Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Journey Begins

Dear Friends & Family...welcome and thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I am Andrew's sister Elizabeth (the oldest of the girls) and will be posting most of the updates. My husband Tyler and other sisters will post updates as well. We hope it will serve as a place where you can come and receive the latest news and updates on our beloved Andrew. Let me begin by telling you a bit of what has taken place over the last 10 days or so...

Andrew was in Seattle visiting friends and family for Christmas. On the evening of Saturday December 27 Andrew started experiencing some pain and discomfort in his abdomen. He had a big day of eating - so thought nothing of it until he was unable to get to sleep that night, as the pain worsened and worsened. My mother finally encouraged him to go to the ER around 2:30am. He was in the hospital for several hours where they took an x-ray of his abdomen and found a few tumors. He was told they look cancerous and needed to see an oncologist right away. The next day him and my mother met with the oncologist, underwent several more tests and discovered tumors in his liver and abdomen area. The next several days consisted of tests and another meeting with the oncologist. The lab's initial tests were only able to confirm that, yes, the cells were cancerous, but we were told they needed more time to do more testing.

Just this past Monday, 1/5/09, Andrew and my mother were back in the oncologists office to receive the diagnosis. They learned that Andrew has an extremely rare form of cancer: desmoplastic small round cell cancer. Click here for a definition. This type of cancer is so rare, it is hard to find much information or research on it. The doctor explained there is no "cure" for this type of cancer, meaning it can not be put into remission. The doctor said his option is to undergo chemotherapy for 1 year - 1 week of chemo in the hospital and 3 weeks recovering at home. It is an aggressive type of cancer, according to the doctor, therefore making the chemo aggressive as well. The hope is the years worth of chemo will shrink the tumors enough to where they can strategically operate and remove all of them.

Andrew had a PET and CT scan this morning and has one more test tomorrow morning. From here, we don't know what the plan is. Only two places in the country deal with this specific cancer: MD Anderson hospital in Houston, TX and a hospital in New York. Andrew would like to fly to Houston in the next few days to meet and talk with the team of doctors there.

Since he lives in St. Louis, MO, Andrew needs to still decide where he will receive his treatment - Seattle, St. Louis or Houston.

That is all the news I have for now. We believe in a God who is bigger than us and One who can perform miracles. We as a family and friends are devastated and muddling through a tremendous amount of grief right now. We do cling to the hope we have in God and are praying and begging God for complete healing. WE ASK THAT YOU DO THE SAME!!!

And please pass this website along to anyone and everyone who knows and loves Andrew.

58 comments:

Rebecca said...

Chad and I are praying and trusting that the Lord will use this in many ways and many lives. We are praying that your family will cling to Him and one another and that Andrew bring God glory as he trusts in Him, and may he be healed as well.
Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Drew you know this is your big homie D.Elliott i already told you im with you all the way we gonna beat this and laugh about it later over a poker game. FQ Ryder for life we never give up no matter what they throw at us. Call me whenever

Koop said...

Drew, man hearing this hit hard and you know we are here for you with whatever you need. Say the word and we'll all be there in a blink. Koop

Themba said...

Drew,

I just found out last night and am in complete shock and denial. Give me a shout and let me know what me or the family can do for you or with you. You've got nothing but love from us, and I can't wait until we get back to doing our old b-ball workouts together. Y'know what I'm sayin?

Sarah said...

Drew, Its the Darkester :) Just want to let you know you will be in my Daily prayers and I know that you will make it through this. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help in any way. Take Care. Sarah.

Heather Earnhardt said...

Andrew-like I said earlier..you have so many cheerleaders here in STL! We are all here for you...cheering you on every step of the way! Andrew you will beat this nasty monster! I have so much faith in you! So its time to get up and smash around like crazy! You need to SMASH like you've never smashed before! Haa!!! If there is anything I can do...you know where to find me. Thank you Elizabeth for keeping all of us posted. We care a lot about your brother! Heather Earnhardt

Matt Tilton said...

SMASH like you have never smashed before. Were all thinking of you bro! You da man!

