Thank you for keeping up with Tony's status as he was battling cancer.

If you have questions to ask, add a comment to the blog, and I will be notified by email. Be sure to include your email in your comment so I can respond.

If you want to comment, and have trouble, you can always select Anonymous in the "Comment as" field and add your name at the end of your message.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Good News resulting from Tony's treatments

The linked article indicates that one and maybe four people have been cured of advanced brain cancer by the same experimental virus treatment that Tony underwent. Tony was in the trial very early on when the dosage was still low, but the plan was to crank up the dosage a little with each patient until it either worked, or had unbearable side effects. Apparently it is working.

It is bittersweet since it is too late for Tony, but it helps to know that he may have helped find a cure for others. Here is an excerpt of the article.

A Houston husband and wife have come up with a way to kill brain cancer with a single shot of a cold virus, and much of the early research was funded by Houstonians, too.

"First of all I said, 'God is good! Praise the Lord!'" Dixie Fralic said.
Fralic had advanced brain cancer. Now she doesn't.
"Dr. Lang had a smile on his face and he said, 'I'd say you're cured!'" Fralic said.
The treatment is actually a cold virus, which isn't lethal to normal cells, but it is lethal to cancer cells. The souped-up cold virus called Delta 24 was developed by a husband-wife research team at M.D. Anderson.
"I think this is a dream of researchers, that something you do on the bench moves to the patients and it has an effect. It's the best thing you can have," Delta 24 researcher Dr. Candelaria Gomez-Manzano said.
"We never dreamed about that," Delta 24 researcher Dr. Juan Fueyo said.
Dr. Fueyo and Dr. Gomez-Manzano worked on what they call their big idea for 14 years. At first, everybody was skeptical.
"We decided to design a treatment that was completely out of the box," Dr. Fueyo said.
Nobody had tried injecting a live virus directly into the brain. To make it safer, they changed the cold virus so it only kills cancer cells.
"Now we think anytime the tumor starts growing again, her immune system comes in and fights the tumor," neurosurgeon Dr. Frederick Lang said.
And they did this with a single shot of a cold virus. And Fralic isn't the only one.
"The response she had is dramatic and not seen typically. And so what's interesting is we have three other people who have done similarly with this kind of treatment," Dr. Lang said.
"It's just incredibly amazing," Fralic's husband, Rusty Fralic, said.
So as the Houston scientists plan bigger studies with their cancer-killing cold virus, Fralic and her husband are planning their future.
A large international study is expected to begin next year. Seed money came from Houstonians a decade ago through funds raised by the Run For The Rose, which takes place April 14 at Reliant Park.
Find Christi on Facebook at ABC13-Christi Myers or on Twitter at@ChristiMyers13

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Final Posting

Hi everybody. It is kind of hard to end this blog. It has been a part of my daily life for a long time now. It has helped preserve my family's sanity by keeping people updated from one spot, and it has been somewhat therapeutic to put things in writing that I sometimes could not say in person or on the phone.

I do have a request of you. To help make Tony's death have the most meaning possible, take the following steps that we learned from his life.
  • Put God first.
  • Give of yourself and your time to others.
  • Seek out and enjoy good music and good friends.
  • Remember that your simple everyday actions reach much farther than you know.
  • Smile.
Finally, so we can all see Tony again...make sure you are saved. Read the Bible, and study it for yourself. Challenge "what you have always heard" or "what you have been told", and make sure it really is in the Bible.

Thank you for being such good friends to Tony, to Randi, to Sherri, and to me.

God's blessings on all of you,

Neal Collins

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thank you everyone

Thanks to those who attended the memorial/celebration services for Tony, and to those that provided memories to be shared. It is good to know that so many cared about him. Some of the memories were serious, some sweet, some funny, and some raised my curiosity...Mitch, we need some details on this 'racing' story : )

Thanks to the Mount Comfort and Anchorage congregations for supporting the two services. Thanks to Jack and to Mike for conducting the services. Thank you to all our Arkansas and Alaska friends who made this possible.

I expect to make one more final post to wrap this up. I haven't figured out what to say yet, but it just doesn't seem complete yet. Thanks for following it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Information for Memorial

We just wanted to let everyone attending tomorrows memorial in Arkansas know that Mount Comfort Church of Christ is a little hard to find. Once you get off of 540 at the Porter Road exit, you will turn west and follow that road until you see the church building on your left. It is a ways down the road, but keep looking behind the houses on your left and you will see it through the trees.

There is a lot of construction going on on the road currently, but just follow your way through it and you will see the church on your left. For all of you with a GPS or looking on Google Maps, the address is:
3249 West Mount Comfort Road
Fayetteville, AR

Monday, August 9, 2010

Donations in lieu of flowers

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either of the following.

Arctic Wind Flute Choir
7761 Lavs Circle
Anchorage, AK 99518

Mount Comfort Church of Christ
Campus Ministry
3249 W Mount Comfort Rd
Fayetteville, AR 72704

He traveled with the flute choir to both New Zealand and Scotland, and planned to travel on their next trip as well. The Campus Ministry is better known as Razorbacks For Christ (RFC) and he was very involved with them at college.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Memorial Gatherings

Simultaneous memorial gatherings will be held for Tony this Saturday, August the 14th. One will be at the Mount Comfort Church of Christ in Fayetteville, Arkansas at 6:00 PM Central Time, and one will be held at the Anchorage Church of Christ in Anchorage, Alaska at 3:00 PM Alaska Time. Dress is casual. It will be a time to sing songs, and to revisit happy memories of Tony.

We need your help with this. Please email your happy memories of Tony to his Mom. These will be compiled and used in the memorial at both locations. Please send these emails as soon as possible, but not later than Wednesday night so there is time to review and work with them.

People are invited to join either gathering. Tony's physical family will be at the gathering in Arkansas where all his extended family can more easily attend. We debated about having two separate gatherings (one for Alaska and one for Arkansas), but we didn't feel we could go through this twice.

Please email your happy, and even funny, memories to his Mom so they can be shared with all.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thank you...

Thank you for all your comments here and on Facebook. We knew Tony had matured and blossomed at school, but reading everyone's comments tells us how much.

I don't know if this will help you in your grieving process or not, but I want to share something with you.

His Mom and I are doing fine with his death. Watching his abilities run downhill, knowing the almost certain end result of this kind of tumor, staying optimistic to help him stay optimistic, and watching him suffer the last few days was the hardest thing we have ever done.

He made it much easier for us when he let us know, on Tuesday, that he knew he was probably going to die, and that he was okay with it. Then we were free to talk to him about where he was going, to tell him that we were okay with it -- don't worry about us -- we are here to take care of you, etc.

In short, I ask you not to worry about us...we are probably feeling much much better than you are at this point. Think about all the good memories you have of Tony. Look up pictures of him on Facebook...I think you will find some of them even make you laugh.