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Sunday May 4, 2014     Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC
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Trish Manghelli

40 percent of goal achieved.

Goal: $100.00
Achieved: $40.00

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I am truly one of the lucky ones.   My doctors were trying to figure out why they couldn't complete a routine colonoscopy.  Imagine my surprise when the Dr. called saying “Trish, you have a brain tumor.”   I quickly learned that when you tell people you have a "tumor" they automatically think the worst.  

I think like most people, I was initially in a state of denial – afterall I didn’t really have any symptoms.  How could I have a brain tumor?  The test had to be wrong.  With that in mind, I sought a second opinion.  I was very lucky to get an appointment with Dr. Levinstone ( Chantilly, VA) who independently confirmed the results of the Petscan.  He said the good news was that is was likely not cancerous but the bad news was that it was located in an area that was tough to get to.  There wasn’t many doctors in the county that could successfully get it out. In fact, he told me I probably only had three real good options for doctors.  

Dr. Levinstone  helped me get an appointment with Dr. Walter Jean at Georgetown Medical in Washington DC.  I’ll never forget meeting with Dr. Jean.  He looked at me, a seemingly healthy person without any symptoms and said “ it must really seem strange that I’m telling you that I need to cut into your brain.”  No truer words were ever spoken!  He told me that I could wait to schedule the surgery but that I shouldn’t wait long because the longer I waited the greater likelihood I had of developing symptoms.  I scheduled my surgery that day – his first appointment was three weeks away. At times three weeks seemed like an eternity but as the date got closer I realized that I still had much to do.  Being an independent person by nature I realized that I couldn’t do this all on my own.  I would need help and I was blessed to have close friends willing and able to help me in ways I never expected to need help.   

My recovery was not without a few challenges.  But with the help of some wonderful doctors, friends and family I have made a successful recovery.  To celebrate my recovery I got a tattoo – who would have thought?   The tattoo artist (#jchmtp) came up with a design that far exceeded my expectations.    As I reflect back over the events of the last year, the one thing I’ve learned is NEVER to take your health (or your friends) for granted.  Embrace life to the fullest because you never know what lies ahead.  I was lucky – others haven’t been so for them, on this nearly one year anniversary, I walk for those who can’t. 

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