For years one of the driving forces for fundraising and running Penticton’s Discovery House, Jerome Abraham is again turning to the community, but this time to get help for his own cancer battle.
Abraham was the executive director for the storied addiction recovery program up until April 2023, when he announced that he would be forced to step away to focus on his own health.
In a GoFundMe page, Abraham revealed that he has been battling stage 4 prostate cancer for the last four years, fighting with debilitating pain, a lack of energy and tumours that spread to his spine, sacrum and hip bones.
Multiple rounds of radiation treatment in 2022 failed to keep the cancer from spreading, and by the end of the year, the tumour in his sacrum and spine was causing him multiple periods of short-term paralysis in his legs.
“At this point, I was feeling quite hopeless and we were having family talks with our eight-year-old son about the possibility of losing his dad, probably sooner than later,” Abraham wrote.
The cancer and radiation treatments were making it increasingly difficult for Abraham to maintain both his position as executive director and his responsibilities to his family. After 12 years with the program that had saved his own life from addiction, he was forced to step away.
“Although I was proud of the legacy I was part of creating, I was extremely worried about the legacy I would leave to my family. Along with the worry of possibly passing away and leaving my family behind, the daily worsening pain, was the fear that should I live, how would I be able to work again and provide security for my family,” wrote Abraham. “I was full of fear and not very hopeful.”
It was in the middle of his concerns about the future when Abraham was abruptly contacted and told that an anonymous donor had paid to give him three pulsed electromagnetic field therapy sessions.
Since beginning those treatments, initially just one hour a week, Abraham found the pain had substantially dropped, and his energy was returning to him. After two months of treatment, a CT scan in June came back with a reduction of the tumours on his right side and a slowing of the growth of the aggressive tumour on his left side.
Abraham purchased a $30,000 PEMF machine to keep up his own treatments with borrowed funds and a down payment in July, and he is looking to the community to help him cover the costs of the machine so he can set up a PEMF therapy practice and continue to give back.
“Because of this therapy, we have been talking more to our son about how I am living with cancer rather than dying from it,” wrote Abraham. “I feel a little bit selfish in asking for your help and a little awkward as all the money I have raised over the past 12 years has generally gone to benefit others. One thing I have learned and am practicing more recently however is self-care and owning my worth.
“So many of you have been saying prayers, calling, checking in and asking how you could help. I appreciate every one of you so much and want you to know, it is all helping. The miracle is happening. Hope is alive in me again. If you can please help me to fund the cost of this PEMF machine I promise to get well soon and get back to helping others, although in a slightly new way.”
The fundraiser page can be found by searching the GoFundMe site for Jerome’s Cancer Treatment (PEMF Therapy). Four days into the campaign, it had already made it more than halfway to the goal of $30,000.
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