Josh is battling Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. He was diagnosed while attending school at Radford University.
The Forrest family is from Virginia and we hosted them in October 2019.
“I can’t thank you enough for everything Healing Hearts provided for my family and I. In today’s world it’s easy to forget that their are tons of wonderful, caring, loving selfless individuals in this world and this organization doesn’t allow you to forget that. Going above and beyond out of kindness in One’s heart is truly special and I don’t have words properly suited for the gratitude I feel. The environment is perfect, the things set up for us made it impossible to be upset, and the love provided to a complete stranger is unforgettable.”
Below is a letter he wrote to his fraterinity brothers at Radford University
Unfortunately. I reach out to you all today in need of support. For those of you who know me you know I’m not quick to ask for help, today is no different. Please do not donate if you have other financial responsibilities that you need to attend to, only help if you can afford to please.
On 10/31/18 I was told I had a brain disease and needed to be rushed to UVA or GW hospital. 18 hours later I was in there and tested for everything, literally. After the CT scan came back and 20 hours in a hospital bed had passed I was greeted by doctors with unfortunate and uncertain news. “There’s a lesion in your head and it needs to be operated on immediately” after another 12 hours in the hospital I went in for surgery the following morning. The biopsy revealed an extremely rare form of cancer called Langerhans Cell Histiocytoses. Fortunately it is curable, unfortunately the cure is no short process. Most likely Monday I will start chemotherapy and embark on this year long journey as I have 12 rounds (first 5 days of every 4 weeks) that will be completed cured or not. As it was explained to me, cancer is just like any disease one might get, take ur antibiotics it’ll go away, stop taking them halfway through when it’s gone and you temporarily feel better but it will likely return so it will be 12 months of chemo out of me or not.
Some may wonder why did u find out at the end of October and your just about to start treatment? What I’ve been diagnosed with, I’m told there’s only a handful of cases in the past 4 decades. It’s rarity has got me to see the lead doctors at Sloan-Kettering in NY and Dana Farber in Boston. On top of that we have been in contact with doctors at the MAYO clinic in Florida as well as children’s hospital in DC and Texas. I have seen the best of the best and it took every last one of them to come together and create a treatment plan with my best future in mind.
My last visit to Dana Farber was an eye opener for change to come. I will have to leave school, change my diet, stop drinking alcohol, quit my job, not be in crowded areas and the list goes on. They also revealed that the cancer (golf ball sized tumor) has likely been in me for the past 2-3 years. It was the first time in over 5 visits to lead doctors at their respected institutions that I finally was able to learn of this and my future to come. While this will be a long journey, I’m reluctant to say it should be a safe one.
I have a consultation tomorrow where they will likely put a port into my chest to pump the chemo through. I believe chemo will start after that has concluded. I want to thank each and every one of you for anything you can or are willing to contribute, I also hope that you know your contribution can be a lot more then financial. I feed off the strength and energy of others you can help me even if you can’t monetarily. For many of you especially the ones who have been to the past few banquets, you know how deep my love for this family goes. You all are the reason I will beat this cancer and I want to thank you guys for being such a big piece of my heart. Thank you for anything, anything you contribute to me, I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart, I love you guys, DAMN PROUD
P.S. don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have them I’m an open book to you all