City Councilor Diagnosed with Essential Thrombocythemia

July 29, 2014

Claremore man David McComb is no stranger to fighting. During his time in the service, and even as a current member of the Claremore City Council, McComb has never backed away from a fight.

But now, McComb is in the most important fight of his life — the fight FOR his life.

After years of invasive procedures and expensive medical treatments, McCombs was recently diagnosed with Essential Thrombocythemia, a condition which, before McComb’s diagnoses, had caused him years of extensive health and medical problems.

Now, the veteran and father of two has the opportunity to participate in a medical trial, which could literally mean the difference in his life or his death. The treatment is at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., where McComb would be under the care of Dr. Reuben Mesa, the only ET specialist in the United States.

There’s only one catch: Dr. Mesa and the Mayo Clinic in Arizona does not accept McComb’s health insurance. He is scheduled to see the doctor on Aug. 18, but only if he can raise the necessary funds of $10,000 a month during treatment.

To even be considered for the potentially life-saving treatment, McCombs and his family must first pay for travel expenses to meet with Dr. Mesa in August — the only opening he has all year.

Without the treatment, McComb will be forced to remain on the chemotherapy drugs, which ultimately cause Leukemia. McComb has been battling the uncommon disease for more than five years. It typically affects people over the age of 50 and is caused by the over production of blood platelets in the bone marrow.

Without treatment, McComb is susceptible to blood clots and abdominal bleeding, which can kill him quickly and with little warning. The current drugs only treat the symptoms, not the source of the disease.

Despite his limited treatment options, McComb, 34, remains optimistic and works to take care of himself beyond the medication. He uses exercise and a strict diet to reduce the symptoms.

“If you don’t take care of yourself beyond the medication, it will kill you,” McComb said.

McComb and his wife Julie have been on this journey together, already having spent more than $40,000 out-of-pocket towards health and medical expenses incurred by his care and treatments.

Read more here.

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