BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) – Matt Klutka thinks he’s a lucky man even though he’s been fighting cancer for a year.
“It’s just amazing,” he said. “The support, all the people that have come together to help me. I’m really blessed.”
Klutka, from Patterson Township, got sick in December of 2013. Doctors found a growth on his inferior vena cava, a vein that distributes blood to his lower extremities.
A biopsy determined he had a form of cancer called leimyosarcoma. Chemotherapy was first, followed by several surgeries.
“They removed my inferior vena cava, one of my kidneys, parts of some other organs, my intestines, my pancreas, they had to scrap my aorta,” said Klutka.
But there were complications. He gained 100 pounds, then needed back surgery and suffered a paralyzing infection.
“It ended up being an eight-hour surgery,” he said. “I ended up with nine incisions. They had to remove part of my liver and my gall bladder.”
Klutka continued to fight bravely against the cancer, but the bills piled up.
“Out of pocket, close to $43,000,” he said. “I know my chemotherapy was close to half-a-million.”
Now he qualifies for treatment with an experimental drug starting Monday at the Hillman Cancer Treatment Center in Shadyside.
Thanks to a chance meeting at the Wooden Angel Restaurant in Beaver, Klutka is getting unexpected financial backing.
An anonymous resident donated $50,000 to help pay for the drug, which is only partially covered by insurance.
“It’s overwhelming that out of the goodness of his heart, he would just donate that kind of money,” Klutka said. “I mean, he’s saving my life, or trying his hardest.”
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