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  • Melissa Ginnetti-Barrasso

Recipient Spotlight: Frank John


The John family consists of Frank, Kristie, Evan (16), Emily (12) and Allie (6). They moved to the area in July 2017, as they had to relocate for Kristie's job. Through the summer they worked on getting acclimated to the area, getting the house in order and just worked on settling in to their new community. It wasn't long after they started to get settled that Frank started noticing some signs and symptoms that were concerning. After trying to ignore his symptoms for awhile, he finally visited a Patient First since he didn't have a primary care physician in the area yet. That's when it all began. Frank woke up on a gurney with the news that an ambulance was on the way. His low blood count caused him to pass out when they performed his blood draw. His ambulance (which is a huuuuuge medical bill in itself!) took him to Phoenixville Hospital where he stayed for 5 days while they performed a number of tests and discovered a tumor. The tumor was determined to be colorectal cancer.

The doctors have chosen to be fairly aggressive with the treatment and due to the treatment regimen, Frank is only able to work part time for now (he is a physical education teacher and can't wait to get back to teaching). Frank has finally finished his chemotherapy infusions. After that was over, he got a little break and then began radiation treatments. Along with the radiation, Frank was taking two different kinds of oral chemo: one was what he would have normally received and the other was a trial. It amounted to having to take 14 pills per day. The trial drug made him very nauseous and the doctors reduced the dose. Luckily, he is finished with chemo & radiation now. He goes to Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia monthly for blood work and will have scans done to check the status of the tumor & in the coming months he will undergo surgery to remove it. All in all, Frank's prognosis and progress is positive. & we are so thankful to be a part of his journey!

After hearing about Frank's story, his mounting medical bills & inability to work full-time, we unanimously decided to donate to his family. When I handed Frank the donation check in May, right before Memorial Day weekend...he was so grateful and so appreciative. It was perfect timing, too. He was paying a lot of his medical bills that weekend; and his bill from his initial ambulance ride alone is staggering. His reaction is just something I will never forget -- truly priceless. I know my heart is in the right place, along with all of our board members. We have one vision - one goal: help families in our community that need it.

Frank joined our last board meeting in July and will be joining us at our golf outing on September 28th. We're so excited he's on this journey with us! Thank you, Frank!


-Melissa

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