in his hip and a swollen lymph node where the bump was growing. Those were two separate things. The doctor arranged for a biopsy on May 26. Results from that biopsy came to us last Friday, May 30, indicating he had melanoma. He had a small spot of melanoma removed two years ago on the outside of the calf. It appears it may have traveled up the same leg to the lymph nodes but we can’t be sure at this point.

What’s next?

We are waiting for the June 25 appointment. We have been encouraged to call UCSF daily to check on cancellations. We have several friends who are using their connections and knowledge to help us explore some other options as well. In the meantime, we have decided to follow the Gerson Therapy for curing cancer using nutrition. As God would have it, Ericlee has researched this therapy in depth over the last four years and has even taught about it in his Nutrition classes at Fresno Pacific University and DeVry University. The therapy includes drinking 13 glasses of organic fresh-pressed juice daily, a vegan diet and coffee enemas. This method is carefully designed to pump the body with maximum nutrients and to rid it of any toxins. (See Gerson Institute online or The Beautiful Truth documentary if you’re interested in more details.)

How you can help

We have already been humbled and overwhelmed by the rally of love and support from our community of friends and family in the last week. We consider the most powerful help you can offer is your prayers. Please pray with us for a timely appointment with UCSF, the right doctors for Ericlee’s case and discernment for our family as we make decisions about the future. Our most pressing need is for help with medical bills. We have a $10,000 deductible through MediShare. The biopsy alone cost $5,000. If you are interested in other tangible ways you can help, our friend Cori Schmidt set up a Facebook group called “Help for the Gilmores,” which anyone can request to join.

Our future & summer in Haiti

As you can imagine, the future feels scary and uncertain at this point. After several days of praying and weighing the factors we do not feel a peace about our usual travels to Haiti this summer. We considered going for a short time but the appointment falls two days after our scheduled departure. More than this timing, we are concerned that we will not be able to maintain the Gerson diet in Haiti and we risk exposing Ericlee to other more serious diseases when his immunity is already compromised.

It’s hard for our family to fathom not going to Haiti this year when it has been such a part of our mission and summer routine for the last six years. The good news is we have board members and friends we trust are well-equipped to lead the five teams scheduled to travel to Haiti this summer without us.

We have heard many people question: How could something like this happen to Ericlee? He’s so healthy, so fit, such a good guy, works so hard, sacrifices so much for Haiti, etc. etc. We want to underscore that we do not believe in that theology. We do not believe that just because you are “good,” “hard-working,” “healthy,” or even “doing good in the world” then you will be exempt from trials. In fact, the Bible gives example after example that we will ALL face trials. Every trial is an opportunity to reflect the God we trust, who holds the future and loves us deeply. This year we have been memorizing the book of James with our kids. We leave you with these challenging words from James 1:2-3:

Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you can be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.

For His Glory,
Dorina & Ericlee
Meilani, Giada & Zayla

Mailing address: 4711 N. Harrison, Fresno, CA 93704

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