DIGBY, N.S. - Sarah Yetman has been emailing anybody who will listen. She even emailed Ellen DeGeneres. She just wants help for Jordan Morgan.
Jan. 20 she started a gofundme page to help raise money so he at least has a chance to continue to fight a rare form of cancer.
A new treatment at $15,000 a dose isn’t covered by medicare and all told would cost $130,000. The nurse and beekeeper doesn’t have the money. What he does have is a wife and two children.
Yetman describes the situation on the gofundme page.
“Four years ago, Jordan Morgan, a husband, father of two and nurse was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma (cancer) after finding a lump in his leg. Over the last few years, Jordan has undergone multiple treatments and surgeries to remove tumours and to try and keep ahead of his diagnosis,” Yetman wrote. “Fast forward to present day, the tumour has now moved into his lower right lung, remaining diaphragm, and liver. The treatment options to give him more time to enjoy his family are growing fewer and more expensive.”
Yetman said Morgan’s oncologist has proposed a new chemotherapy treatment, and had assured him that it would be covered under a compassionate care funding program. Morgan has since found out the treatment is not covered and will cost $15,000 per dose for a, whopping $130,000 for the full treatment.
“This is not a cure for Jordan, but his oncologist feels that this treatment will shrink the tumour and give him the potential of another surgery to remove the growth,” Yetman said.
While he lives in Digby, Morgan is from Annapolis Royal where he went to both Annapolis Royal Regional Academy and Annapolis West Education Centre. And he’s a regular at the farm market with his Isle of Bees Apiary products.
Morgan said Yetman’s description of his cancer is accurate. And to help people understand, he’s releasing details of his last couple of months of medical updates publicly on his Facebook page.
While he doesn’t have a lot of stamina, Morgan gets around and Tuesday morning was contemplating taking his oldest sledding at Fort Anne. Monday he was in Lequille at Still Fired Distillery where they’ll be carrying his Isle of Bees Apiary products across the road from Lequille Country Store. Andrew Cameron of Still Fired said they’ll be supporting Morgan.
"We look forward to selling his premium products and supporting Jordan and his family," Cameron said.
Morgan remembers his youth in Annapolis Royal. He piled wood for Yetman’s stepdad and they had family connections.
“It kind of shows you never really know who’s going to step up and offer help,” Morgan said. “And I’m certainly in no position to decline, so I accept anything people are willing to do.”
After the original diagnosis, Morgan had two muscles removed from his leg, but he recovered fine and went back to work. But then it was chest surgery, more leg surgery, six weeks of radiation. Infection in his leg. Now the tumour on his lung caused by one dropped cancer cell.
But as Yetman said, time is of the essence. Morgan agreed, saying it’s a matter of weeks.
“The chance that this is a curative thing are extremely slim,” Morgan said of the new chemo treatment and subsequent surgery. “It’s not exactly what I’m expecting, but I mean to have a treatment that could extend my life by a year, a couple of years -- and the fact that I really don’t have any (other health) deficits.”
With his oldest home from school he was half considering taking his kids sledding at the Fort grounds. “There’s nothing really that I can’t do for a shorter period of time. My endurance isn’t great but I keep bees, I have a workshop, I put board and batten on my workshop. I do a little bit of my own work on my truck sort of thing. I clean house.”
“I’m not fighting for time to lay in a bed. I’m using my time wisely and setting a good example for my kids. That’s a part of all this,” he said in reference to the proposed treatment. “I’m the best I can be if the prognosis comes out to be terrible and I don’t get it -- but I have to at least try.”
Yetman said the reason she’s championing Morgan’s cause is simple.
“Jordan needs help, he deserves our help as a community,” she said. “And I knew if people knew his story they would want to help too. Anyone who knows me knows when I put my mind to something I fight for it ‘til the bitter end, and that's what I will do for Jordan until he gets this treatment.”
Yetman isn’t joking.
“I literally was up until 2 a.m., emailing cancer foundations, the health minister, newspapers, radio stations … I even emailed Ellen DeGeneres. This story needs our attention, and soon.”
On her gofundme page, Yetman, explains the situation further.
“Jordan is 34 years old and has two amazing children aged 12 and 4,” she said. “He has started his own home business as a bee keeper, a passion that he and his children share together. He is a regular at farmers markets and Christmas craft fairs selling his Isle of Bees Apiary products.
Yetman said in an effort to secure his own funding, Morgan has made multiple phone calls and sent emails to the health minister, the Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Navigator, and even directly to the drug company themselves.
“So far he hasn’t heard word back so we turn to you, GoFundMe, in effort to aid in the costs of this treatment he needs,” she said. “We feel it’s important to note that should he secure funding through one of the above means, or, should the unthinkable happen, all money raised will be donated to the Canadian Sarcoma Research/Canadian Cancer Society as per Jordan's request.”
Morgan has heard back from his local MLA.
"Since Saturday morning I've been corresponding with Gordon Wilson MLA and he has been very good so far, advocating for me and providing further direction," Morgan said on the gofundme page. "And again, I want to thank anyone who contributes to and/or shares this page."
Gofundme page: www.gofundme.com/jordan-fights-rare-cancer