- Posted August 18, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Living with a rare disease?
GoFundMe Page Launched for Terminally Ill 25-year-old, Needs Transportation to Family
He is suffering from a rare condition known as Cystic Fibrosis, in which mucus regularly fills and blocks the lungs, pancreas, liver, and intestines. This causes the individual to have difficulty breathing and leads to vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition, and other serious health problems. Those with Cystic Fibrosis, or CF, have decreased life spans and are constantly taking medications to fight the disease. For most people with CF, hospitals have become their homes.
Born and raised in California, Brandon is in Alabama receiving care throughout his final stages with CF. This care includes a BiPap machine, which provides him with oxygen 24/7 and requires him to be transported back to his family via a special, expensive medical or private jet plane. ACC Medlink is the medical company that has offered to transport Brandon for $15,000 USD.
Growing up in California, Brandon did not have a normal relationship with his mother. He was taken from her when he was a baby and given to his grandmother. At that time, he was hospitalized three times for what was thought to be pneumonia, only to be formally diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at ten months old. He had been turned down by both states of California and Alabama to receive transplants that would improve his health.
His life was then spent in and out of the hospital. “There were times when it was difficult due to me missing so much school thanks to being in the hospital,” Brandon said. “I missed so much of my senior year that I had to take online classes to finish in time to graduate with everyone else. I’ve probably been hospitalized about thirty-ish or more times and I’ve had probably about fifteen-plus surgeries.”
Debbie, Brandon’s mother, re-entered Brandon’s life when he was sixteen. “Time now is so precious and vulnerable to me,” his mother said. “I missed a lot of time in his life.”
After the reconnection with his mother, Brandon got married and moved to Alabama with his wife. Marital trouble led to his condition getting worse and in hospice care without his family nearby. For the past eighteen months of his life, he has been at a nursing home receiving around-the-clock care.
“I’m currently at the end stage of being terminal and don’t have that much time left,” Brandon said. “My lungs are just very bad at this point.”
Wendy Dayana, a friend of Brandon, created the GoFundMe page for him on June 14th of this past year. As of today, $11,378 USD has been raised out of the $15,000 required to transport him.
Violet Gomez, another friend of Brandon’s that also suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, said, “His family has been working for nearly two years to get him home. He has pretty much given up hope that he would ever get to go home again, since his health is quickly deteriorating and the funding has been so slow.”
“Brandon has always been good and is very smart,” Gomez said. “He is very loving and kind to everyone. He loves Ninja Turtles and he doesn’t like candy, seafood, or hamburgers. His favorite music group is Dir En Grey, which is a Japanese rock band. He has a wild and funny sense of humor. He is also very clever and witty, and everyone who interacts with him adores him.”
Brandon De La Cruz, the 25-year-old so full of life, repeats his one wish to all of his friends. “I wish I could be home so I can die with my family. Before I left for Alabama, I left them on bad terms and I don’t want their last memories of me to be of that. I want the chance to meet my brother’s baby boy he just had. I have numerous friends in California to say goodbye to in person.”
To donate money to Brandon’s GoFundMe page and share to social media, click here: http://www.gofundme.com/ahvd98