Chad Kilburn said...

BIG!! Cincy here. I've never met someone who could light up a room like you. Its been a long time I hope I can see you soon. I know you have the strength to over come this hurdle. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you or your family.

Much Love.

Chad K.

Alan and Laurie said...

Hi Andrew and the family,

We want you to know that we are praying for complete healing.

Laurie and Alan

Terri said...

Drew-I've been thinking about you all day today and I have you on all the prayer chains I can think of. All my friends, my sister and her bible study group, my mom, etc, are all believing and praying that you are going to kick this thing. What do you need? What can we do? Please let us know as we will do whatever we can and whatever you ask. I'm sending you strength, courage and much love. XOXO, Terri Gatts Dayton (Themba's better half)

Anonymous said...

Hye Drew Mo' We haven't spoke in a sec but I want you to know that you always have, and always will be in my thoughts.

Your in my heart & prayers for your FULL recovery, so Stay Strong Bro and if thier's absolutly ANYTHING I can do for you please don't hesisitate to ask.

(206) 349-7911
gabreal@tmail.com

GAB-REAL

Anonymous said...

Hey Drew it's Allison Edwards from High School. Sio just informed me today and as soon as i got home i jumped on line to check out the blog....I'M SO PRAYING FOR YOU & YOUR FAMILY!!! Keep your chin!!! Much luv, Allison

Anonymous said...

Dear Cousin,
We are all in shock at this news, but you are such a strong, young guy and you have your family and friends who love you, so you can pull it out. You are in our thoughts and our prayers. Thanks for posting news, Elizabeth, a very thoughtful and helpful thing to do for all of us.
Love, Linda (Novinger) Schrab, John & Adam

Laurie Morgan said...

Andrew-I don't know anyone who has more fight in them than you do, so I know I'll be reading your success story on the DSRCT website one day. Your St. Louis friends are here for you now more than ever. Laurie

Tom Valuck said...

Andrew, I have admired your depth of character and ability to achieve. Those traits are going to sustain you and carry you through this illness. I hope you feel the love from family and friends across the country. You have given much--now it's time to draw on that support and on your faith. Know that the Valucks are behind you every step of the way! I'll be praying for your physical healing, emotional strength, and spiritual peace. Your cousin, Tom

Rachael said...

Hi Drew, It's Rachael (Jon Viars wife) I haven't seen you since this past summer so HELLO! I just wanted to say that the whole Viars family is praying for you and the whole Moritz family. You're going to be just fine Drew and can't wait to see you soon! Keep that wonderful smile on your face and never stop fighting!
- Rachael

Myles said...

Hey Brother. I am here for you and your family while you are beating this. I will be by your side whether it is in Seattle, Houston, New York or Timbuktu.

Jonathan Diehl said...

Andrew,

You're a fighter, strong-willed, won't take no for an answer kind of a guy, and I KNOW you will beat this thing.

I fully expect to see you on the tennis courts @ MAC in the near future, so we can play that match we were trying to schedule before the holidays started. I'm not going to let you off the hook on that one. Ha!

Let me know if there's anything at all that I can do for you...

Siobhan said...

Hey Drew, Siobhan here. You have been a dear friend of mine for over 15 years and I can't say I know anyone else who won't take "no cure" for an answer. We are all pulling for you and will do whatever it takes to help you get through this...You are so loved by so many people. Please know you are in my every thought and prayer and I am here for you..day or night..whatever you need. If there's anyone who can overcome this, it would be you..Your a fighter all the way...Can't wait until this is a memory and we can all look back and say...Not our Drew Down...Love you!!! thanks Elizabeth for the blog..Siobhan

Chris Kipper said...

Hey boss,

It's still really hard for me to get my head around your situation. I took for granted that we worked 5 feet from each other and we got to hang out every day. You've become a close friend and mentor to me over the last year and I can't express enough gratitude.

My whole family is praying for you every day. Ellie wants to hang out with Uncle Andrew again. Please let me know if there is anything we can do for you or anyone in your family.

