The Cher Bear Journey

 

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Over $44,000 raised for local families with a child battling a life threatening disease                           
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Twelve children including Collin 2019 have been sponsored with proceeds from the Cher Bear Open
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On the average 300 people participate and volunteer for the Cher Bear Open each year                   
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100% of all monetary donations and proceeds from the event go directly to the sponsored family       

Each year Pennies from Above and the Cher Bear Foundation host the Cher Bear Open golf tournament to raise money for a local family with a child battling cancer and cancer-related illnesses.  The Cher Bear Open has raised more than $44,000 over the past eleven years.  This year the golf open is being held on June 22, 2019, at the Valleaire Golf Club in Hinckley. We sincerely appreciate your involvement in the Cher Bear Open.  If you would like to participate, donate, sponsor or volunteer please email us at www.dennyp23@sbcglobal.net or call (440) 503-2678.

2019 Cher Bear Open
June 22, 2019

Valleaire Golf club
6969 Boston Road
Hinckley, Ohio 44233

Cher Bear Children

Collin is our sweet 9-year old little man. He has a kind soul and God’s love shines through him to everyone he meets. Collin loves fishing, golf, lacrosse, American Ninja Warrior, playing the drums, Hot Wheels cars, and especially Nerf Guns! Collin was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma on the first day of 4th grade after suffering from super intense headaches for about 3 weeks prior. We were out eating ice cream to celebrate the start of the school year, and he had stroke-like symptoms that turned out to be seizures. We took Collin right to the local emergency room, and per protocol…they sent us to their main hospital, the Cleveland Clinic. After a detailed MRI, they discovered a tumor in the cerebellum of his brain, as well as coating the surface of his brain and extending down to his spine. Collin had surgery to remove as much of the tumor as they could.

The following day, Collin’s body couldn’t regulate the pressure in his head, and he needed a drain to remove the excess Cerebral Spinal Fluid that his body couldn’t absorb. Collin had another complication on day three post-op. He had a stroke in the region of the brain where the tumor had been. Collin was rushed to an emergency surgery in the middle of the night to remove part of his skull to allow for brain swelling. Without the surgery, his brain could have swollen down into his brain stem, causing his heart to stop beating and his lungs to stop breathing. We weren’t sure if Collin would make it through the surgery. After four intense days of waiting, Collin finally cleared the dangerous time for the swelling. Collin was intubated 6 times total, and had numerous procedures throughout this time.

Several days later, Collin developed an infection in his brain. He had to have yet another surgery to clean out the infection. He was put on IV antibiotics for 21 days. The Team attempted to remove the drain from Collin’s skull as he was healing from the infection, but his body was still unable to reabsorb the cerebral spinal fluid. The Team had to surgically put in a shunt at that point. After 47 longs days from diagnosis, Collin was able to come home. The community gave him quite the homecoming and lined our street to welcome him home.

Collin’s next phase of treatment was Radiation. He had 30 sessions of Radiation over 6 weeks. We went back and forth to the hospital every day. Once Radiation was complete, Collin had a nice 4-week break. During that time, he had a G-Tube and Mediport placed for future treatments. We started his Chemotherapy phase of treatment right before Christmas. Originally, Collin was to have 6-cycles of Chemo, consisting of 3 days in the hospital followed by 3 weeks at home. Unfortunately, following Collin’s 1st cycle of Chemo, he ended up in the hospital at 2am Christmas Eve into Christmas Day because of an infection caused by his low white blood cell count. It was hard on Collin, and the rest of our kids, for him to miss Christmas morning at home. After Collin’s 2nd cycle of Chemo, we ended up with a hospital admission as well. It was the same scenario as the first infection.

Collin had a baseline MRI before he started Chemotherapy. At the MRI, it was discovered that the Medulloblastoma tumors had spread to 3 different spots in his bones. This happens in only 1% of the Medulloblastoma population. We sought out a 2nd opinion through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and they agreed with the plan set out by the Cleveland Clinic. On February 1st, Collin had a follow up MRI and PET Scan. The MRI was super promising. It showed no further tumors, which was great news. The PET Scan however showed a different story. Collin’s tumors had tripled in numbers, showing tumors in 8 places total, plus his spine. We stopped Collin’s original Chemo regiment because it had no effect on the tumors in his bones. We are turning to a different, oral Chemo regiment, along with natural treatments such as a Keto Diet and Oxygen Therapy. The goal is to slow the tumor growth down, with them becoming stable. We will have to manage and learn to live with the tumors.

Mike and I have 5 children, ranging in ages from 17-years old to 3-years old. We always wanted a big family. It has been super hard for all of them. Mike is in sales, and his salary is commission based. His company is amazing, but if he’s not working at full force, his salary shows it. It’s been hard for him to keep up. I am a labor and delivery nurse for the Cleveland Clinic. I work night shift on the weekends. My managers have been great as well. However, my position doesn’t include vacation or sick time. I have tried to work a couple of shifts since Collin got sick, but the first time it was too stressful for Mike to take care of Collin and our toddler at the same time in the middle of the night. The second time, Collin was in the hospital and I couldn’t go in. Life continues for all our other kids with school and sports. We’ve been trying to keep up financially, but it’s been difficult with all the kids and the added medical expenses.

Our faith is important to us, and we are hopeful for Collin’s recovery. We know that God’s will is what will play out, and everyday we work to accept that. In the meantime, we will keep fighting hard…doing everything that we can in our power to help Collin. We couldn’t do this without God carrying us through all these hard times. Our family, friends, parish family, school family, work families, and community have been so supportive. God is good and we see his love in so many ways through people every day. Thank you for reading Collin’s story, and we appreciate the help that you are able to give to our family.
In God’s Name…The Nemet Family