Kevin Kelley is a senior at Missouri State University where he was studying film production. In June of 2012, Kevin came home from college for what was supposed to be a one week stay. He went to the doctor for a follow up visit for sciatica. Due to a slight change, the doctor ordered an MRI scan and discovered a large tumor. After a biopsy, it was determined that Kevin had a very rare form of cancer called Chordoma (only three hundred cases in the USA per year).
The best treatment for Chordoma is to remove the tumor. There were complications of blood vessels; nerves and major organs too close for most surgeons to operate. After much research it was found that Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston had much more experience treating this rare form of cancer. Kevin and his dad went to speak to them and met a team of doctors. These included surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists. Two previous surgeons had recommended NOT doing surgery, and just treating Kevin with radiation and hoping for the best. The team at MGH not only recommended surgery, but said it was of medium difficulty, compared to other cases they had treated.
The recommended treatment involves Proton Beam Therapy initially, followed by surgery, then Proton Beam Therapy. The Proton Beam Therapy has shown to be effective against Chordoma, while at the same time it can spare adjacent healthy tissue from the damage caused by using radiation. This treatment plan will last for several months, much of that time requiring Kevin staying in Boston,MA for daily treatments over the course of several weeks. Some time will also be spent healing at home in between the rounds of treatment.
Most of Kevin’s major medical bills will be covered with co-pays on the tests and medicines, but the extensive travel, the stays in Boston and the food while in Boston are a major concern. We have set up this site due to many requests from friends who would like to help Kevin.
Thank you for reading about Kevin. We hope to keep this website up to date with Kevin’s progress.