Glenn Lightner’s battle with brain cancer is going international, as he and his parents–Sylvia and Larry–will head to Belgium on March 24 for six weeks to be treated with forms of alternative medicine.
The 13-year-old, who has endured four surgeries on his brain to remove tumors in the past five years, will undergo an MRI on Thursday, March 22 for the purposes of a status update.
“If he’s clear,” Larry Lightner said, “we’ll do a full six weeks in Belgium of treatment. If, God forbid, anything new shows up, we’ll do three weeks of treatment and have another MRI to see if the treatment is working.”
The Lightner’s will stay in a hotel for the first week, Larry Lightner said, but will seek temporary housing beyond that, to help curb costs.
Once Glenn completes the six weeks of treatment in Belgium, the plan is for the family to head to Germany for an additional two weeks of alternative treatment before returning back to the states.
Support a ‘God send’
The Lightner’s friends and neighbors recently began a Give Forward page accepting monetary donations to help the family with the costs of pursuing alternative medicine not covered by insurance.
As of Wednesday, March 20, the donations had exceeded $26,600.
“The community is just amazing,” Larry Lightner said. “We were worried about how we were going to pay for all this, and it’s been a God send.”
Community organizations and business professionals have also reached out and expressed their willingness to host fundraisers.
Long Valley’s Val’s Pals, owned and operated by Valerie Lieberman, will give a $100 Pet Sitting Gift Certificate through a raffle to be drawn on April 10. For every $10 given to Glenn Lightner’s Give Forward page, the donator will be entered once into the raffle ($100 donation will receive 10 entries). For more information on the raffle, Lieberman can be reached at email@example.com.
John Gumersell, who knows firsthand how impactful the Long Valley community can be, after his son Jack required emergency brains surgery after falling from a second floor window, said he would like nothing more than to give something back to the community that helped his family through such a difficult time.
Gumersell, a branch manager with Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services in Garwood, said any homeowner that decides to refinance his or her mortgage through his company and mentions the Lightners, will give a $250 discount and donate the same amount to the Lightner family.
Gumersell can be reached at 908-624-0777.
One of Long Valley’s most famous eateries, Bob’s Long Valley Pizza, Deli & Bagel, will hold a benefit in the coming months as well, according to co-owner Heidi Prudente.
The restaurant will offer free pizza slices for a set time and ask that customers make donations in lieu of the cost of the food.
The Washington Township Police Benevolence Association will also be holding a 5K / Family Fun Run in Long Valley to benefit the Lightner family. The PBA will be seeking sponsors from local businesses, so anyone wanting to get involved should contact Officer Adam Feichter at 908-876-3232 ext. 1426. More information will be available in the coming weeks for this event.