Hello Community, we hope you all are having a wonderful end summer. Ben is steadily recovering from his surgery and treatment. He is back at work at the Olympia Food Co-op, and managing to work around 10-15 hours per week. We've had some return trips to the emergency room due to seizures, but overall his recovery is continuing in a positive direction. Today, much of living with this diagnosis means finding out how much and what he can do without triggering seizures, exhaustion, or confusion. Every day is a learning process. Charlie started work at her new school and is immensely happy in her dream job. Due to Ben's limited ability to work currently, and Charlie's work contract, funds are exhausted until the end of September, when Charlie gets her first paycheck. Over the summer, one by one, bills have had to be put on hold, and it is now at the point where there are too many unpaid bills (medical and utilities) and still barely enough to get by on. This last hump feels like the hardest in some ways, as the normalcy of daily life is in full swing, and the weight of the financial impact of Ben's diagnosis really hits. We are overwhelmed by the generosity and warmth we felt from our community and am deeply grateful for every single person involved. If anyone feels moved and capable to help us through this last month, we would be very grateful. At every point in this journey we have been amazed and inspired by the miracles, heart, and spirit revealed to us. Thank you for being a part of our story.
Greetings to our community on this sunny Olympia summer day. Ben is complete with his radiation treatment, and we are back from our honeymoon (thank you mom & dad!). We still cannot believe that everything worked out to allow us to still go on the trip that was gifted to us back in September, 2012, at our wedding. We are happy and healing due to all the sun, ocean, fresh fruit and seafood. Ben is recovering well, and his doctor expects him to be ready to transition back into work by August. (yay!) The medical bills are finally starting to roll in, and we are hopeful of the continued grace we've experienced this whole time. It blows our minds that we've been cared for so well through all of this, and that with the money raised so far, we've been able to pay our bills, buy medicine, fuel up to get to multiple daily appointments (soo much gas!!) eat an anticancer diet, and visit the zoo and aquarium in those really hard and exhausting times. Thank you for helping us get through in a good way. These next couple of months are the last immediate stretch for us to get through, and we are grateful for all of the support and help! Thank you and much love, Charlie
Good morning to all! Thank you for your incredible love and sweetness that came from the Yoga Zumba Fundraiser! We are touched to be in the hearts and minds of so many. Ben is in his last week (!!!) of radiation treatment up in Seattle. We cannot believe time is moving so fast, and are deeply grateful that Ben is doing so well. His doctors, nurses, and treatment technicians are starting to grow wondrous at the power of love, prayers, complementary treatments, and anticancer diet that is contributing to Ben's minimal side effects. They keep picking their jaws off the ground hearing how Ben is still lifting weights, and practicing TaeKwonDo. We would not be able to eat healthy and well without you. We would not be able to continue paying our bills (including our gym bill) with out you, we would not be able to rest and relax without the love, prayers, and support of each and every one of you. Thank you. Wopila. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Ben will complete radiation treatment this Friday, with his heart and spirit strong. Keep holding Ben in your prayers, visualize the cancer turning to dust, visualize his immune system strong and able to fight, visualize his healthy brain recovering from radiation, staying strong and full of life. The following six months to one year after radiation, scary neurological side affects can arise. Please see Ben's brain unharmed and healing through all of this time. Much love and thanks, Charlie
TEAM UNICORN: The amazingly awesome community of friends and family supporting Ben and Charlie, as Ben fights brain cancer.
On February 12th, Benjamin SittingBull (Stewart) was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tumor was the size of a baseball, located in his right frontal lobe, putting an extreme amount of pressure on his brain. He underwent a craniotomy to remove a large portion of the tumor, and has been diagnosed with a WHO Grade II astrocytoma glioma, a type of brain cancer.
He is now recovering from surgery, and struggling with cranial pressure issues, possibly looking at another brain surgery in the near future in order to install a shunt.
Find more info on brain cancer at:
Ben is a Oglala Lakota traditional Sioux man- a servant to the people, an artist, warrior, husband, son, brother, and friend. Ben lives in Olympia, Washington with his wife Charlie, and their two pets. After four years of close friendship, and three years of dating, Ben and Charlie joined in marriage this past September, feasting with their community, and sharing their deep love. Ben works at the Olympia Food Co-op, and appreciates food politics, and building community. He aims to live his life in a spiritual way, and always takes the time to help another.
Our wedding photographer and now friend, Stephanie Haller, is contributing to the fundraising efforts using her gorgeous photography. Find out what she is doing through Ahava Studios here:
Ben can be found slinging organic vegetables at the Eastside Co-op, jamming in the local powwow arenas as a traditional plains indian dancer, sitting outside coffee shops downtown and playing his flute or beading, or on Facebook deep in a political discussion and/or just making people laugh.
We are now preparing for the fight of our lives! Western medicine has no cure for this type of cancer, and reports the average lifespan of those diagnosed is 5-10 years. Ben is a warrior and is determined to live a long, healthy life. We are going to fight this together, and beat the average!
Charlie dropped everything to be with Ben through his surgery, ICU, recovery, and upcoming radiation therapy. She does not have any coverage or insurance for her lost wages, and we are not sure how long it will be until she can return to work. Ben and Charlie need help with bills not covered by insurance, the gas costs of driving up to Seattle regularly, parking costs, and coverage for some of Charlie's lost wages.
Please help support Ben and Charlie in this time of need!