BELDING, Mich., -- Ryan Ball proposed to the love of his life four years ago, but then everything changed. The couple welcomed two children, a boy and a girl, and learned Ball had a brain tumor.
After undergoing one surgery where doctors were able to remove about 50 percent of the tumor, Ball believed he was out of the woods. But soon, his symptoms returned and worsened. Ball said doctors in West Michigan told him there was nothing they could do.
That's when his fiancee, Brittany Lanning, searched for doctors online, hoping for a second opinion. After finding Dr. Dong Kim in Houston, Texas, the couple flew down for a consultation. Ball said Dr. Kim told him he believed he could remove the entire tumor after reviewing his medical records.
Ball and his family will leave for Houston Thursday. They recently learned their insurance company will pay for some of the costs associated with the procedure. The family was quoted $40,000 dollars as the price they would need to pay upfront. It's not clear how much they will be responsible for.
After the surgery, the family will need to stay in Houston until Ball is cleared to travel, which could take at least three weeks.
The family said it's been overwhelmed by the community support on their journey. Ball is expected to be honored during a "pink game" at Belding High School this Friday.
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The following information is posted in a GoFundMe account that has been set up to help the family:
In July 2013, Ryan was diagnosed with an extremely rare brain tumor - a pineal parenchymal tumor of immediate differentiation. The tumor was found via MRI after Ryan suffered a dizzy spell atop a ladder while working. He went through brain surgery, radiation, and many, many CT scans. A few scans after surgery (every 3 months), the tumor was finally found to be stable and unchanged, and his symptoms faded enough to allow him to work again. Then, after a year into working and getting on a steady routine with home life, Ryan's symptoms returned and again pulled him from work and, well... life. Mowing the lawn, playing with the kids, family gatherings, friends... everything made his headaches worse, which in turn, made all other symptoms appear and caused him to be basically bedridden. After many attempts at trying different medications, life routines, doctor appointments, doctors... we decided it was time to find another opinion/option. The doctors we worked with in Michigan had nothing left for us. This is when I reached out to a surgeon's office in Houston, Texas. Little did we know, through this communication, we would get Ryan answers and hope for a long, healthy life spent watching his children grow.
Dr. Dong Kim, whom specializes in pineal gland tumors, met with us in Houston a couple weeks after reviewing his MRI's and is willing to operate. This Dr. is confident he can provide Ryan and our family, a better life. A life free of this pain and suffering.
Dr. Kim is confident he can remove the tumor in its entirety leaving Ryan a strong possibility that he could be cancer free! We have been fighting so long for this, we are NOT giving up now!
Unfortunately, Ryan's insurance is not accepted outside of Michigan and a surgery of this nature will surely exceed any possible amount of affordability. With Ryan already being off of work for 3 months and the bills from previous appointments still piling up, we have hit a wall. We can't fight financially anymore, and our emotions have been through the roof. The continuous support and prayers from our friends, family, and strangers have gotten us this far. I know we can make it to the end of this battle. So many of you have already helped we know but this is our chance. Our chance to help this man to be free of pain and suffering. Our chance at a cure.
We are required to relocate to Texas for approximately 3-4 weeks for surgery/recovery, which means we will also be bringing our children Conner and Lily(1 and 2 years old), as well as provide care for our pets that will remain at home. All proceeds will go to this surgery and our travel and stay in Houston. If you cannot donate a monetary value, we ask that you please share this and keep us in your prayers. All support is welcomed and sincerely appreciated. <3