I am really looking forward to watching you become the Lance Armstrong of DSCRT. Plus, the Cardinals have a number of day games this year and the Fox and the Hound has a table reserved for us.

I can't wait to see you again, big shooter. I'll talk to you soon.

Chris Kipper

Alex@SeattleSportsnet said...

Andrew and family, I wish you the very best as you battle this horrible disease that has affected so many of us. As a Husky fan who remembers your time at UW, I'm writing an article on your story which will be published at http://www.seattlesportsnet.com tomorrow at 10:00 AM. I hope that's okay with all of you, I want to help spread the word and get the message out to those fans who want to hear about it. Best of luck in this fight, we're all pulling for you and we know that if anyone can beat this, you can.

--Alex Akita, Seattle Sportsnet

Mia said...

Drew Mo!

I'll say it again -- you are in my thoughts & prayers but I am confident that with the support of your amazing friends & family and with your strong will and determination you're going to pull through this ordeal with one hell of a story to tell :-)
Take a look at the links I sent you & let me know if there is anything else I can do.

Mia

Anonymous said...

Remember us? Ken and Nadine Peirce have been praying for your family and for God to heal you and leave an everlasting impact on you, your family and your doctors. There are so many scriptures of hope...keep a grip on Him!

BJ Ong said...

Drew- It was good hearing from you the other day. By looking at everyone's comments just know that you're not in this alone and you have a great support system around you. You will constantly be in my thoughts and prayers. FQ/UW you know how we do- we got your back. Call me any time. I'll get at you too. Keep your head up and keep fighting the good fight. We're gonna get thru this.

BJ

Mike Corning said...

Hey Man,

As I sit at my desk in Kent at a commercial loan brokerage firm. I realize that I wouldn't be here without you. I was going to get out of banking when I was running a branch by myself as a banker. You spent time with me on the phone as well as weekly dinners to teach me the "ropes" and to stay focused on goal setting.

I owe my career to you and you mean so much to me. I love you brother. My prayers are with you.

Mike

Anonymous said...

Hey Drew

This is Denise Hopson sending my prays up for you. I just moved back to Seattle from Houston and was an employee at MD Anderson if you need any assistant with in thing there. Please contact me denisehopson@hotmail.com I will do everything in my power to contact anyone in the facility that can assist you.

May prayers are with you.
Denise Hopson

Anonymous said...

Drew,

Bobby Thompson here...it's been a long time my brother but I just want to let you know my family and friends have you in our thoughts and prayers.

From our time hooping together during our AAU days, your work ethic and ability to perservere was something I greatly admired, and without question it will serve you well in this battle. Know that I'm there with any type of support I can provide you and your family. Gimme a shout if you have a chance to chat and catch up, would love to speak with you.

God bless,
Bobby
425.314.7983
bobbythompson@housinghope.org

Khalia said...

As soon as I was informed of this I had to come post my well wishes and prayers. Drew and I go back to FQ days and we were good friends. I am in Austin, TX and PLEASE let me know if there is anything I can do to help out the family. It is only a 4 hour drive which I would not hesitate to make in a heartbeat! My love thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Love and blessings,

Khalia Gibson

Anonymous said...

Drew - My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. It's been a long time since our paths crossed but your influence and example has made a huge difference in my life and in the lives of countless others. Draw on your family, faith, and life experiences which have prepared you to beat this. The Comeback Begins!

Danny Olson

kim rhodes said...

Hi Andrew. You may not remember me but we went to Franklin together. We chopped it up a few times I was in the class of 97. My thoughts and prayers are truly with you and your family. I hope you are doing well and keep the faith in God that everything is going to be alright.

Much love,

Kim

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew! The blog your sister set up for you and your friends is great. I just wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Everything will be ok, just stay positive and do what the doctors tell you. We will miss your energy during the playoffs up at duffy's, but we will toast a vodka to you! Get well soon, Harlan

Anonymous said...

well big dog about to shower and head downtown Vegas and play some poker with the one and only Terik Brown. There's a free-roll at the Wynn at the end of the month worth 100,000 so you have to log in about 40 plus hours. FQ 4 life holla tomorrow. D,Elyat

Mike said...

