Help Csaba

Most in the community know me as a school nurse. For the past seven years I have been the nurse at Central Elementary, but this year I am currently at Fluvanna Middle School. Every summer, for the past six years, I have managed the Health Center at Camp Friendship, and it is with great pleasure that I get the opportunity to meet international staff and experience a little of their culture. By the end of the summer, we are like one big family and sometimes feel as if we have been together a lifetime. I get to witness them grow in their job and, because I am the nurse, I get to see them at their worst and help nurture them back to health.

This summer, Csaba was experiencing a few medical symptoms that required further investigation and landed him in the emergency room at Martha Jefferson Hospital. He later was transferred to the University of Virginia medical center for further evaluation due to a rare mediastinal mass that was discovered in his chest when they did an x-ray. Due to the location and size of this tumor, when left untreated, this causes a number of serious complications such as invading the heart, the lining around the heart, and great vessels. For Csaba, he became symptomatic because the mass began to compress and compromise the surrounding structures, including his airway. This young man has since been told this is cancer and is currently undergoing treatment at UVa.

If this was not enough for this young man to digest – who only expected to come here and be a role model for children and earn a summer income – comes the complexity of the financial aspect, coupled with the fact that he is far from home. UVa. physicians, along with a few of our staff, have decided that Csaba’s best and only chance at survival is to remain here for the treatment of chemo and surgery. He is currently looking at a journey of seven to eight months, if no complications arise. The seriousness of his immediate condition does not lend itself to getting him home safe or offering him a chance to fight this disease. So, he will remain a part of our family and community here in Fluvanna. While all other counselors and staff have returned home to their families and way of life, Csaba is learning to adjust and fight for his life.

Camp Friendship and others worked to get Csaba’s family here several weeks ago, and they are currently living in the Health Center, at Camp Friendship, adjusting to a new way of life, a different language, and to the hardship of what their son is going through at this time. His parents do not speak English and currently have no means of transportation. Csaba came here through an agency and the insurance covers no cancer treatment. I have worked closely with the social worker at UVa., who has assisted in the care provided to Csaba and meeting his medical needs. There are of course, other needs, such as transportation of Csaba to and from chemo, survival needs for him and his family, and other financial needs. There are many uncertainties right now, some simple and some not so simple. I refuse to allow this young man the worry of the “behind the scenes,” because I know he does not want to burden anyone. He has told me so. While this situation has become more of an adventure than Csaba originally signed up for, he still tells me, “This has been the best summer of my life, even with this!”

I am asking everyone to join Csaba’s fight, whether financial or otherwise. I want him to know that he has a family here with him and it is called a community. If you would like to give a donation to help him, please make the donation to Camp Friendship in regards to Csaba Kecskemeti. This may be taken to the Camp or dropped off at Fluvanna Middle School, in the nurse’s office. I am looking for someone to take on a fundraiser and individuals that may be willing to take him to treatment, help with meals, and even just visit him. Please search your heart and resources to reach out to this kind young man. I have come to know him well and I know he worries about the burden he may be in such a situation. It breaks my heart to witness his kindness up against his misfortune right now, but I also realize that somewhere there is a reason for these things. Any donations may be mailed to the address below or questions may be sent by email.

Sonya Patterson
6310 James Madison Hwy., Fork Union, Va 23055

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