A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Friends raising money for 3-year-old Phinney boy fighting cancer

November 6th, 2012 · Comments

Update Wednesday: Family friend Sara Easterly tells us the family’s insurance company reversed its decision to deny coverage.

From the Lehman O’Shea Family:

To the incredible community of supporters that have come to help our Mighty Quinn: With the help of others, tireless, relentless, genius and giving, we have prevailed in our fight with the insurance company. We are closing down the fundraising site. Read on for more detail.

We have been blessed with kindness and financial support, meals and help at home and more and this has made something that I did not know how to make: Optimism.

With the help of a relentless and kindhearted lawyer, some friends in the media and behind the scenes, we have prevailed in our battle with the insurance company. This is an unbelievable gift.

The idea for the youcaring site was started some time before we were denied insurance. It was done in order to cover travel and lodging and cars and extra childcare, all the more important since Kathleen has not been working for sometime. I was quite unsure it was the right thing to do but better minds and hearts than mine won the day.

And so, in a crazy turn of events, we are headed to Texas to M.D. Anderson to begin the assessment phase of treatment. Our insurance decided in our favor if we went to M.D. Anderson with the help of our amazing lawyer who convinced them that we would prevail if it went to court. We are incredibly humbled by the support we have received from family, friends, neighbors, community, and strangers. We no longer need to raise funds for Quinn’s treatment and will be closing the fund raising site. We want to save the kind words and prayers written on the site to share with Quinn over time. The fund will cover the travel and lodging and then be put aside for future medical expenses and possible interventions Quinn will need to address his disabilities. If over time we find there is no longer a need for us, we hope to establish a fund for others who are struggling with childhood cancer. We go forth on this next phase of this journey knowing we have the love and support of so many. We are so grateful to all of you.

Earlier: Three-year-old Quinn Lehman O’Shea of Phinney Ridge is fighting a rare form of cancer, and leaves tomorrow for a cross-country road trip for specialized radiation treatment available in Florida.

Quinn was born deaf and has developmental delays. About a year ago he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in his left eye. His eye was removed along with the tumor.

Family friend Sara Easterly tells us Quinn’s parents, Kathleen Lehman and Dan O’Shea, were denied coverage for the proton beam radiation by their insurance company because it is considered experimental, so they have to pay all the costs themselves. She says the family estimates the treatment will cost $200,000-$250,000. They’ve established a YouCaring fund to help pay for treatment.

From Sara:

Last spring, the cancer moved to his brain and he started losing his remaining vision. Quinn was a brave boy during hospitalizations while he endured 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 2 stem cell transplants. Recent MRI results are positive, but in order to have a high chance of the tumor not returning, Quinn needs specialized radiation treatments which unfortunately are not available in Seattle.

Quinn will soon be going to Jacksonville, Florida, for proton beam radiation. After 2 weeks of testing and set-up, he will undergo 5 weeks of radiation. Treatments will occur 5 days a week under general anesthesia.

Above and beyond the cost of the medical procedures, which may take weeks to months to resolve coverage issues, Quinn’s family will face enormous expenses for airfare and local transportation, lodging, meals, cost of preparing and shipping Quinn’s specialized food, and other related expenses. Thankfully, a charity associated with Seattle Children’s will be covering two months of mortgage payments for the family.

You can see a Q 13 report on Quinn and his family from last week. As of this morning, the YouCaring fund has raised almost $47,000.

(Disclosure: We don’t know Quinn or his family, but we made a donation.)

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Comments

  1. jmpr says:

    My heart goes out to Quinn and his family. May God heal him and give strength to you all.

  2. Jon says:

    My thoughts go out to Quinn and his family. May medicine and science fix him.

    Glad to hear that the insurance company has decided to cover the procedures (after lots of bad press, I imagine). That poor kid has gone through enough, to also have to be monkeyed around with, by a greedy Insurance outfit.