An online fundraiser is underway to benefit a Surrey man who, in July, was given two months to live.
Roy Duquette said Thursday that any funds donated to help his son Tyler will go towards the cost of an alternative treatment program that the 40-year-old began in September – the same month that doctors predicted would be the father of four’s last, due to cancers that were discovered after he collapsed at his Newton home.
“The doctors at the cancer clinic didn’t give him much hope,” Duquette said, after dropping Tyler off at one of his two-hour, twice-weekly acupuncture appointments.
“This doctor… seems to think he can go along quite a long time.”
Tyler, who is the second oldest of six siblings, was initially thought to have suffered a stroke, his dad said. After tests revealed an aggressive brain cancer and small-cell lung cancer, he underwent chemotherapy and radiation; a treatment through which he “suffered greatly,” according to information shared on a GoFundMe page that launched last month.
Duquette, who lives in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood, told Peace Arch News that he suggested an alternative treatment because he’d seen success with such therapies after his daughter developed a tumour in her leg as a child and doctors wanted to amputate. Duquette said at that time, he travelled to Seattle to see a Chinese herbalist, and the treatment “saved her.”
Tyler’s situation “is worse,” he said.
“This is terminal. He has a young family.”
Duquette said the treatment Tyler began in September – which also includes drinking twice daily a “thin mud” made from a powdered-herb mixture – has not only already extended his life, but has improved the quality of it.
“He’s walking and talking, taking his kids to school. Swelling (of his tumour) has gone down. He has a little bit of quality of life now.”
Duquette said the treatments cost about $500 a week, and are not covered by the provincial medical plan. He’s currently using his retirement fund to pay for them, but at $2,000 per month, those are “depleting really quickly,” he said.
Duquette has no illusions that the alternative treatment will cure his son. But he’s optimistic Tyler’s condition will improve – and give him more time with his family – as long as he continues with the regimen.
“That’s our hope,” he said.
The GoFundMe campaign is aiming to raise $10,000 toward the medical costs. To donate, visit gofundme.com