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South Jersey teen with cancer needs donations after insurance companies deny procedure


I remember when I was seventeen years old getting ready to graduate high school.  It was filled with memories of being young and carefree and enjoying every moment with my friends. I’m sure most of us enjoyed participating in sports and after school activities, going to football games and dances.  

For Cody Sears, his year of being seventeen has not been what is should have been for a child.  

Cody’s graduation year was crippled by his diagnosis of stage 3 colon cancer. A diagnosis that took him and his entire family by surprise. Cody’s year quickly spiraled through a roller coaster of hell as he endured back-to-back surgeries and six months of chemotherapy.  Cody never lost his spirit, however, and marched on like a soldier going into battle with immense determination.Cody Sears

Cody and his family were then given the news every cancer patient hopes for. His cancer went into remission and even better, stayed in remission. Cody picked up the pieces of the time he missed out and marched on, more grateful for life after his experience.

On December 27, 2013, two years cancer free, Cody was having severe abdominal pain. It was after hours of testing that this brave young man was told his cancer had returned, but this time, it had spread to the peritoneal cavity known as peritoneal carcinomatosis.  

This diagnosis was one of the worse things to happen to Cody and his family. Upon research and testimonials of doctors, this was a death sentence for Cody.

Cody’s only chance to survive this is through a literally life-saving surgery known as Cytoreductive Surgery.  Through this procedure, doctors will remove the tumors with HIPEC, which is where the entire abdomen is bathed in chemotherapy heated to 107 degrees and the organs are soaked in this heated chemo. The surgery takes about twelve hours and Cody will need two months to recover.

This entire thought is absolutely horrifying; however, this is good news because Cody has a CHANCE a very good chance to survive, but ONLY with this surgery. There is no other plan available to save him. No other procedure or treatment. This is his only option to live his barely already lived life.

As if Cody didn’t endure enough heart breaking news, his insurance company has denied the procedure even after multiple appeals. As of today, Cody has to pay for this surgery out of his own pocket and the pocket of his family. The cost of the surgery?  $121,000.00.  This cost does not include the care Cody will need, including chemotherapy and post-surgery necessities.

Cody is declining every day. The amount of pain he suffers daily is unbearable to think of considering he is only twenty years old. Cody’s family, friends and neighbors have refused to give up. Cody has fought on this long, and while he may be very weak now, they have chosen to fight for him.  Many have banded together to raise the money needed for his surgery, which is scheduled for January 30, 2014. Not but a week and a half away.

A Facebook page titled Cody’s Crusaders has been created with fundraising links. In addition, Cody’s eight-year-old niece, Kamy has been tirelessly making loom bracelets she calls Looms of Love for Cody.  She spends all her free time making these bracelets to sell and raise money for her Uncle. Many kids of all ages have recently come to her aide offering to help make the looms as her poor fingers are no doubt hurting from all the bracelets she has made by hand to help her uncle. A Facebook page for Looms of Love for Cody has been created to support Kamy and to place orders for the bracelets.     

On behalf of Cody, I beg the readers to ”share” Cody’s story and if possible, donate anything  towards this brave young man’s life. Cody may be a  legal adult.  However, he has yet to even be given the opportunity to grow let alone experience life.  Many of us take how precious life is for granted. Let’s give Cody his opportunity.  Let’s give him his shot to live!  

No child should be denied their right to live. Cody needs quite a few angels right now.  

Donations can be made out to: South Jersey Cares, 69 South Bell Road, Bellmawr, NJ 08031

Contact Karen Stebbins at karstebbins@gmail.com 

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