At 27-years-old, Drew could be described as hard-working, fiercely loyal to his family and friends, and a sports fanatic-a die hard Bills and Sabres fan. He has one heck of a sense of humor and contagious laugh. Now at the age of 28 he can add VHL warrior and cancer warrior to his resume. In April of 2023 Drew was diagnosed with Von-Hippel Lindau Syndrome (VHL) after multiple cancerous tumors were found in both of his kidneys and cysts were found on his pancreas. VHL is a rare genetic condition that affects approximately 10,000 people in the USA and about 200,000 people worldwide.
He has had 4 rounds of immunotherapy infusions between May and July, and oral chemotherapy with hopes of shrinking the tumors in his kidneys to make them easier to remove and preserving as much of his kidneys as possible. In August of 2023, Drew had 14 tumors removed from his left kidney. The surgeon is keeping a close eye on his right kidney as those tumors remain small. In the midst of this, Drew was found to have multiple hemangioblastomas in his left eye causing a partially detached retina and decreased vision. Through all of this, he has stayed positive and upbeat and being the same Drew he was before his diagnosis. Drew has begun a new medication that, hopefully, will slow any growth and regrowth tumors. He will need MRI’s from head to toe every 6 to 12 months, CT scans, and medical treatments including surgeries and medications for the rest of his life.
Because of this rare syndrome, specialists are limited and multiple are needed for his current and future treatment. Drew has a great team of doctors here in Buffalo but also at the University of Rochester and Cleveland Clinic. The costs of travel to specialists, time off of work, and treatments/medications continue to add up. Funds raised through this campaign will help support Drew in these costs. #DrewsKidneyKrew
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