Sunday, December 10, 2023

Helping Jason and James Bitzer

Emergency room physicians, firefighters, lifeguards, police officers...when you need them, you really need them.

Jason Bitzer is such an individual. A long-time veteran North Shore (of Oahu) lifeguard who saved many lives and averted many potential disasters and injuries while serving in treacherous ocean conditions along a number of famed big-wave surfing beaches such as Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, Banzai Pipeline, Haleiwa Beach, and Ehukai Beach. He was formerly head of the North Shore Lifeguards Association.

Bitzer also introduced KAATSU to the lifeguards on the North Shore who experienced all kinds of injuries, cuts, wounds, and accidents.

After 15 years on the job along the North Shore, he still loved going to work every day and wanted to share his lifestyle and responsibilities with others. He started a non-profit aimed at providing free first responder and lifeguard training to children in Hawaii.

However, his three-year-old son James was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that affects nerve cells in children in March. He and his wife decided to take James to New York, far far away from Oahu, to one of the best cancer centers in the United States.

Family friends, Wesley and Ayesha Liquorish, started a Go Fund Me campaign on James Bitzer’s behalf that has raised $167,192 towards their $200,000 goal from 1,700 kind donors. See here.

On September 22nd, Bitzer reported, "After 6 months of intensive treatment, James is in remission. His treatment included 5 rounds of high dose chemotherapy, surgery, feeding tube, proton therapy, two rounds of immunotherapy, and countless days in the hospital for blood transfusions, blood test, antibiotics infusions, etc. He has 5 more months of consolidation to include immunotherapy and possibly radiation of the skull, then a year or so of continued treatment (vaccine or DFMO) and monitoring to ensure there is no relapse.

Please consider donating to @bandofparents. We have lots to do to help cure and prevent relapse of this rare brutal aggressive childhood cancer

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