The Rich Apuzzo Sunny Day Fund - To Beat Brain Cancer

For: Rich Apuzzo
Batavia, OH
Organizer: Ricky Apuzzo III (oldest son)
$16,060
of $60,000 goal
26% Complete
Raised by 283 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

It’s January 11th, 2015, and I’m Rich Apuzzo, a 52-year old meteorologist who may be losing the ability to enjoy nature, a future and most importantly, my family.


This is the first public announcement I’m making, and I say public because you’re going to see or hear this on social media I imagine, certainly online, Facebook, Twitter and who knows where else...


So what announcement is that... Well, imagine you go to bed healthy just two months back in December 2014, days before the Holidays...literally healthy I mean, not even a cold, and then you get a little headache.  The headache starts as a low “hum” in my head, and since I never get headaches it had me concerned.


The headaches continued, reaching what might be called Migraine Levels (again, I never had one so I am only guessing)  and two weeks later you find out you’ve got a mass in your brain that cannot be operated on and it should be terminal. So I’ve gone from zero problems healthwise to terminal in under two months. Kinda scary stuff… and I look at it like the world of weather.  The fact is you can go from a sunny day to one with severe thunderstorms in a matter of a couple of hours...and if you know anything about severe storms, tornadoes, we’re talking about dangerous weather that may last minutes, took just a few hours to develop, creates destruction in an area and it’s gone. I’m calling this episode in my life, Zero-to-Terminal in Under Two Months.


So what’s the deal?  First of all, in case you were wondering, because I’m sure most of you reading this have not personally had brain cancer. Secondly, I will tell you that I don’t feel anything. The beauty of drugs and good people around me...and that is without health coverage because I’ve been healthy for 52 years and I used to have health coverage in my previous jobs but now I’m self-employed running a weather consulting company, so what exactly would I need health insurance for when my body has been great.


Quite honestly, even if I had health insurance it wouldn’t have stopped this but it would help pay the bills and that’s an aspect you can understand because if you have known people who have gone through these kinds of treatments, paying the bills is a BIG deal because it can cripple your family when you’re gone and I don’t plan to leave my wife and children in that situation.


Here’s what we’re going to do.  I’ve taken down a lot of medical information over the last two months, and as a meteorologist it’s all about collecting data, so I thought I would collect data to see what it was like to track this and what it was like to follow my progress day by day; energy levels, eating, going to the bathroom, I mean it’s amazing what you have to think about when you’re going through this; nights are a lot different, but so far so good. I will tell you that there have been a few miracles along the way as well. So I need at least one more.


I’d love the miracle of being cured and I have strong Faith that will work out, but your help can come in the miracle of making sure that when I’m gone, whether it’s one year from now or three years from now (I have a personal five year plan I’m working on) and that’s what I promised my three boys.  I have three amazing sons, the oldest is 25, the middle 19 going on 20 and planning for a degree in Engineering in college, and the youngest at 14 going on 15.  They have been a real testament to some good parenting, mostly by my wife. They help out in ways you can’t imagine...bringing drinks, food and medicine to me. They are hard workers, and they’re the ones who are keeping me going here. So when I think about what I want to do I think about them, their future, how I want to set them up in someway and we’ll go from there.  Oh, and I would be remiss If I didn’t credit my true love Ruthie who shared my goals through the years and is the owner of our small company, Skyeye Weather, which may not exist once I’m gone.  

...

So on this Thursday the 12th of February 2015 I want to kick this thing off with just a little bit of a background on me, where I want things to go, ideally, if I could, and how you can help. 
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If you'd prefer to make an offline donation, please visit any local Fifth Third Bank branch and ask to donate to "The Rich Apuzzo Sunny Day Fund"

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 28, 2015

Posted on June 28, 2015

Update from Ruthie:

It was just this past Friday we were able to get Rich outside under our deck gazebo to enjoy the thunderstorms (thanks to the wonderful people who built us the wheelchair ramp). We were talking about how much fun we have been having on family movie night. Laughter filled our house as we all watched "Naked Gun 2 1/2" together. We had plans to continue watching what I call must see comedies in preparation for our middle son to start college. To hear Rich and my boys all laughing together was music to my ears. To think that could have been our last movie night to be shared with Rich is just wrong. Rich has been doing awesome for the past week. Such awesome conversations were shared. This Saturday even started out with some great conversations. Then out of the blue Rich started having trouble breathing. He is now on oxygen and we have a round the clock nurse in our home to help. I am praying this will not be my last post, for when my dear sweet Rich starts forecasting from the sky I will be broken.

Over the last 10 years Rich and I have been inseparable. We worked and played together. We are best buds. I will be strong for my boys, when necessary, and together we will "weather" this unwelcome approaching storm. My hope is that Rich once again rebounds to share more time with us. Keep us in your prayers and continue to "Keep your eyes on the sky and enjoy the changing weather".

Thank you for your continued support!

Posted on June 5, 2015

Posted on June 5, 2015

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Update from Ruthie Apuzzo:
We remain ever vigilant in praying for the miracle of our Dear Lord's healing power.

I think back about 12 days ago to the awesome family time around the fire pit. We were enjoying the night sky, laughing and roasting marshmallows. To see our boys enjoying time with their Dad was so welcomed. So was seeing Rich celebrate our 2 younger boys birthdays. Even from the wheelchair Rich was able to sing to his boys. It was truly a blessing to have him here to celebrate with us. To think this maybe the last birthday my dear husband will share is too difficult to fathom. These simple memories are so cherished. I pray there will be more days like these. We aim to stay positive and appreciate all the positive prayers and kind gestures you provide.

I wish I had more time to update you, but there aren't enough hours in the day. Rich's comfort and care remain my main focus, and though all consuming, I remain vigilant to his wishes. I have enacted hospice thinking more help would be available, but the help, though appreciated, is still limited. Did you know hospice will not provide IV fluids. Though they aren't needed now, finding this out greatly disturbs me.  May God guide us and help us find comfort in our love.

When you look up at the sky today, think of Rich and his favorite saying,  "Keep your eyes on the sky, and enjoy the changing weather!"


Posted on April 28, 2015

Posted on April 28, 2015

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Update from Ruthie Apuzzo:
It continues to be a roller coaster ride in the Apuzzo household. Rich 's memory loss has been the saddest side effect.

Though we weren't able to celebrate our anniversary as originally planned, our oldest son (Rick) stepped up and baked blueberry scones for breakfast. As we enjoyed coffee and scones, Rich remembered our wedding song 'Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now' by Starship. As we began to sing together, tears filled all our eyes and made the day a extra special one.

Rich has now started physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.  He is already experiencing improvement all round and we are hopeful this will continue. Being able to take a leisurely stroll without a wheelchair or even just walking to the mailbox would be so welcomed. The little things Rich and I shared together like grocery shopping are so sad for me now, but as soon as he is strong enough a trip to Jungle Jim's deli counter will be on our to do list.

Rich has not been eligible for any new clinical trails ( like the modified polio option).  As we wait for another option, he has decided to do another round of chemo. Though I am worried the debilitating side effects will worsen, God strengthens me, and I am steadfast as I wait for the miracle of healing  my dear sweet Rich.

God Bless you for all you are doing to help us. No gift or kind gesture is ever to small.  I would crumble without your prayers. Thank you for continuing to pray with us and sending those positive thoughts our way.

If you are not comfortable with donating online, remember you can stop by any Fifth Third Bank and  make a donation to "The Rich Apuzzo Sunny Day Fund".

Please continue to spread the word!

Smiles & Happy Weather,
Ruthie

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