The Go Fund Me Here- https://www.gofundme.com/f/figs-fight-against-stage-4-melanoma
With every dark cloud there is a silver lining… The dark cloud is Rich is in bad shape and the only way to get him back to Boston is by Med-flight.
The silver lining is that all of your donations will cover almost all of this unexpected expense which is close to $33k. So as soon as a bed opens at Mass General, Rich will be on his way to be accepted as a surgical patient (expediting the normal process by 3-4 days) as his spleen is of major concern.
Special thanks to Rich’s brother and sister in law as well as Sarah’s aunt for fronting the expense until the Go Fund Me donations are available.
Back here at home, this group is focused on even more fundraising now as this setback has almost burned through all our efforts to date. So get a friend and bring them to the event!
***JANUARY 23rd -IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!**
Unfortunatley, Rich needs our help more now than ever!!!
Latest update below (as of 1/23/23)
Rich has had a dull pain in the area where they removed his kidney back in October, and doctors had chalked it up to a muscle strain because he went back to playing gigs a month after the surgery.
This past week, Rich, Sarah, Emmy, and Sarah’s parents flew down to Florida to visit family. While there he spiked a fever, had chills, and was in unbearable pain. After consultation with his oncologist back in Boston it was recommended he get a scan immediately at the local hospital in Stuart, FL. (which by the way this hospital is absolutely NOT equipped to manage Rich’s pain or his illness)!
After multiple scans, they discovered a mass on his spleen. They are awaiting pathology to determine what this mass is. In addition it appears the scan shows melanoma has spread to his liver. We are completely devastated as we know he’s out of FDA approved treatment options. Please pray as hard as you can for a trial he can qualify for.
So as it stands now, Rich and Sarah are stuck in Florida. Plans are for a possible transfer to a cancer center in Miami did not work out, so they are currently waiting for a bed for him at Mass General Hospital in Boston.
Rich needs a medflight, which needs to be paid for privately and is NOT covered by insurance. The cost for the medflight from Florida to Boston is $33,000!!
This is going to deduct the much needed funds we have already raised for Rich from his gofundme.
If you are unable to donate, PLEASE SHARE! Keep Rich in your prayers!
**THE FIG’S FIGHT TEAM- friends and family of Rich Figurido, have created this fund to support our amazing friend Rich and his family, during the fight for his life against stage 4 Melanoma****
Most people have not been aware that Rich is even sick. He has been working, performing and looking/sounding great but has had many struggles in the background.
This is the history up to where he is at today:
In September of 2019, Rich was diagnosed with stage 3b melanoma. He began his journey at Mass General Hospital with Dr. Howard Kauffman and his team at the cancer center. They removed large tumor on his back and a few axillary lymph nodes (armpit). 2 nodes came back positive for melanoma.
He then began targeted at home treatment.
2 weeks later, he was experiencing high fevers and shakes. He was instructed to stop his treatment. They started him on Keytruda, an intervenes immunotherapy every 3 weeks that had to be done at MGH.
He continued to have scans every 3 months while receiving treatment until a tumor showed up in his axillary lymph nodes again. He had surgery to remove 27 lymph nodes around the large tumor. After a brutal recovery, Rich had clear scans for almost 11 months.
Then the cancer returned; and this time it hit an organ (his left kidney) and was diagnosed as stage 4. They removed the tumor and began a different intervenes treatment.
He had one infusion and got very sick. It took 8 weeks, multiple ER visits, and many medications to get him back to feeling “normal”. When they rescanned, the tumor on his kidney was back, so his team decided to try and shrink it with a clinical trial treatment that his oncologist was very hopeful for.
Rich was the first human infusion of this new trial, and he felt great the first 3 months he was receiving it. However, when they rescanned, the tumor had grown. The trial was unsuccessful and he was taken off of it. They were afraid if they tried to remove the tumor again, they would spill more cells and make it worse, so his team tried the last FDA approved treatment option they had.
This was a treatment similar to first one and he could take the medication at home. 2 weeks into it he spiked a 106.4 fever and became very sick. They were hoping they could lower the dose and keep him on a low steroid to prevent the fevers, but after multiple dosage changes they knew it wasn’t going to work.
Rich woke up one morning in a ton of pain and ended up in the hospital for 4 days. The tumor on his kidney had grown so large, it was hemorrhaging and causing all sorts of problems. They decided the only option was to remove the whole kidney and Rich had the kidney removal surgery on October 31st of 2022.
Unfortunately, Rich is out of preventative treatment options. Because the tumor was bleeding, they believe the cancer cells are traveling somewhere in his body, looking for another place to call home. There are more trials he can qualify for, but he needs a tumor to do so. Moving forward, the only option he has is to rescan every couple months and wait for a tumor to pop up and treat it. His oncologist has one particular trial in mind that has been very successful and we are hopeful he will qualify for when the timing comes.
***Our goal is to raise funds for Rich and his family to cover medical expenses, as well as catch up on any financial needs. With his conditions, treatments, and surgery, Rich has been unable consistently work over the last 3 years, and we all want to support him the best we can! ***