It’s not a competition Brenda Chmiliar wanted to enter. But what choice did she have?
The Maple Ridge mother has entered an online essay contest that could result in a potentially life-saving treatment for her husband, Jayme, who is battling cancer.
“Sarcomatoid Myoepithelial Carcinoma – that is what the doctor called it, the mass that has taken residence in my husband’s head,” she wrote.
“We couldn’t pronounce it and little did we know that it would be the pivotal center of our lives going forward. It overshadows every day and pretty much everything we do.
“They say that cancer isn’t contagious, but we are all feeling the symptoms and it has even began spreading outside our family into our circle of friends. No one other than my husband is going to show an active PETscan, but that does not mean that what we are feeling is not caused from my husband’s cancer.
“We know as well that we are not the only family learning to deal with all of this but it doesn’t make it any easier. We are all collectively confused, scared and completely lost.”
The cancer has become Stage 4 metastasis, spreading to his lymph nodes and his lungs.
Brenda’s essay about the uncertainty of the situation has struck a chord with family, friends and people in the community.
“It isn’t my best work. I just put it out there. I tried,” she said.
If she succeeds, her husband could be eligible to receive an alternative cancer treatment. The BX Protocol isn’t available through, or covered by the B.C. health care system, and a treatment starts at $17,000.
Brenda is not yet convinced that it is effective, but Jayme is willing to try – as long as it doesn’t put his family into heavy debt.
Last week, Jayme received a tracheotomy so he could breath easier. Tumors in his windpipe had blocked his air. He also has tumors behind his sinuses.
He is scheduled to start chemotherapy and other traditional treatments this week.
“We haven’t been given a lot of reason to hope,” said Brenda. “And if you want to try to do something different, you have to have tons of money.”
His is not a common cancer, and so the path to an effective treatment is not well known. Even the most common treatments, such as for breast cancer, can have unforeseen problems.
Brenda learned about the BX Protocol contest through social media. The BX Protocol claims to be able to treat all cancer, because it targets the so-called stealth bacterium found in cancer cells, and found to be causative agent in all malignancies.
It offers hope to the Chmiliar family.
The top 20 essays have been posted on the Delta Institute website, and the public can vote for the winner.
“What qualifies him to receive a scholarship? Nothing more than anyone else who has entered into this contest, in dire need of help and hope where all other avenues have been stripped away. He is a father, a husband, a brother, an uncle, a friend like every other candidate that has been dealt this awful hand. He doesn’t think he is any more deserving either, and if it was not for us I think he would have accepted his fate and conceded long ago. He wants to be here for our two boys, and for me, so he carries on despite, having difficulty swallowing and breathing as the tumor has taken up so much space it is squeezing his throat.”
The response has been overwhelming from “an amazing amount of people,” she said.
“We had really kept my husband’s illness to ourselves.”
When people learned about it, support for the couple, and the contest “exploded,” said Brenda.
“Part of it is just Maple Ridge, and the people I’ve come into contact with through kids sports and things like that, rallying around us. It’s a great community.”
Jayme, who manages camps for industrial companies, has lived with his family in Maple Ridge for the past 14 years. He has two teen sons in minor hockey.
Brenda said her husband is bearing up well.
“He’s a trooper. He goes with it. Every new thing – he deals with it on his own.”
Brenda wants to win the contest for him.
“It would be fantastic just to have another choice – it would be great.”
If life-saving treatment is being given away, like a vacation cruise, in the name of promotion, the irony is not lost on her.
“It is heartbreaking that in this competition, all of the losers will probably meet the same fate, they will not just lose the contest but they will probably lose their lives,” she wrote.
“In the end, it is my boys and I who want and need him, so on his behalf, if there is any chance to save him, we will beg and plead our case even if it is against other sick and dying people, as shameful as that is, because that is what this horrible cancer has done to us. God bless us all.”
Vote for Jayme
• Vote and read Brenda’s entire essay at: http://www.bxprotocol.com/contest/