|Keith Graham never expected to be alive to see Austin's summer turn to fall. He came to Doug's House in June 2015 weighing 97 pounds. After undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments, doctors told Keith that his stage two pancreatic cancer was advancing.
"I thought I was going to die. When I got out of the hospital, I was knocking on death's door. From the minute I got to Doug's House, I was met with a lot of compassion and caring people. I didn't know people like that existed," said Keith.
|Kim and Keith
Keith has been HIV+ the past 30 years. His health was in serious decline. Keith and his sister Kim attended a doctor's appointment last month where they expected to hear that the aggressive cancer has taken over his body. Instead, doctors revealed that Keith's cancer was in remission.
"Our mouths' dropped to the ground. We were like 'What are you talking about? He's supposed to die,'" said Kim.
It's extremely rare for pancreatic cancer to go into remission. Keith calls it a miracle. However, Kim thinks the staff at Doug's House played a large part.
"When he got out of the hospital, he was so sick. Being at Doug's House, you could feel the compassion. The staff was caring. He just bounced back," said Kim.
More and more of our clients are like Keith, individuals who are HIV+ and suffering from complicated health factors. Keith is one of our success stories. With his cancer in remission and health stabilized, Keith moved out of Doug's House in August to a home in Jonestown. Keith doesn't know how much longer he has to live, but he does want to do two things.
"We are here for a short time. I want to try to be a better person, and I want to enjoy life like I never have before," said Keith.