Mesa pair

The front lawn and driveway of  the Mesa home of Andrew Kuzyk and Pamela Andersen is loaded with the couple's personal possessions that they are selling off. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)

It was a yard sale for love, not money. 

Andrew Kuzyk, 60, and Pamela Andersen of Mesa have spent the past four weekends selling most of their worldly possessions.

Andersen said it’s “overwhelming” but it’s their last hope to pay for Kuzyk’s brain cancer treatment. 

“I just don’t want to lose my best friend,” Andersen said, holding back tears. “We’re hoping that this works.”

With Kuzyk’s condition, Andersen said she’s had to do most of yard sale set-up and operation and despite help from her neighbors, she said it’s become too much. 

“I can’t do anymore,” Andersen said.

“I’m just exhausted.”

Andersen said she’s only raised about $600 from the yard sale.

The couple said they’ve received offers to buy a large majority of what they don’t sell but even that’s for pennies on the dollar. 

“You’re not going to get much at that point in time but hey, anything’s better than nothing,” Kuzyk said.

The couple started a GoFundMe in October 2021 that’s raised more than $5,800 to date.

Although Medicare covers 20% of the medical expenses, Andersen said they still have to pay approximately $600 per month. 

To date, Andersen said they’ve accrued more than $4,000 in medical debt from the past year alone.

Kuzyk’s condition was first discovered after the car he and Andersen were in was hit by a vehicle in July 2021 in Yavapai County.

Kuzyk experienced head pain and an ambulance transported him to the hospital, where doctors told him to contact his provider back home about a “pretty serious” condition. 

Upon receiving another MRI in Mesa, Kuzky said doctors found a tumor glioblastoma—a rare, aggressive form of brain cancer. 

Last Nov. 1, Kuzyk had surgery on the left side of his brain to remove most of the malignant tumor but still required chemotherapy and radiation.

In his current condition, Kuzyk has memory difficulties like recalling names of certain items, but Andersen said she’s still able to understand him.

“Most of the time, I can figure out what he’s trying to say,” Andersen said. “But once in a while he gets frustrated.”

Three months ago, Andersen said he started a treatment called OPTune, which uses a device that delivers low-intensity electrical fields to stop cancer spread.

Kuzyk wears special pads on his head with 36 probes that emit tumor-treating fields (TTF) directly to the affected area.

Kuzyk endures this treatment round-the-clock, and must use a battery pack when he leaves the house.

That treatment costs approximately $21,000 a month.

“They’ve given him six months to a year if that thing doesn’t work,” Andersen said. 

That was in July.

Several notable figures have succumbed to his type of cancer, including the late Arizona Sen. John McCain and Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy.

While experts give most victims less than two years after diagnosis, some people have survived for more than 10 years.

Currently, Kuzyk said he takes approximately 20 different medications every day.

This isn’t Andrew’s first bout with a major health threat.

He has survived a bone tumor in his knee, kidney cancer that left him with one kidney and renal cell carcinoma.

Kuzyk’s also had double bypass heart surgery that put two stents in and survived stage four melanoma – a form of skin cancer – that left him with two “craters” on his back. 

Through all his medical conditions, Kuzyk said Pamela’s love and his Christian faith keep him alive.

“She keeps me going, and the good Lord keeps me going,” Kuzyk said. “It can’t be an accident that I’m still here, there’s no way it’s just coincidence.”

After a chance meeting on MySpace in 2006, the couple celebrated 15 years of marriage on Sept. 3. 

“It was love at first sight,” Kuzyk said.

After several months of talking online, the couple dated for almost year before they officially tied the knot in 2007. 

Andersen’s father, a pastor, married them in a ceremony at the Grand Canyon.

“We love the outdoors,” Kuzyk said. “Both of us grew up going to the rivers and the lakes.”

After getting married, Kuzyk said he didn’t make his wife change her name – for what he thought was an obvious reason.

“I thought it was funny to be married to Pamela Andersen,” Kuzyk said.

The couple has a son from Andersen’s previous marriage who lives in Georgia. 

And they have rescued five chihuahuas, including a nearly year-old one named Champ that is missing his front paws.

The Michigan natives moved to Arizona in 2007 and bounced back and forth between here and Georgia.

Andersen said the couple survives on disability but even that’s not enough to afford the $1,350 rental home.

Kuzyk said he spent his life working in retail management before his past medical condition became too much and put him on disability. 

Andersen spent 15 years as an insurance agent for State Farm before an accident five years ago forced her on disability as well. 

Now, the couple said they plan to move next month to Georgia and have been looking for a used motorhome while Kuzyk receives his cancer treatment.

While they’ve tried to find a “reasonably priced” motorhome, Kuzyk said they’ve run into some bad characters offering “mechanically unsound” vehicles.

“There’s unfortunately a lot of folks here who will sell you an item that’s not right,” Kuzyk said. “And they know it’s not right, but they’ll try.” 

Through all their struggles, Andersen said the community has helped them with all their prayers and donations thus far.

“Love and support of everybody,” Andersen said. “The community has just been overwhelming.”

While a couple of people offered to buy up everything a few weeks ago, Andersen said if somebody doesn’t buy up everything, they might only have a few more yard sales.

“We got somebody that might come in and take it all, otherwise, I can’t,” Andersen said. “We’ve got so much more to do.”

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