UPDATE: CASEY IS HOME and is doing well, considering.
Still not out of the woods, more details from James and Katy pending …
His GoFundMe page has a bunch more photos!
Hey everyone my name is James Snell with the La Grande Airtanker Base. Unfortunately, as many of us already know, Casey’s brain cancer has returned and as I’m typing this message Casey is undergoing open brain surgery. Casey has over 20 years working in wildland fire for the US Forest Service, with the last 5 years working at the La Grande Airtanker Base. He began his service as a wildland firefighter in his hometown of Detroit Lake, Oregon and went on to serve at various locations in eastern Oregon, including 8 years with La Grande Hotshots. Katy Budlong, his wife, has said expenses for medical bills not covered by insurance will be at least $30,000.
For this reason, we here at the La Grande Airtanker Base have decided to start up a GoFundMe to assist the Budlongs with their out-of-pocket costs.
The length of Casey’s post-surgery recovery is unknown at this point. Your donations will help cover medical expenses, hotel stays, and gas money for travel between La Grande and Portland, among other expenses that will arise during his rehabilitation. Please consider donating, a gift of any amount would mean the world for the Budlongs.
MESSAGE FROM KATY:
Casey Budlong was diagnosed with brain cancer in August 2018 and underwent two brain surgeries, six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, and then another five months of intensive chemotherapy. Casey recovered remarkably well and faced the challenge with positivity and humor. Unfortunately, in April 2023, he developed a bad headache and lost peripheral vision in his left eye. A trip to the ER and a CAT scan revealed a new tumor located right-rear; the first tumor was right-front. The ER doctors immediately referred Casey back to Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland, and he has gotten further tests and is working on getting surgery scheduled. So, surrounded by an amazing support system of family and friends and an exceptional medical team, Casey will once again face this challenge.
UPDATE FROM KATY:
Casey is doing great! They removed the drain tube this afternoon and are keeping his pain level down. After the last surgeries, he developed a blood clot in his leg, so they did a scan today and unfortunately found a clot in the same spot, so they will be placing an IVC filter tomorrow morning for that. He is still in ICU, but with orders to be transferred to general as soon as they have a room ready, but it might not be till tomorrow. He has definitely become the favorite patient and has kept the staff laughing, and they all love him! His nurse last night was briefing some of the medical team outside his room, describing his history and how well he is doing, and told them, “You have Captain America in there!” He is a superhero, although Chris said he is more like the Hulk. He is also eating in true Casey fashion and loving the hospital food. He may go home tomorrow, but that will depend on how he does. As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers! ❤️