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Around Pleasanton: Fundraiser supports police officer as costly cancer treatment shows promise

 

A sold-out fundraiser for cancer-stricken Pleasanton PD Officer Kyle Henricksen, a 10-year police department veteran, will be held this Saturday night amid reports that the 35-year-old is making progress in beating the disease.

He is currently undergoing experimental immuno treatment at Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a costly process that is not covered by the family's Kaiser Permanente health plan.

The family felt that the treatment plan at Kaiser "just wasn't a right fit," Kyle's wife Jennifer said. "So, we (chose) to start a trial at Stanford that Kaiser does not offer," she wrote on her Facebook page, which I follow.

As Kyle now heads for his second round of treatment at Stanford, the latest biopsy showed that his cancerous tumors are shrinking.

"We're so excited to see the treatment is working," Jennifer wrote. "We plan to stay on this course of treatment until the tumor is completely gone."

A Realtor with Re/Max Executive in Ripon, Jennifer and her supporters created a GoFundMe campaign -- called "Help Kyle Kick Cancer" -- to help raise funds to support the family as Kyle goes through his trial treatment at Stanford on a self-pay basis.

Officer Ryan (T.J.) Tujague, vice president of the Pleasanton Police Officers Association, said Saturday night's crab fest should add substantially to the $111,371 already raised by the GoFundMe account.

"Proceeds from the fundraiser will help pay medical bills not covered by insurance," Tujague said, "so that Kyle and his family can continue to focus solely on getting him healthy."

The fundraiser event is sold out, with 425 of Kyle's supporters buying tickets to the event at Joe Madden's Goal Line Productions facility in Pleasanton.

In addition to raising funds for Kyle's drug therapy at Stanford, ticket sales and money raised in an auction will also go to Calico Center, a nonprofit organization that provides a hub for child abuse investigations in Alameda County, and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which maintains a memorial in Washington, D.C. for law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

"The response to this fundraising effort has been simply overwhelming," Tujague said. "This is what's so unique about Pleasanton. The community really steps up."

Kyle's months of treatment have not been easy, as Jennifer has detailed regularly on her Facebook page.

The challenges keep coming. Last week, on Feb. 1, she wrote of Kyle's search late in the day for relief from the side effects of his recent treatment that caused his legs to swell from below his knees. His physician's assistant urged them to have Kyle's legs checked immediately by ultra-sound to make sure a blood clot wasn't forming.

They rushed to the emergency room at the hospital in Manteca, near where they live, only to find after a 1-1/2-hour wait that ultrasounds aren't available there after 4 p.m.

"So off we went to Modesto (for the ultrasound) where, four hours later, we were informed he had no blood clots," Jennifer wrote. "All he needed was a pair of compression socks."

She said those interested can still help by visiting the GoFundMe page, which also features anecdotes about the family, photos from their vacations and short videos from the family after Kyle's cancer diagnosis.

"We're so incredibly grateful for every victory we encounter on this journey," Jennifer added. "Please keep all the prayers, good thoughts and positive vibes coming. We appreciate it all more than we can put into words."

Editor's note: Jeb Bing is editor emeritus for the Pleasanton Weekly. His "Around Pleasanton" columns typically run on the second and fourth Fridays of every month.

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Comments

3 people like this
Posted by Teri Reynolds/Sonoma Resident
a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2019 at 1:55 pm

This story is absolutely heartbreaking but also heartwarming at the same time as you watch what Pleasanton is doing for one of their own, rally around the family as if it were happening to yours because that's what we are expected to do as good community members. Even though I am in Sonoma I will donate to the best of my ability.I send Jennifer and Kyle my prayers and love to beat this thing
Hugs, Teri


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Posted by Leah Silva
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2019 at 8:38 pm

I'm asking for anyone reading this, if they could please help me. My 53 year old sister too is also battling stage 3 pancreatic cancer for the past year. It is beyond heartbreaking. She also treats with Kaiser hospital. She lost her job due to the cancer, and has had to sign up for medi-cal, and disability. With the government shutdown, she hasn't been sent a check in months, and they are putting some of her tests on hold. We are told they cannot do this, but they are ! When you're the low man on the totem poll,your paperwork is at the bottom of the stack!! With no mercy, her landlord raised her rent $600.00 in December. There is no family to turn to, and we need help. My husband and I do all that we can, but it's still not enough. We are stretched to the limit. I cannot bare to look into her face and eyes, and tell her I don't know what we're going to do. She can't even get food stamps ! We have written letters, made call after call and the answer is always the same. Another 60 to 90 days for your paperwork to push through. We are in despair. I am begging for help. This is stressful enough, and then this added to it is just not right. It's sad to think that people just don't care. If anyone reading this can help us in any way, it would be a God send. Where do I go and what do I do ? ptownsilva@gmail.com


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Posted by Teri Reynolds/Sonoma Girl
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2019 at 8:49 am

ptownsilva~ Hi There~Boy! Do I know how you're feeling. My problem is that I do NOT know how to set up a go fund me account but I will ask my 2 member family and friends to help me if no one steps up to help you! I cannot stand by having read your message and not try to help in any way I can. Please know that I will get back to you one way or another. Try to remember that prayer helps which I'm sure you know already but it's us community members that need to do the physical stuff. I sure love you and your Momma and your husband. Keep strong and let's see what we can do.I'll be in touch ASAP. Hugs,Teri


Like this comment
Posted by Teri Reynolds/Sonoma Girl
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2019 at 12:02 pm

I meant to say "Sister" NOT Momma. Forgive me but I was trying to get the note out FAST...Teri


Like this comment
Posted by Leah Silva
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2019 at 7:33 pm

Dear Sonoma girl, It felt so good to at least have one persom respond to my plea, and I thank you for that. Yes, indeed we pray a lot. God is the only one who can give us this miracle of healing. I just know my sister should not have to stress bills, money, etc. Thank you for your comforting words of love. God bless you.


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