Our team is made up of Doctors, Survivors and Talented Professionals dedicated to helping others with elite healthcare travel support for Organizations like The Mayo Clinic
Inspired by the life saving care received at The Mayo Clinic, we are dedicating the fund to helping others travel to world class healthcare locations
We will pay forward the love and support we have received so that others can live through life's toughest challenges
Donations go directly to The Four Arrows Foundation
You can mail a check to The Four Arrows Foundation, P.O. Box 6742, Mount Airy, NC 27030 or click below to donate with a credit card!
Shelli is the proud mother of 6 wonderful children, she works as a hair stylist in addition to studying Mental Health/Psychology and working as a Youth Minister. Shelli and her husband Brad were elated to learn that she was pregnant again late last year. Seven weeks after she became pregnant, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though the news was devastating to Shelli and her family, they maintained their resolve and began working hard to find a way to beat cancer and bring another healthy baby into the world. Ultimately, this journey brought Shelli to the Mayo Clinic where she now has a plan to make this a reality. Shelli remains incredibly positive powered by her unwavering Faith. The Four Arrows Foundation is proud to support Shelli on this journey by helping with travel costs. Special thanks to her Mayo Clinic care team lead by Dr. Stan, Dr. Leon Ferre and Dr. Szymanski. Please keep Shelli and her family in your thoughts and prayers.
Roger was diagnosed with a defective heart valve in 2009 and completed a surgery to replace the valve with a mechanical valve. After the surgery, Roger became infected from the operation. He struggled with the infection for another year and eventually was referred to the Mayo Clinic where his sternum had to be removed. For Roger, this was a devastating impact as he loves his work and this life saving surgery also meant he would not be able to return to work. In addition, he was told that he would likely not be able to have another open-heart surgery if there were further complications. Roger was persistent regardless of the news and with hard work and determination Roger was back on the job at John Deere in 1 ½ years. In 2019, he began having heart trouble again when it was determined that his heart valve was leaking. Attempts were made to plug the leaks at his local hospital and failed. At this point, his doctors were out of options, so Roger went back to the Mayo Clinic for help. At the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Pochettino determined that he could indeed perform another open-heart surgery to replace his valve again. A colleague of Dr. Pochettino, Dr. Blackmon, was consulted and he determined that it was possible to 3D print a replacement of Roger’s sternum. Two surgeries would be required to make this possible, first Dr. Pochettino had to replace the heart valve and allow time for his new sternum to be created at Anatomics in Australia. This August, Roger went back in and had the new 3D printed sternum placed in his chest. Roger’s wife Peggy continued to work during this journey and The Four Arrows Foundation was pleased to provide travel support to Roger and Peggy during this process. Dr. Blackmon and Roger made history as this was the first time in the USA that a Porous Polyethylene Patient Specific Sternum-Ribcage Implant was completed.
One year ago, Zachary was a thriving teenager, active with cross country running, biking, surfing, swimming, working out in the gym, playing the piano and bass guitar… until a miscalculated dive into the ocean on a regular surfing trip broke his neck and rendered him paralyzed from the chest down. Through months of rehab, his faith in God deepened, as he came to trust in the goodness of God on a whole new level. His heart has remained steadfast in believing that he can still thrive in life, even if it does not unfold as he expected. Zachary was recently accepted to be a participant in a ground breaking CELLTOP stem cell study at the Mayo Clinic. This study holds the hope of possible nerve restoration from healthy stem cells grown from his own body. The commitment to this study will require 9-12 visits to the Mayo Clinic over the course of the next year, each with the investment of airline flights and lodging. The Four Arrows Foundation is proud to be able help cover some of the travel expenses so that Zachary can participate in this study. Special thanks to Dr. Kim Seidel for her work to help patients like Zachary.
Sarah has been bravely fighting multiple health challenges since she was born. After visits with numerous specialists with little help, she finally was able to get to The Mayo Clinic as a teenager. She was diagnosed with a rare connective tissue disorder along with other challenges related to her GI tract. After regaining her mobility and finishing high school and starting college, Sarah’s treatment regimen began losing its effectiveness. She has now returned to the Mayo Clinic and is required to stay for long periods of time. The Four Arrows Foundation is proud to assist Sarah and her family with lodging support. Special thanks to the scheduling coordinators, nurses, and physicians at the Mayo Clinic for providing such great support. From parking attendants who showed compassion on Sarah’s worst days to caring professionals in pre-certification and billing who went out of their way to resolve problems, Sarah’s experience at the Mayo Clinic has been exceptional and she is most grateful.
Beth is 26 years old and a mommy to two wonderful children pictured here. Beth has a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis. She just recently found out that her youngest child has also been diagnosed with the same condition. This condition causes tumor growth throughout the body that can cause many health problems. Beth is currently suffering with complications on her spine and abdomen caused from the neurofibromatosis along with side effects from the chemotherapy treatments she has received. The side effects have been painful for Beth and like many other patients with complicated healthcare issues, Beth has been referred to the Mayo Clinic for further evaluation and treatment. The Mayo Clinic is the best hope for a more normal life for Beth and her children. The Four Arrows Foundation is proud to provide lodging support for Beth and her two children while she is at The Mayo Clinic. Special thanks to Beth’s care team: Dr. Lachance, Frank Lewis, Dr. Babovic-Vuksanovic, and Dr. Schaffner.
