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From Silence to Strength

Updated: 2 days ago

How you helped a courageous veteran find his voice and take back his life. 

Milton, an Army veteran from a quiet town in Idaho, never expected to lose his independence so young. Throughout his 13 years of military service, he saw the world through a lens of duty and honor. Yet, life had another grueling challenge in store for him—cancer. Diagnosed with lymph node cancer that affected his throat, mouth, and jaw, Milton felt excruciating pain. Robbed of the simple joys of life, he couldn’t speak, and eventually couldn’t eat. 

“I was waiting for disability, and I couldn't afford a motel room, so I decided I would live out my days as long as I could,” – Milton, Army 

While Milton grappled with his grim prognosis, he discovered the supportive environment of VGH and began feeling optimistic. Milton underwent a remarkable transformation with the skilled care of the Reno VA and UC Davis Medical Center. A complex surgery removed a staggering 50 polyps from his throat, and a new tongue was meticulously crafted from muscle in his wrist. These surgeries gave Milton the gift of speech and returned his ability to savor the pleasures of eating. 

Once Milton recovered from his procedures, he checked into VGH to begin radiation treatment in Reno. Due to the unpredictability of his situation, Milton arrived on short notice with only two pairs of clothes. Thanks to compassionate donors like you, Milton received additional clothing from the Emergency Assistance Fund, which helped him through the remaining six weeks of treatment. 

Milton faced a long road ahead, but your generosity meant he didn’t have to worry about transportation to his appointments or his next nutritious meal. To make it all better, personal care assistant Dyana was there with a helping hand every step of the way. 

Your support ensures that veterans like Milton can continue to heal and rest, refueling the determined spirit that defines our nation’s heroes.  

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