Two weeks ago on December 31 - New Years Eve,
I was winding down the year by doing what every missionary pilot has to do. Catch up on a mountain of email correspondence.
As I was scanning through my Yahoo inbox, I a new unopened email caught my eye. It was from Todd Anderson our other GAMAS missionary pilot, and the title caused my heart to skip a beat. The title simply read: “Stopping work on the 182”.
“Oh No!!” I thought to myself as I simultaneously clicked on the email. “What’s going on?”
The email painted a very sobering picture.
Evidently Todd had been experiencing lower back pain off and on for the last 3-4 months. He had confided to some doctor friends of his about the stabbing pain, and for a while they thought it might be kidney stones, or possibly the beginning of an appendicitis. But when the pain disappeared, so did the fears. That is, until it came roaring back with greater fury than ever. Todd finally decided to bite the bullet and visit to a walk in clinic, to get it checked out. The blood work didn’t show anything abnormal, but the CT Scan showed more than they wanted to see. A large Sarcoma Cancer pinching Todd's intestines and surrounding his ureter, not allowing his kidney to drain, hence the intense pain.
In one moment their entire world was turned upside down! That was less than two weeks ago.
So what’s happening now?
The doctors say that because of the size of the tumor (10cm in diameter) and its close proximity of the cancer to the ureter and kidney, it is virtually inoperable. They would have to do chemotherapy, and radiation to try and shrink it in size, and approximately half of these types of cancers don’t respond to chemotherapy!
So after much prayer, the Andersons have opted return to the Northwest to fight this cancer with natural medicine.
Todd has stopped all work on our new Cessna 182 (N9113M), and three days ago flew commercially back to Washington State to meet with a Natural Path Doctor and immediately start treatment for his cancer.
Cassie, being the true soldier that she is, has been calling non-stop, making appointments, ordering tickets, shopping for her family, caring for her husband, taking care of the kids, and trying to pack up their household belongings and wrap up loose ends at the GMI aircraft hangar. Soon she’ll be back in Seattle reunited with her husband.
How is GAMAS Aviation responding?
We’ve let the Anderson family know that we fully support their decision to stop work and focus on the health of Todd. This is the quickest way to get them back to Guyana.
While this is a major blow to our program, once again we're not going to succumb to discouragement. We're going to keep pushing forward with our aviation program.
Which brings up another point. We don’t want to see Todd’s year of hard work moulder away in the GMI hangar. As a tribute to his hard work and dedication, we actively searching for other mechanics who can come and help finish up this airplane. It’s so close to completion!!! One last concerted push, and it will be ready! If you know of any FAA licensed mechanics who would be willing to donate some time to this worthy project, please please inform them about this need and contact me right away. Let's not lose momentum!
How can you help the Anderson Family?
- Please pray daily for Todd’s health. He's experiencing intense pain. From what little I know, these Sarcoma cancers are very fast growing, and each day brings new challenges to their family. Especially pray for wisdom (James 1:5) and courage (Joshua 1:9) as the Anderson's face a multitude of very difficult daily decisions.
- If you would like to become financially involved to help them fight the good fight against this sickness, you can contact Cassie directly at her email Cas_Anderson@yahoo.com.
- You can also read more daily updates at Cassie’s blog site www.athomewithmillieandsam.com