The family and friends of a New Ringgold man who is fighting cancer are rallying the community to help defray his medical bills.
Christian Deem, 34, a longtime diabetic who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in March, suffered an infection after being admitted to Lehigh Valley Hospital. The infection traveled through his entire body, compromising his kidney function.
He had surgery to remove the cancerous testicle, doctors found the disease had spread, resulting in a softball-sized tumor at the top of his kidney. He is undergoing chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, and has needed blood transfusions to stabilize his blood count. Doctors are closely monitoring Deem's kidneys, which are sensitive to chemotherapy.
The ordeal has drained Deem, who lives with his parents, and his family, mentally and physically. The financial stress of being unable to work, compounded by extraordinary medical bills and the costs of repeated trips to the hospital, have combined to further burden the family.
His strong, close-knit family is scrambling to meet its obligations, but the bills keep mounting, and they need help.
Family and friends urge the community to come out in his support to "Chrisapalooza," a benefit planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, July 21, at the Andreas Sporting Club. The Schnecksville Sunday school will sponsor a motorcycle ride and pig roast, and family and friends will continue the events into the evening with music, games, a basket auction, raffles, door prizes and more.
In addition to helping defray the costs of Chris' medical care, his family and friends hope the event will help the community show its love and support of Chris during his ordeal, and to help him get back to his normal life of going to work, riding his motorcycle and making memories with loved ones.
Chrisapalooza has established a Facebook page for more information.
Anyone who would like to pitch in and help with any aspect of Chrisapalooza is asked to call Lori Deem at (570) 225-8575.