My name is Michelle Barteaux and I am writing on behalf of my brother, Justin Webb.
My brother was like most 19 year olds. He was in his first year of university and loving life. That was until December when life decided to challenge him.
As a great football player, Justin is known for his will and determination, but fighting for his life against brain cancer is a challenge that has left him utterly helpless.
Justin’s problems began in December. He was having issues with his right foot and started losing the ability to control it while walking. Justin and his young girlfriend Katie went to the hospital in Prince George.
After having a CAT scan, the doctor told him to go back home to the Island and that there was a high probability that he had either MS or ALS. When Justin called home with the grave news, upset and scared, we brought him home.
He was home only a few days, waiting for his family doctor to get in touch with a neurologist when Justin began to lose the ability to move and control the right side of his body. Justin began rapidly deteriorating and soon needed help walking and dressing himself.
We brought him to Victoria General Hospital where he was admitted into Emergency. Justin spent three days in the ER waiting for a bed, waiting for answers.
He had numerous tests; an MRI, CAT Scan etc, which all indicated he had an inflammation on the right side of his brain. The diagnosis was that he had MS. He was released to go home, and was given an appointment to meet with someone at the MS clinic.
Within a week Justin had lost all movement on his right side and was beginning to lose functionality of his left side as well. We decided to take him over to Vancouver General Hospital. Justin is 6’4”; my father and mother are 65 and 55 years old respectively and have been responsible for all of Justin’s care and needs.
At Vancouver General more CAT scans were administered as well as an additional MRI, again it was determined that there was inflammation but still no cause could be established.
Within days, a brain biopsy was scheduled. They were going to extract fluid from Justin’s brain from a small incision in his scull; he came out of surgery with 10 staples, leaving my parents shocked.
The doctors found a massive tumour covering both sides of his brain.
The tumour is one that is extremely rare and is found in children, not in adults.
Now four months after his symptoms began, Justin is completely unable to move. He cannot speak or eat. He is mentally aware and can smile, laugh, and obviously cry.
Justin is an adult and has not paid into pensions. He is unable to get monies other than from welfare. We are all shocked at the financial toll that caring for an ill family member has taken; it’s devastating and overwhelming at times.
My father, Art, has been driving to Campbell River and back daily in an attempt to continue working in hopes of relieving some of the financial strain. Diane has taken a leave of absence from her job to be here with Justin.
There is an account set up at the TD Bank of Canada in Justin Webb or Diane Zaschke (Account # 90386356852) name as well as donation boxes around the Island. There’s also a fundraiser for him on Saturday, April 30, 4-7 p.m. at Timberline Secondary School.
Our family appreciates your compassion and generosity.