Recommended – Fundraising Dance, The Wheat Kings (Tragically Hip Tribute Band), Nashville North, Friday, Feb. 13, 8 p.m., $20

Neighbours Holding Fundraiser Dance for Georgetown Couple

Life has been tough for the Jesus family of Georgetown for the past three years.

Rob Jesus was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the age of 38. Shortly after the diagnosis in March 2012 he underwent surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible, followed by radiation, then chemotherapy to shrink what was left.

The treatment worked for a while, but by January 2013 the tumour was active again. Rob’s wife Sharon said they started him on Avastin— a costly drug that attacks the blood vessels surrounding the tumour. Fortunately it has been keeping the tumour stable, but it has many negative side effects.

The cost of Avastin‑—$12,600 a month in Rob’s case— is covered by some other provincial plans but not in Ontario, Sharon said. Currently most of the cost of the drug is being paid by Sharon’s benefit plan, and the drug manufacturer’s patient assistance program is covering the remainder.

But Sharon is concerned that her benefit company’s coverage could change and it would no longer pay for the drug. Rob, who is also on a multitude of other medications, has not been able to work since the diagnosis (he was an oil/lube technician in Milton) and his company did not have a long-term disability plan.

Due to stress and caring for her husband Sharon has been on medical leave from her job as a business consultant for Bell Canada. The couple, who live on Argyll Rd. have three children— aged 14, 10 and 5— and since Rob became ill they have struggled to deal with several medical related expenses as well as household maintenance costs, including having to replace a leaking roof and contend with a flood in their living room.

To help alleviate some of the financial pressure a group of concerned neighbours have organized a Valentine’s Fundraiser Dance featuring The Wheat Kings (a Tragically Hip cover band) to be held Friday, Feb. 13, 8 p.m. at Nashville North. All money raised will go to the Rob and Sharon Fund.

Kit Andrew, owner of Nashville North, was happy to offer the club at no charge for the event and is also covering the cost of hiring the band. He said there will be no costs to the fundraising committee for the dance.

Andrew can relate to the struggles the family is having as he underwent brain surgery a couple years ago for a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM). He too was off work for some time and he said it caused him “financial concern” as well. While it’s difficult for them to accept help, Sharon said she doesn’t “know how to put into words” how grateful she is that her neighbours have decided to host the fundraiser for them.

Tickets for the dance, which will also include a silent auction, raffles and door prizes, are $20 and available at https://www.facebook.com/RobandSharonFund, by calling 416-930-5261, or emailing lynasinteriors@cogeco.ca. Tickets will also be available at the door if they are not sold out.

Monetary donations can be made at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/rob-and-sharon-fund/273406, which is a link that can also be found on the Facebook page.

Anyone who has items to donate for the silent auction, raffle or door prizes is asked to call 416-930-5261

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