Monique is a 13 year military veteran, she served in Afghanistan before sustaining injuries that brought her home and eventually she retired in 2011. She has 3 sons, two of which have served in the Military, her oldest son is currently in the Air Force and her middle son served in the Marines and is now in Law Enforcement. Her youngest son, Giovanni, is a growing teenager that has been helping take care of Monique. About a year ago Monique began having abdominal trouble and exhausted the support from her local doctors. After being referred to the Mayo Clinic, they were able to diagnose her issue and performed surgery to correct. She needed help with lodging for her and Giovanni while recovering and the Four Arrows Foundation was proud to support her. It is great to support a family that has dedicated so much to serve our country. Special thanks to Dr. Reisenauer and Dr. Abu Dayyeh for taking great care of Monique. Pictured here is Monique with her middle son, Justin, granddaughter Ariella and her service dog, Dakota.
Derek is a former US Army Sergeant who served as a combat medic and infantryman. Derek was deployed to Iraq twice and once to Afghanistan. Like many other veterans that spent time on the front lines, Derek returned home with many injuries. There are the visible injuries like the persistent wounds on his legs that he needs daily treatment for, along with the harsh memories of war that persist in a different way. Derek’s case is unique, and we came to know him and his mother, Sharon, through a reference from the VA clinic in Phoenix, AZ. Sharon is Derek’s primary caregiver and such an inspiration. We were able to meet Sharon and Derek at our last visit to the Mayo Clinic for our follow up. Derek was referred to the Mayo for help on his spinal injury and the persistent wounds on his legs among other challenges. The Mayo Clinic is working hard and making progress to save his legs and give him the chance for a more normal life. The Four Arrows Foundation is proud to support Derek, especially given his sacrifice and service to our country. Special thanks to Derek’s expanded team of doctors at The Mayo Clinic including: Nurse Alice Malecha, Dr. Cheville, Dr. Carr, Dr. Ryssman, Dr. Taylor, Dr. Youssef, Dr. Cantwell, Dr. Coy and Dr. Cummins.
Heidi (pictured on the right) and her wife Lisa are from Cheboygan, Michigan. Heidi has struggled with a heart condition since she was a teenager and her condition has only become more troublesome. Recently, she came to realization that it was time to seek advanced care to give herself a chance at a better life. This came at a time when work schedules have been impacted COVID related layoffs. Even still, Heidi had the resolve and support from Lisa to seek out better solutions. They used their remaining savings and traveled to Rochester and began the process of getting treated at the Mayo Clinic. Unfortunately, the time for testing and treatment has been extended and they have run out of funds. The Four Arrows Foundation is proud to offer support to help them continue the journey to heath for Heidi. Special thanks to Dr. Egbe for providing such great care.
Meet Kara, pictured here on the left with her strong support network -
Kara was diagnosed with breast cancer over a year ago, she and her husband were looking forward to the potential of starting a family when the diagnosis hit. The cancer had spread to the lymph nodes so it required aggressive treatment. After multiple surgeries and chemotherapy, Kara struggled with side effects. Fortunately, she was able to get into the Mayo for help and they have recommended radiation treatment to further attack the cancer. We are happy that we could help Kara with lodging in Rochester during her stay so she can continue with treatment. Our heart goes out to Kara as the cancer diagnosis has changed her world so much. The most important thing now is for her to focus on getting better. Special thanks to Dr. Kimberly Corbin, Dr. Prema Peethambaram for taking great care of Kara.
We would like to introduce a beautiful family that the Four Arrows foundation has had the pleasure of supporting. As you can see from the picture, Marlee is a recent blessing to proud parents Brad and Amy. Marlee's birth is very special for many reasons. Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, after surgery and 16 chemotherapy infusions, she was able to beat the disease. After becoming pregnant with Marlee, cancer struck again this December. Amy was diagnosed with an aggressive reoccurrence of cancer at 27 weeks of pregnancy. A week later, in the midst of making plans for Amy’s next round of treatment, Marlee was born. Weighing less than 3 lbs, Marlee will be in the NICU at The Mayo Clinic’s St. Mary’s hospital for the next 6 weeks. In most cases, the families we support get to be home for Christmas, but Marlee needs a little more help before heading home. We were introduced to Brad and Amy this week as they were sleeping at the hospital and working hard to support Marlee. We were able to immediately set them up in a hotel adjacent to the hospital so they could get some well deserved rest. Amy will start chemotherapy this week with the possibility of radiation as well. Additional tests and biopsies will help the medical team create a game plan to get Amy the best treatment possible. Special thanks to Dr. Liu and Dr. Al-Hattab for taking care of Amy and for Dr. Colby for taking care of Marlee.
