Pam and Gary Cawley

Pam and Gary Cawley formerly owned a Batteries Plus in North Peoria at Lake Pleasant Parkway and Happy Valley Road. Gary is battling stage-four cancer.

Gary and Pam Cawley worked hard to make their Batteries Plus store at Lake Pleasant Parkway and Happy Valley Road successful. 

They worked tirelessly and exhausted their financial resources. 

The couple were just about to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their Batteries Plus and were ready to sign on for a second location in Deer Valley when Gary started to feel ill. Doctors shocked him. He was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer that spread to his bones and bladder. 

“We had to make a decision,” Gary said. “We had that Batteries Plus up and going. My wife and I worked seven days a week, 90 hours a week. We ran the whole thing ourselves. I fell ill and then coronavirus hit last year in March. We needed to hang it up and sell the business at a total loss.”

The Cawleys are now slammed with medical bills. Gary isn’t able to work, and Pam can only work part time because she has to take care of him. Their health insurance company just isn’t helping, Gary said. 

Family members started a GoFundMe campaign to alleviate the financial stress. So far, $5,000 of the $20,000 goal have been raised. It can be reached at https://gofund.me/08edd5c4.

When Gary initially felt fatigued, he chalked it up to his work hours. Urinary tract issues arose, and he was concerned. He called his primary care doctor, and there wasn’t an open appointment until March. He thought he needed to see a doctor sooner than that, so he went to urgent care on Feb. 18, 2020. Tests were inconclusive. 

The next day, he went to HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center’s emergency room.

“They did a bunch of testing and my wife was there,” he said. “The doctor at the ER brought us into her office and dropped the bomb. I had cancer and it metastasized. I had tumors on the bladder and on both hip bones. They admitted me that night.”

Now on oral chemotherapy, Gary said his tumor is shrinking. He’s also on Lupron injections, which lower the level of testosterone in his body and, therefore, slow the growth of cancer cells. His prognosis, according to his doctor, is to visit her for bloodwork every month. In other words, it’s month to month.

“It’s holding its own right now with oral chemotherapy,” he said about the tumor. “I’m on an emotional rollercoaster. The medicine does have an intense effect on me. The Lupron shots shrink the tumor, too, but I’ve lost a lot of my muscle mass. I’m going to continue to fight this thing, though.”