I never really thought about how massively affected a person’s life is during and after lifesaving medical treatments until my Dad was on the receiving end and racked up close to a million dollars in medical bills not covered by health insurance. The cost of fighting for life is simply insane.

Meet Keith Russin, a Conklin native and graduate of Susquehanna Valley High School. Keith knows what it’s like to feel swallowed whole by medical expenses because he’s amassed over $30,000 in bills while fighting endocrine cancer.

Keith was first diagnosed with cancer in 2009, and had surgery to remove the tumors and was treated with radiation and chemotherapy. The treatments worked, but in April of 2013, the cancer returned and in May, Keith had a craniotomy to remove the tumors. In July, more tumors were found and Keith began radiation in September. After finishing radiation, Keith went for a PET scan where additional new tumors were found in his forehead. At the end of October, Keith started the first of six chemotherapy treatments.

Until recently, Keith has kept his battle fairly private. However, he’s now ready to share his long road to recovery and to ask for help. The out of pocket expenses of deductibles, doctor co-pays, medicine co-pays, gas, parking fees and treatment supplies not covered, have really added up. Despite living frugally and moving to a less expensive smaller home, it is impossible to keep up the all the day to day medical expenses. This past year things have gone beyond their control and Keith now owes over $30,000 in medical related bills.

To show support for Keith, a pasta dinner and raffle will be held at the American Legion Post 1645 at 177 Robinson Street in Binghamton on Saturday March 29th from 5pm-9pm. A donation of $10 per adult and $5 per child (ages 3-12) is suggested. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Keith to help with mounting medical bills.

For more on the pasta dinner benefit for Keith, please call 607-238-3380. You can also learn more about Keith’s journey and pre-order tickets to the pasta dinner here.