If there is one person that I KNOW can smash through this, it is you. Please let me know if there is anything that Val's or I can do for you. I will also pass this on to Milbach.

Mike 'money man' Miller

susan said...

Hey! Haven't seen you since college. This blog is great. I know that you are going to fight through this.

I just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers!

-Susan Kwong

Anonymous said...

Hey Andrew
The support you have received this far is no less than expected. You are a rare soul who have touched so many people with your acts of kindness and tremendous spirit- be well and bountiful in this new chapter of your life! You of all people will look back on this climb and realize you can overcome anything!
With all my love friendship and support
Alisa aka "AM"

MarkOsborn said...

Andrew--the blog is cool, you have a special bunch of sisters. Learned about this last night from Kirk, was thinking about you this morining. Watching the games this afternoon wit the Duff's crowd, wish you we're here with us. Saty stron A-man, --Mark

Elyat said...

yo yo yo. Football time bro bout to hit that bar and watch my Ravens got to work. Who you got today? hope all is well. I got smacked up last night in poker not a good run. I woke up and i was like why does the garbadge truck alway's hit you so early and on the weekend when cat's are trying to get there rest. Have a good day Mr. everyday will hit you later and keep you posted.FQ

Pastor John & Esther said...

Want you to know your prayer needs are in the hands of many of our friends across the world. We are all pulling for you. We remember you from the years at Emmanuel Bible and seeing you as an adult (after all these years) over Christmas was a blessing. There have been so many wonderful things said in this blog; we add our "Amen!" When our son came down with a near fatal heart problem as a young adult, we realized afresh how fragile life is. We realized how important it is to make every minute count. Drew, make every minute count: God will bless you in that commitment. Lean on Him -- He's got big shoulders.
You are in our prayers, Pastor John and Esther Matson

Big nifty said...

B I G, whats the deal? As you know im over here in turkey fighting with you. The rest of this season will be dedicated to you. You know how we never let nothing get to us since i was writting raps in class and you thought I was taking notes.hahaha. The 6 am practices when we have been out all night, we can get through anything. Just know you got prayers worldwide and if you go to h town let me know if you need anything. Shoot the 50!!!! i will holla at you.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilnrubzJxC4&feature=PlayList&p=1D72A7C1BE288BB9&playnext=1&index=1

KAD

Anonymous said...

Drew, if anyone can pull out a win at the last second, last week, during the last quarter, it is you. You have all the support to do it, all your winners are behind you :)

Cynthia said...

My heart and prayers go out to you and the family. It's a difficult time at the moment, but God is in total control. The power of prayer is indefinate and miracles are result of prayer. Pray and believe. Never loose your faith, keep holding onto God's never changing hand.

On another note, I'm not sure if you are also considering any form of holistic treatment options but here is a website worth investigating: www.gersontreatment.com

May God continue to bless you with the strength, knowledge, and wisdom to continue pressing forward.

Anonymous said...

This is Jacob, Elizabeth's friend from Roosevelt. Just wanted to let you know you're in my thoughts and prayers and I second all the notes about you being a fighter. It's something I've always admired about you. Love and strength, man.
Jacob

Tracey said...

Drew

As a memeber of the Husky family and more importantly, a member of God's family our prayers are with you.

God bless and keep the faith.

East Coast Dawg

yani said...

Andrew Moritz!

Hey stranger. I've been thinking about you all morning since I heard, and the first thing that I thought was - Drew got this! I know you will kick this so hard and be back to your normal fun-loving, happy and funny self again. You will be in my thoughts and prayers daily. If you need anything, don't hesitate. Take care yourself!!!!

yani

David East said...

I came across a link for this blog on the Seattle Times Husky basketball blog and wanted to drop by and pass on my best wishes to a fellow Husky alum -- stay strong, Andrew!

