As Dawson County teenager Mason Palmour continues his fight against brain cancer, father Robert said he “can’t stress enough” his family’s gratitude for the support they’ve received over the past several months.
“Mason feels the same way. He wants to say ‘thank you,’ and we’ll keep people updated,” Robert said.
There will be a concert fundraiser for Mason at Buford’s Tannery Row Ale House starting at 7 p.m. this Friday, June 24, featuring southern country artist Jacob Bryant. People can purchase tickets through Eventbrite.
Mason was diagnosed with stage four Glioblastoma, a rare type of brain cancer, this past fall.
Recently, Mason’s parents found the Burzynski Clinic, a Houston, Texas-based clinic that’s had more success with curing Glioblastoma than the facility they originally considered in California.
In a recent Facebook post, Mason’s mother, Alison, explained that the Texas clinic was where “God has led us,” mentioning its 22 success stories of patients that, 30 years later, are tumor and cancer free.
She added that the clinic’s financial plans are “much more accomodating,” allowing patients and their families to pay monthly for treatment, as opposed to all up front.
The new treatment will cost about $150,000 for Mason in total, expected to be spread out over eight months. The first month will cost an estimated $27,000, followed by $17,000 for each of the remaining seven months. Mason’s loved ones will still have to cover travel, lodging and related expenses.
Various fundraisers have been held this spring to raise money for the teen’s medical costs, and he has a #MasonStrong GoFundMe.
Mason Palmour also has a bank account with Bank OZK in Dawsonville for people wanting to make a deposit there on behalf of him.
Mason and his family flew out to Texas the weekend before last and began his antineoplaston therapy treatments last Monday, June 13. They expect to be in Texas for up to three weeks, though they hope they can be back in time for the June 24 fundraiser.
This type of cancer therapy is intended to target bad cells and not good cells, Alison said.
During their stay, Mason’s parents have been learning how to give their son his treatments.
Each day, Mason is given one bag of medication, which is administered with the help of a pump through his port. Every four hours, the medicine is administered every 24 minutes. This week, Mason will start having two pumps hooked up to him.
When Mason returns to Georgia, his treatments will be done at home, with his medication being mailed to him. He will still be under the clinic’s care as well as that of his regular oncologist in Atlanta. Monthly visits to Texas will transition into being bimonthly visits.
Alison explained that Mason decided not to continue chemotherapy because of the side effects and that she and Robert were both supportive of his decision.
The chemotherapy was, however, the necessary standard of care until they could raise the money for a more natural treatment.
“Usually [for] anyone with Glioblastoma, chemo kills them before the Glioblastoma does,” Alison said. “He (Mason) has had very minimal side effects with these treatments. Right now, the most he’ll get is drowsy…so he’s actually doing very well with it.”
Her son’s spirits have gotten better since treatment began, with his appetite improving and his usual sense of humor returning.
Through her previous job at a Cumming health clinic, Alison had befriended a patient who’d had breast cancer and subsequently devoted her life to cancer research. That patient told her about the Burzynski clinic.
Then, about a month ago, another woman she’d met at her former position told her about the clinic.
“I felt like this was God's way of telling me ‘this is your answer,’’ Alison said.
Alison knew at that time that in about a month, they could have the month raised for Mason to start this new treatment.
She contacted the Texas clinic around June 1, and personnel from there immediately reached back out to her the same day. In fact, the doctor had already looked over her son’s
chart. Mason and his family had a virtual consultation with the doctor five days later, at which time they confirmed a treatment plan. So they subsequently booked and flew out on flights to Texas, “literally within days” of everything coming together, Alison added.
She and Robert both expressed their gratitude for the clinic’s doctors, Dr. Burzynski and Dr. Miranda, as well as the entire staff for their efforts and care.
She’s thankful that Mason could get started on this new treatment quickly instead of having to prolong getting him a more natural one, and she’s optimistic that they’ll be able to raise the remaining funds needed to finish the treatment and save her son.
Robert voiced a similar optimism, pointing to “success after success after success” they’ve heard from talking to some of the clinic’s other patients.
“Mason’s doing much, much better with this [treatment], so we’re all very happy with the outcome,” he said. “If it wasn't for everybody coming together, it wouldn't have been possible. It’s been a blessing and a long journey to get there, and there’s a long journey to go, but we’re grateful to get here, and everything’s looking good so far.”