Family of Gary Stewart

2015 Grant Recipient

  • It really is a difficult task to find the perfect words to say thank you for something that has made a monumental impact on your life. Nothing I can say ever seems good enough, so I will start with a simple thank you!

    It was June of 2012 and in the middle of the night I awoke to my husband, Gary, having a seizure. The ambulance gets him to the hospital and they start running tests. My husband and I are sitting there thinking he was just overworked after working 7 days a week for the last few months. We heard the ER doctor saying they were admitting a patient to the ICU with a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. We look at each other and my husband says "it must be awful to be that guy." We didn't realize at the time that he was that guy.

    Fast forward to today, he has now had three brain surgeries, the last one was two months ago. He has done proton radiation and four different chemotherapies. After radiation and the last chemo, the doctors were hopeful that he would get a year off of treatment. We thought this was great because we could get settled in our lives and get our youngest daughter ready for kindergarten. And then two months later the MRI lit up again and surgery found the cancer was already back. Gary started a new IV chemo last month.

    This has been a process that put our whole family, especially our children, through many emotions. We have moved many times the past couple of years due to finances. Harley Helping Hands means we don't have to move again right now and we can afford to get Gary to his appointments at the cancer center and still pay our bills. That is just the top of the list of what it does for us. We were told that my husband would never see our youngest start school...we have 101 days to go until her first day!

    With all of your help and support we are determined to make it to that day. It's really hard to explain that feeling when one of the things that has been sitting on your shoulders gets lifted off. There are tears...good tears. And then a bit of shock and then overwhelming appreciation. That's the only way I can explain it and the best words I can think of to say are...thank you so very much from the bottom of our hearts!

    Jayme Stewart
    Wife of Gary Stewart
    Channahon, IL