David

PS: this blog is great, Liz; hope you and Tyler are doing well.

Angie said...

Andrew, when I think about what all is going on, I think about the million dollar challenge. You had the belief that we could do it, and boy, we SMASHED it!! I have that same belief in you and know that your positive energy, and attitude is going to SMASH this!! I know you can do it, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! Angie

Anonymous said...

Hey what up Drew,

Just read a nice article about you in the Seattle Times today. I know you will go after this like the full court press I remember you playing at Franklin and at UW. Before I even met you I respected your game, especially your tenacity and your leadership. My thoughts are with you and your family and I hope to see you sometime soon.
Dan Dicks

Anonymous said...

Andrew~Your always in my thoughts and prayers! Your totally gonna beat this!! Hope to see you soon! Jean Riggins

Anonymous said...

Andrew,
If there is one person in this world that can bet this, its YOU! Stay strong and remember to smile. We are all thinking about you here in STL! You are always in my thoughts and prayers!

Jeni Weirich

Anonymous said...

Andrew, just want to wish you all the best in your struggle against this thing. And if anybody can pull through it, it would be you -- optimistic, strong-willed, positive attitude, persistent -- you got what it takes, man. Look forward to seeing you back in St. Louis, rarin' to go!
Jim Thole

Vern Hutson said...

D-rew's
S-ecret
C-ancer
R-ecovery
T-reatment

G-O-D

Dina Marino@@) said...

Andrew,

You are the most "Powerful","Positive", and "Focused" person I know! You have the greatest "Goal" to meet and I have "Faith" in you and in God to see you successfully through this journey. Bring out that "winner mentality" that is "who" you are !! But remember you have a HUGE team you put together in St. Louis and we are ready to fight along with you! My prayers have been daily along with a candle I will keep lit for you at my church. I am really here if you need me....Dina Marino

Erika Walshauser said...

Andrew More Ritz please,

You are an amazing guy and if anyone can beat this it is YOOOOOOOOOU... Soldier Boy!!! You are in our thoughts and prayers always. You are one of the funniest people we know, and when we saw you Sunday you made us laugh... HARD!! Keep the smiles and positive mentality coming! :) You are a WINNER Andrew! Keep it in the "Red Zone"!!!

P.S. Jayden slept with his teddy bear last night! hahaha.

Blessings,
Erika, Nathan & Jayden

Terri Gatts Dayton said...

Drew-just caught up on your next steps and wondering what I can do to help. I finally received the Complete Cancer Cleanse in the mail today, so I'm reading up and will be doing this with you. My prayers will continue. I'm sending you strength and courage. Just remember to take it one day at a time. Much love, Terri

Anonymous said...

Andrew...had lunch with Sue Reifess last week and she filled me in on the "fight" that you are in. You are in my thoughts and prayers, my friend. You are strong, motivational to others and an inspiration to my own career. You have had more influence on others that you will probably ever know. Stay strong and I look forward to crossing paths again with you soon.

Mark Hollander
MHolndr9@aol.com
I would be honored to help sell the bracelets in STL for you!

Holly Wade Matter said...

Hi, Andrew,

My husband and I met your dad last night at a neighborhood association meeting, and he shared your story with us.

I wanted to let you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers, and in those of my extended family, as well.

My sister-in-law and my two younger sisters were diagnosed in the past ten years (brain tumor, breast cancer, and colon cancer). With each of them, we experienced miracles large and small, and the love and support of compassionate communities.

It sounds like you are surrounded by love, with a network that reaches far and wide. Bless you and your family.

Bobby Grow said...

I'm praying for Andrew! I am a DSRCT survivor. I was diagnosed the day before thanksgiving 2009. I am now cancer free (I was treated at OHSU, in Oregon, Sarcoma center), praise the Lord! God is able, nothing is too difficult for Him Jer. 32.17! Let Andrew know I'm praying for him!! My tumor was self-contained and operable (they used the ewings sarcoma protocol which worked really well for my tumor shrunk it from the size of softball to golfball at time of surgery). I'll be praying.