Friends rallying to help Brad Noyes
As he’s seated in a chair at the Sioux Falls Cancer Center while being administered one of his chemotherapy rounds, Brad Noyes’ large natural smile emerges as his picture is being taken to accompany an update on his wife Anna’s Facebook page.
“I just smiled for the picture. I wasn’t smiling the whole time,” said Noyes, managing to laugh during a down time in his life. Noyes, 43, was diagnosed recently with Stage 3 locally advanced pancreatic cancer.
“Sure, I’m afraid,” said Noyes, who farms four miles northeast of Porter. “But it is what it is. It’s a bump in the road. I/we have accepted it and are going to do everything we can to fight and beat it. Life with cancer has quickly become our new normal.”
A benefit has been set up by friends and family to defray travel and medical costs for the Noyes.
The benefit will be held Saturday, July 8 at the Porter Community Hall. A silent auction will be held from 4-9 p.m., while a meal will be served from 5-8 p.m. Bouncy houses will also be available for the kids. “We would like to thank everyone for the love, support, thoughts, hugs, prayers and any other way you have helped our family,” said Anna Noyes. “We greatly appreciate it and it means more to us then you will ever know.”
Over 50,000 adults are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the United States. While the prognosis can be dim, it’s not out of the ordinary to beat the odds either. “Initially, I was given six months to a year to live,” said Brad, the son of John and Julie Noyes.
“But that was before we visited with a surgeon at the Mayo Clinic, who told it like it is.” "If the chemo works and the tumor marker reaches the number they need it to be, then I am a candidate for surgery (to remove the tumor).”
Noyes was driving a load of beans to Mankato in February when he developed a pain in his back. The pain eventually included his stomach area. “It got to be so intense that I went to a chiropractor,” he said.
“But the pain didn’t go away and the chiropractor suggested I see a doctor.” Noyes was initially treated for a peptic ulcer. He still wasn’t feeling well and had lost nearly 20 pounds before a follow-up visit a month later. A CT scan then revealed a large mass on his pancreas. He began the chemotherapy regimen of Folfirinox on May 25 at the Sioux Falls Cancer Center.
His infusion lasts four and a half hours and then he is sent home with a pump that continues the infusion for 48 additional hours. After 11 days off, the next round begins. “After four rounds, they will take another CT scan to see where I’m at,” Noyes explained. “I just finished my third round at home (June 24).”
The Noyes have kept in contact with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and also plan to have a surgical consultation with a surgeon at John Hopkins Hospital, which has a world-renowned pancreatic cancer clinic, in Baltimore “(Brad) is still strong, positive and optimistic as you all would expect,” said Anna.
“He has an amazing smile, a contagious laugh, and his voice always carries. He has a positive upbeat attitude. We are cherishing every moment and enjoying the little things.”
The Noyes have four children; Tylar, 18; Haley, 10; Hayden, 6; and Hadley, 3. After being diagnosed with cancer, Brad wanted to have family pictures done. So they contacted Jessica Sheik of Jessica Rae Photography, who graciously took the photos free of charge.
Neighbors, family and friends have been voluntarily assisting the Noyes family on the farm. “It’s hard to ask for help,” said Noyes. “They have just been coming over and doing things for us without us asking. We certainly appreciate all they do.”
Noyes is hoping to put a positive spin on his current situation in order to help others.
“We didn’t want this article because we want more people to come to the benefit,” said Noyes. “We would like to raise more awareness and tell people to get checked.”
“When most people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it is too late. The symptoms don’t present themselves until it is too late. That is why the survival rate is so low. We didn’t want a benefit. There are an army of friends and family that are going above and beyond to put it on. Their hearts are in the right place and they mean well.”
And while their hearts are in the right place, Noyes’ positive attitude is in the right place.
Donations to the Brad Noyes Fund can be dropped off at Heroes Sports Bar & Grill in Canby, Countryside Auto in Minneota, or to the State Bank of Porter.