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Newly-wed, brain cancer, U.S. Embassy, a donation jar: such sorrow

The big story today in my hometown’s weekly newspaper is this: “Love & Cancer: Boiler Room rallies to help couple – he has cancer; she’s stuck in U.K.”

The story on the website is brief– , so I’m copying the expanded version, from the print edition, below.

Here is the gist of it:  Nicholas “Hunter” Davis and Jenny Walker, now 26 and 25 years old, were married last year.  She returned to Wales because a U.S. spouse has to apply for a visa from her home country.   Suddenly he has brain cancer, and she is being kept out of the U.S.  Naturally, he has no health insurance, so he may or may not be able to get chemo.   A local fundraiser netted $1,000; there is a donation jar up, too.  Oh, and there’s going to be a garage sale.

There’s a petition to allow Jenny into the U.S. here:

I just can’t find any words, I am so sad and angry.  Angry about the pointless cruelty of preventing these young people from having the comfort of at least being together.  Angry that we in the U.S. continue to accept the evil, for-profit “healthcare” system that results in denial of the most effective treatments  if people can’t pay.   Angry that we allow the continued poisoning of our environment  that results in so many disabling and fatal diseases, including cancer.  Angry that desperate families and their friends are forced  to scrounge for spare change while their hearts are breaking.

Here’s the newspaper story from today’s print edition:

It was during a snowstorm a year ago that Nicholas “Hunter” Davis and Jenny Walker were on their honeymoon in Port Townsend. That’s when they decided the city would be a good place to call home.

The Boiler Room coffeehouse felt right to Davis, 26. Port Townsend reminded Walker, 25, of her homeland in North Wales. Both volunteered to help at the Boiler Room.

Today, all the two want is to be together. Davis had gone to Portland, Ore., to work as a barista. Walker had returned to North Wales, U.K., thinking that’s where she needed to start her process for a permanent visa to stay in the U.S. with her husband.

But their plans took a tragic turn on Aug. 31, when Davis had a seizure at work. He was later told in a Portland hospital that he is suffering from glioblastoma, a brain cancer. He is now awaiting treatment through chemotherapy or radiation. He was given a life expectancy of 18 months.

Even in that dire situation, the newlyweds can’t get back together. After the couple were married, Walker overstayed her visa, spending part of that time under the belief that being married to a U.S. citizen was sufficient. Now, she’s being denied another visa to return to the U.S. to be with her stricken husband.

I was hoping to get her here before I stared chemo, so I’m not a complete wreck. And that’s assuming I start chemo,” said Davis, whose situation is complicated due to lack of health insurance.

Although much of Davis’ life is uncertain now, what is certain is that the community the two planned to call home cares.

“The Boiler Room hosted a fundraiser last weekend and raised more than $1,000. There’s a donation jar on the counter to collect more funds.

“I was astounded by that,” Davis said of the Boiler Room fundraiser. “I caught wind of that when I was in the hospital. I was barely coherent, but I was blown away by it. It’s really hard for me to be the center of attention.”

Davis, whose mother, Becky Gripp, is the circulation manager at the Leader, plans to be in Port Townsend this weekend to visit family and friends at the Boiler Room. The Leader staff also is planning a garage sale fundraiser.

Davis has an appointment on Sept. 27 to find out if he will be approved for treatment in Oregon. In the meantime, he’s focusing on getting his wife by his side. He’s raising awareness about a website that serves as an online petition to help Walker return to the U.S. (Visit

As of Sept. 20, 820 people had signed the petition, which was started by friend Aerika Keith of Portland on Sept. 14. Davis would like to see that petition hit 1,000 people. Every time someone signs that Facebook petition, the U.S. embassy in London receives an email, Davis said.

While they are using the Web to bring attention to their cause, it was online research that also partially led to their predicament.

From what we read, we were under the impression it [getting married last November in the U.S.] made her a citizen-to-be,” Davis said. “But we were asking questions on a message board online, and we were introduced to legislation that indicated she had to go home and apply there.”

That’s when Walker went home Colwyn Bay, North Wales.

The only reason she overstayed it [her original visa] is because we were taking time to do things right, by the book. But now, she’s barred from any visitor waiver. No visitor visas, even if we were to apply for a spouse visa, which takes 10 months.

Time is an issue right now,” Davis said.

The U.S. embassy in London declined the visa on “grounds that she didn’t have enough ties to keep her from going AWOL in the United States and never returning” to Wales, according to Davis. Discussions with the office of an Oregon senator have made little progress to date, according to the family. Davis said he suspects it’s all a matter of time and red tape, but he expects to be with Walker – eventually.

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