Contributed by Annette Johnson
Prime Rib Fundraiser For Joe Trost
11/4/2018 – 5PM
Annette Johnson & Carol Fritz
Palmer Moose Lodge
1136 S Cobb St. Palmer
Joe and Melanie Trost live in Palmer, Alaska, along with their two amazing kiddos and beloved pets. In February 2018, Joe was diagnosed with acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, a rare and very aggressive cancer of the blood and bone marrow. He had a large mass in his chest, along with tumors in the kidneys and numerous blasts in the bloodstream. It was a huge shock for someone who had always been so fit, healthy and active to get this diagnosis.
The first dose of chemotherapy resulted in a severe case of tumor lysis syndrome, causing acute kidney injury and a week-long stay at Anchorage Providence Hospital Intensive Care. Tumor lysis is caused by tumor breakdown products overwhelming the kidneys, and while it was good news that the chemotherapy was clearly working, the bad news was that it very nearly killed him. Once Joe recovered adequately enough to be discharged, further cancer care was transferred to hematology experts in Seattle.
In early March, the Trost family picked up their lives and traveled south to resume treatment, knowing it would be a long-term stay lasting the better part of a year. Joe received six rounds of in-patient chemotherapy, with additional hospitalizations and Emergency Room visits due to fever. His best chance for a cure is an allogenic stem cell transplant (STC). This is essentially a bone marrow transplant, with the only difference being how the cells are collected from the donor. Fortunately, a donor was found that is an excellent match! The STC is a months-long process, beginning with intense chemotherapy and radiation that effectively wipes out the immune system, allowing for the healthy donor cells to settle in. This phase is extremely taxing on the body, and the risk of infection is very serious for quite some time after the transplant takes place. Joe is recovering as well as one can from this grueling experience and if all continues to go smoothly, the Trosts look forward to returning to Alaska in November, where recovery can continue in the comfort of their home in Palmer.
As you can imagine, the expenses associated with battling cancer and maintaining households in both Alaska and Seattle are overwhelming. Joe is receiving disability insurance through his employer, but it is less than his regular income. And just a week prior to Joe’s diagnosis, Melanie learned that her job of 12 years at the Borough would be ending June 30th due to budget cuts.
Here’s how you can help this young family of four:
Purchase tickets to attend a prime rib dinner, prepared by Mike Fritz, on November 4th, from 5pm-9pm, at the Palmer Moose Lodge. The cost is $20 per person.
The evening includes live and silent auctions, a 50/50 split the pot and a delicious dessert auction. In addition, there is a raffle for two exquisite items: an Alaska Native grass basket that measures 8.5” tall & 21” circumference and carved ivory figurine. Raffle tickets are $5 each and may be purchased in advance or at the dinner. All proceeds from the evening will benefit Joe and Melanie Trost.
If you can’t make it on the 4th but still want to help, there are several ways to support this family. Organizers are accepting new and gently-used items for the silent and live auctions and a Joe & Melanie Trost Benefit Account has been created at Wells Fargo, Account #5324413367, for anyone who would like to make a monetary donation. You can help us spread the word by sharing the event on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/902433066620395/.
And because many hands make light work, volunteers are needed before, during and after the event!
To purchase a ticket, lend a hand or donate auction items, please contact either Annette Johnson at 232-5180 or Amy Martin at 223-4517.