Jeff is 17 years old and lives in Bismarck, ND. In mid December Jeff became sick and was struggling to breathe. After a visit to his local doctor and a negative COVID test his doctors began to look for other problems. His chest x ray indicated that Jeff had cardiomegaly, an enlarged heart. The nearest hospital with a pediatric intensive care unit that can handle his care is the Mayo Clinic, nearly 8 hours by ambulance. Due to his condition, he was able to get transported by an air ambulance to St. Mary’s hospital for care. Jeff’s Mother, Father, 16 year old sister and 5 year old brother needed help with lodging while in Rochester. The Four arrows foundation was proud to provide lodging for Jeff’s family while he is getting treated. Special Thanks to Dr. Anderson, Dr. Sas, Dr. Dahl, Dr. Olson, Dr. Perez and Dr. Ateaga at the Mayo Clinic for taking great care of Jeff.
Meet Eddie Stuczynski. Eddie is 19 years old and is attending the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to study for a degree in Music Education. He has a younger brother that is big into baseball. Eddie had found a mass the size of a small tangerine in his head after noticing very peculiar tingling in his face in the middle of his last spring semester. Soon after sudden brain surgery, he got the diagnosis of a Stage 2 Chondrosarcoma that has likely been in his head his entire life! He has had three surgeries as of May 2020. Eddie is currently getting Proton Radiation therapy at Mayo Clinic in Rochester to allow him to have the best chance of living life to the fullest! Eddie and his family are very thankful for the excellent care from the people who have treated him so far. Thank you to both Dr. Sumon Bhattacharjee for performing his first two surgeries in Wisconsin and Dr. Jamie Van Gompel for finishing up his last surgery at Mayo in Rochester. And thank you to Dr. Nadia Laack and her oncology team at Mayo in Rochester for making sure his treatment will be successful!
Please meet Braxxleigh, she is 7 months old. Braxxleigh and her mother, Taylor and her Grandmother Michelle are in Rochester at the Mayo Clinic. Braxxleigh is getting ready to have her 3rd heart surgery to repair a congenital defect. The first two surgeries did not repair her heart enough so she is getting care from the Mayo Clinic for this procedure. Special thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Stephens (Specialist in congenital Cardiac Surgery) and Dr. Joseph Dearani (Chair of the department of Cardiac Surgery) for taking care of Braxxleigh. Similar to other families we have heard from, this story is unique. Taylor was born with a similar heart defect and had it repaired at a young age. Taylor also lost a brother to childhood cancer. Their story inspired us to help to make sure that Braxxleigh gets the best care available. We are honored to support Braxxleigh's family by covering their hotel stay while they are at the Mayo Clinic.
Meet Cash, he is 7 years old and lives in Iowa. Cash has been fighting cancer since he was 3 years old. He underwent chemotherapy for 2 years between 2016-2018 to try and control the Brain and Spinal cord cancer. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy has not been successful enough to prevent Cash from having frequent seizures. Since his tumors are inoperable, the best chance he has is proton radiation therapy. The Four Arrows Foundation is supporting Cash and his mother, Alisha, while they are in Rochester for treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Thanks again to Dr. Anita Mahajan for taking care of Cash, we are praying that the treatment can help control the cancer and resulting seizures.
This is Jesus Vazquez, his friends call him Chuche, he is 19 years old and was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor referred to as a Medulloblastoma. The latest technology used to treat Medulloblastoma is Proton Radiation therapy. There are a limited number of facilities in the US that provide this care, The Mayo Clinic is a leading treatment center for this method. Proton therapy has been effective because it can deliver high amounts of radiation targeted at the tumor without significant side effects to healthy tissues. The challenge is that the treatment has to be administered over a number of weeks and the travel costs associated are not covered by insurance. This is where the Four Arrows Foundation can help, and we are proud to cover Jesus’ hotel stay for the duration of his treatment. Special Thanks to Dr. Anita Mahajan and her team at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for taking care of Jesus.
This is Hunter Nielsen, he is 13 years old and lives in Iowa. Hunter is one of 5 kids in his family, Hunter and his 3 younger siblings are the boys of the group, it reminds me of our own Four Arrows. My guess is that his older sister Chloe has her hands full with all the boys. Hunter is at The Mayo Clinic's St. Mary’s hospital now, having just completed his 4th surgery and he is doing well. His first surgery was when he was 2 days old, followed by his second at 1 year old, then at 2 years old and now at age 13. We are so happy that The Four Arrows Foundation could support Hunter’s parents, Adam and Fodie. We were able to cover their hotel stay this week. We were fortunate to find them a room close to the hospital where they can get some good rest and be near Hunter. Please follow Hunter’s updates on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/679945642946170 Special thanks to Dr. Joseph Dearani and Dr. Frank Cetta for taking care of Hunter.
UPDATE! - Hunter is has checked out and made his way back home. Take a look at the "Recipient Updates" tab - https://fourarrowsfoundation.org/recipient-updates
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