Young man diagnosed with mesothelioma in both abdomen and lungs; family seeks help

11 Feb 2014 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

Olsen family 300x215 Young man diagnosed with mesothelioma in both abdomen and lungs; family seeks helpJust before Christmas last year, a young man, just 33 years old, was diagnosed with mesothelioma. His diagnosis came after two years of puzzling symptoms and pain, multiple doctor visits, surgeries and tests. Finally, on Dec. 23, 2013, doctors confirmed that he had mesothelioma – not only affecting his lungs, but also his abdomen. Now, Christian H. Olsen, Jr., and his family are asking for help as he faces a battle for his life.

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer, caused by exposure to asbestos. Usually it affects the lining of the lungs () or the abdomen (). Very rarely it may also affect the lining of the heart  (pericardial mesothelioma). There is no known cure for mesothelioma.

In the past, most people diagnosed with mesothelioma had been directly exposed to asbestos, usually through their job. There usually is a long latency period between asbestos exposure and the development of symptoms, which may be as long as 30 years. However, in recent years, younger people are being diagnosed, puzzling doctors and researchers. Some know they were exposed to asbestos secondarily, for example coming into contact with someone who worked with asbestos, who may have brought the dust home on their clothes.

Christian cannot recall any specific instance where he was exposed to asbestos, so his mesothelioma diagnosis came as a shock. The lack of a direct link may also have contributed to his doctors’ missing the diagnosis for so long, with no obvious connection to mesothelioma.

For months, Christian suffered from symptoms that seemed to alternately affect his stomach or his lungs. He couldn’t eat without feeling strangely, uncomfortably full; he had sharp pains in his abdomen, around his ribcage, and in his back. Doctors found fluid in his lungs, which he had to have drained. It was chalked up as some kind of pneumonia. Finally, in October 2013, doctors found enlarged lymph nodes, and did a biopsy. Still, it was not until December that they were able to identify mesothelioma.

Determined to be there for his wife, Lisa, and his two children, ages 5 and 3, Christian is planning to undergo two complicated surgeries followed by aggressive chemotherapy in hopes of beating mesothelioma. Because he has been sick for so long, he doesn’t have adequate health insurance for the out-of-state treatments. The family, who live in Norwalk, Conn., have started a “gofundme” site on the Internet in hopes of raising the needed money. Already, donations have come in from throughout the country, totaling more than $26,000. The goal is to raise $50,000 for medical treatment.

On his fundraising page, Christian says, “potentially curative surgery is the only thing on my mind with a 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter at home, kids that I would like to see grow up.”

To make a donation, visit the Mesothelioma Vs. Olsen gofundme page.

Source: News12Connecticut



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