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Support from popular YouTubers sends cancer-fighting Sudbury man's GoFundMe through the roof

‘The Nelk Boys’ have encouraged GoFundMe donations for Brett Dobratz
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The Canadian Youtubers, the Nelk Boys sent Brett Dobratz their line of merchandise to encourage Dobratz in his fight with cancer. Dobratz has been watching the Nelk Boys for over seven years.

Brett Dobratz, a 23-year-old Sudburian, is a Sudbury-based Twitch streamer and cancer fighter.

It was March 6, 2020, the same weekend the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada, that Dobratz was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. 

The cancer is located in the soft tissue of Dobratz’s back and was 12 centimetres when the doctors found it. It also metastasized (spread) to his lungs. 

Dobratz is currently admitted to Health Sciences North in Sudbury, where he is getting treatment for his cancer. Three months ago, he started a trial drug that ended up damaging his kidneys.

Approximately four weeks ago, he was rushed to the hospital with fluid build-up in his lungs and around his heart. Doctors were able to drain the fluid, but told Dobratz that he came very close to passing away. Dobratz created a GoFundme page after his near-death experience.

“I started this GoFundMe because I was told that they are finally allowing me to leave the hospital,” he said.

“However, I will have to receive home care. Being in Canada, everyone thinks health care is free and that everything is covered, which isn’t true at all … I will need to get blood work every day that costs $30 each. This, along with medical supplies, prescriptions, and mobility products, will all add up.

"So I made this GoFundMe to cover any and everything we need and to be able to live comfortably without any worry. My parents and myself haven’t worked since I was diagnosed due to all of my appointments,” Dobratz wrote in an email to Sudbury.com.

Canadian YouTubers The Nelk Boys shared the Sudburian’s story with their millions of fans, dozens and dozens of whom visited the GoFundMe page to donate, alongside supportive messages to Dobratz. The campaign raised some $20,000 in a single day thanks to YouTubers' support.

“FullSend from Australia. Stay strong brother,” one donor wrote. “Full send” is a phrase that the Nelk Boys popularized with their channel. 

One of the members of The Nelk Boys, Kyle Forgeard, donated $5,000 to the cause. 

Dobratz wrote that ever since he first reached out to the YouTubers last year, Forgeard consistently reached out and organized donations. 

“I have been watching Nelk for seven-plus years, so when I reached out, I didn’t think I was ever going to get a response, and then boom the same night, they got back to me,” Dobratz said.

“Ever since, they have been donating and showing love to me. (It) means so much and they have hearts of gold. No one even understands what these guys do for me behind closed doors. If I didn’t have the Nelk Boys and Kyle by my side during these hard times I seriously don’t know what I would do.

"Any time I need absolutely anything he is right there. All the rest of the Nelk boys all message me and are so great to me as well. I talk to all of them and I’m so thankful for every single one of them.” 

Dobratz is looking forward to spending time at home with his family and to have his first proper meal. Ever since taking his new medication, it was causing him to have severe mouth sores which make it difficult for him to talk, let alone eat. He has been living off of yogurt and drinks for the past three weeks, he told Sudbury.com.

He is still trying to stay positive, even after the failed treatments. 

If you would like to donate to his GoFundme, visit the website page here



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Eden Suh

About the Author: Eden Suh

Eden Suh in the new media reporter for Sudbury.com.
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