Shawn and Josh Garcia with their boys Nic and Adrean (pictured left), fundraiser organisers Michael and Robert Sarrasin (pictured right).
On 10 August, Michael and Robert Sarrasin, 43 and 40, launched a fundraiser in aid of their beloved best friends, Shawn and Josh Garcia, 48 and 42, who married eight years ago.
The same month, Josh had revealed to his friends he’d been diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer, which had also spread to his lungs and liver.
“We’re now dealing with an outcome that isn’t promising,” Josh tells PinkNews.
“We are pushing very hard to make sure any and all treatments are done, though the prognosis is more palliative and quality of life.”
The group have been “best friends for over 20 years and have been through a lot together”, says Michael, who’s organised the fundraiser.
“When Shawn and Josh got married in 2014 it was no surprise cause they always had a bond between the two of them.”
‘Everyday lives must continue’
After the Garcias married they took in their nephew’s two children – Nic and Adrean – to give them the “wonderful life that kids deserve”.
“These boys were so neglected when they got them that the oldest couldn’t speak and they were not potty trained,” Michael, who’s from Federal Heights, Colorado, continued.
“They have worked really hard with therapists and counsellors to get the boys caught up to their age.”
Josh said his family are currently in the middle of court proceedings to gain legal allocation of the parental rights of the two boys, aged three and four, so “needless to say, our everyday lives must continue”, he added.
The fundraiser is seeking $10,000 for the Garcia family to help raise the children and more than $2,300 has been raised towards the target so far.
Doctors have informed the Garcias it will be hard to remove all of Josh’s cancer, and depending on how well he reacts to chemotherapy the doctors have given him 24-36 months to live.
Starting chemotherapy left him unable to run his landscaping business.
Michael said alongside running his company, Josh and Shawn have been running a toy drive every Christmas for the last seven years.
He said: “These two men have gone above and beyond to make not only the two boys that they are raising a wonderful life, but other kids as well.
“They have done nothing but selfless acts over and over again.”
Josh said he was primary labourer
His company, which was the major financial income for his family, and his terminal diagnosis has meant their “whole lives are at a pause”.
“This fundraiser will help take some of the stress off our family to help ensure bills can be paid and we have funds to continue our battle of the cancer, and to give the best life possible to the boys,” he said.
“Words cannot express the gratitude and help we’re getting from every day tasks, meal delivery, and folks helping work on the projects I still have to finish this year.”
Josh said his family are doing all they can to save all money raised so they have a “cushion” as they will be “shifting to a single income household and the cost for everything is so high right now”.