In our line of work, we witness heartbreak daily; we see the emotional weight and physical pain placed on our fellow military veterans. Despite the familiarity, It does not make it any easier. Undoubtedly, anyone reading this post would give everything and anything to keep their loved one alive. Money doesn’t seem important when saving a loved one’s life, as no amount can bring back a loved one once they are gone.
We met Jessi and Zachary Hisken this summer after they requested support through the HunterSeven Foundation. We received an email from Zachs mother in a painful plea for help as Zachs astrocytoma had progressed into a glioblastoma—a terminal form of brain cancer.
On September 12, 2022, the Hisken Family said goodbye to their first home, as they needed the money to continue Zachs’ care through proton therapy, craniotomies, chemotherapy, and radiation. Jessi sold everything they had to keep her husband of 13 years alive.
Zach served as a combat medic in the 4th BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, with numerous combat tours overseas. He returned home from war and was diagnosed with brain cancer. He fought the most deadliest form of cancer for seven years before it claimed his life, at 32 years old, on February 4th 2023. We listened to his wife, Jessi, of 13 years, describe the man Zach is as she held his hand while a breathing tube kept him alive. She prayed for a miracle. She brought their two young children, Micah and Elise in to kiss their father.
Zach was 100% service-connected for his brain cancer. But this meant that only $2,000 of the $20,000+ bill for his funeral and cremation would be covered by the VA. Seeing how much they’ve sacrificed, sold, and given up to keep Zach alive, we contacted the Dept. of Veterans Affairs senior leaders and senior leadership in the White House. As this is same cancer that claimed the life of the President’s son, Beau Biden. We received immediate condolences, but weeks later, we are without answers or avenues of support to assist in paying for Zachs’ funeral.
We’ve pinged Senator James Lankford’s office and a few veteran-owned companies to see what options are available. The HunterSeven Foundation has put up $3,000, and individual members of our team have pledged financial support as well. If you feel generous, please consider supporting the Hisken family in covering this 32-year-old combat veteran’s funeral costs please donate here: Zachary Hisken Funeral Costs and add “Hisken Family” in the comments.