The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hacker News Folks Get Long Overdue Thanks.....

Well over a year ago, the Free Software and Linux Communities came together for a focused cause.

To save my life.

For those that don't know, I received a diagnosis of stage 4 throat cancer.

Prognosis - Terminal.

Until a pair of well-known Oncologists from Texas Oncology stepped in.  

Here are the specifics just for posterity.

The tumor had grown to the point that it was partially blocking my airway and an emergency tracheotomy was necessary to restore sufficient airflow.  The Ear Nose and Throat surgeon that performed that procedure was the doctor that told Diane to take me home and make me comfortable until the end. 

Dr. David George and Dr. Courtney Sheinbein examined me, consulted with each other and decided that by the most slim of margins, by less than the measured width of a hair, I could be treated.

That was the distance between that tumor and the thin wall of tissue that lies between that cavity and the spinal cord.  Had the tumor touched or breached the spinal cord, no amount of genius or medical intervention would have kept me alive.

Within 30 minutes of that cat scan result, I was given my first radiation treatment.

OK, so that's the history, here's the rest of the story.

Neither of these doctors were under any obligation to treat me.  I had no medical insurance and the few benefits I had with the VA would take months of paperwork to get me in.  Friends of mine took up the cause and started a fund raiser for my treatment.

(Some of these guys and girls don't want to be mentioned so I will just leave it as "friends of mine).

Treatments and surgery were to cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars, but talks I had with my surgeon and the hospital told me that due to my financial hardship, most would be pro bono.   We were shooting for 50 grand.  That would at least allow me to pay my Oncologists for my care.

The 45 day fund raiser stalled in the last days at just over 30K.  It looked like we had saturated the community and everyone that was going to donate had already donated.  Some twice.

That is until it hit the Hacker News forums.  These folks not only brought us to the target amount, it began to snowball over it.  I had to ask my friends to please close the campaign....

I didn't need any more money and anything I asked for over that would be nothing but taking advantage of a generous and caring community.

So yeah...those folks stepped up and in a big way.

I probably owe them my life.  Until I am no longer able to draw a breath, I will avail myself to that community for anything stopping short of bank robbery....maybe even that if you have a fast enough get-away car.  ;-))

From the deepest recess of my soul...Thank You.

I am just sorry I did not acknowledge you sooner.

All-Righty then....


Anonymous said...

try the gerson method, not chemo

sanjay said...

Congratulations on recovery and wish you all the best. Nice of others to step in and help. I have been a fan of free software (free as in freedom) and open source. Nice to hear this. Happy for you.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the recovery. Stay that way!

Unknown said...

Creative Geniuses are to be admired for their generosity.

kelvin said...

Good to hear that! Must have also been karma, good deeds you done last time!

Gautam Somani said...

Take good care of your self now. All the best for your life!

Unknown said... whatever you can to help other people before you die.

Anonymous said...

Ken is the author,