Jeff Winterberg, a beloved musician, photographer, friend & family member, was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer in late 2011. Since that time he has begun a rigorous course of treatment which started with surgery to his brain in February of 2012. Diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, this form of brain cancer typically manifests in children, only affecting less than 2% of adults. Because of the rarity in adults, little is known about the long term effects or prognosis. Jeff has been fortunate enough to be receiving significant care through Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and his doctors have high hopes for his recovery. In the meantime, his early treatment has been hard on his body. Between the surgery and first 6 weeks of radiation mixed with chemotherapy, his sight, speech, and motor functions have been affected, limiting his abilities. Beginning in early June, he will start another cycle of chemotherapy (six rounds) in hopes of destroying any remaining cancer cells.
Jeff has a long road of recovery ahead of him beyond the 6 rounds of chemotherapy such as extensive physical therapy, and life-long tests to monitor the cancer. He must have MRI’s every three months for the next few years eventually tapering off to once a year. While we hope this will completely eradicate any cancer, the threat of a return always looms, thus the need for ongoing treatment.
While Jeff is lucky to have health insurance covering much of his treatment currently, the financial obligations go beyond what his insurance covers. Lost wages, travel to and from treatment, outpatient therapies, prescriptions, co-pays for appointments not to mention his outstanding financial obligations to living expenses (apartment, utilities, school loans and other bills) that he cannot cover while seeking treatment have become a burden. It is not known exactly when Jeff will be able to return to work and how that will affect his insurance coverage. The goal of this fund, set up by friends and family, is to help Jeff offset all of these costly expenses so that he can focus on recovery and getting better. As we all know, Jeff is tenaciously independent. He would prefer to tackle all of this on his own but that just isn’t possible. Instead we wanted to find a way to support Jeff through his treatment and recovery. Any contribution will be most appreciated.
For those of you in San Diego, there is an event happening on Sept. 3rd at Tiger Tiger where there will be art auctioned as well as Jeff’s photographs to raise funds for medical costs. Click HERE to check out the Facebook event page for more info.