FAITH > fear
The Race for Hope - DC presented by Cushman & Wakefield raises funds to support innovative research initiatives and provide information for brain tumor patients and their families.
Mike is a great friend but most importantly a father, a husband, and a fighter. Mike unfortunately did not follow the classic symptoms of his diagnosis. He experienced extreme fatigue, and then eventually slurred speech with facial drooping. He went to the ED the following morning, October 7, 2015, immediately got a CT scan. After the doctors reviewed the scans, a plum sized tumor was found. They proceeded directly to surgery and were able to remove the whole tumor. Pathology came back on the tumor and Mike finally received a diagnosis of having glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). And in that moment, Mike’s whole life was changed with a few simple words. GBM is a very aggressive, deadly cancer that is not cured but treated to slow the progression. His first treatment regimen was 6 weeks of chemo and radiation, followed by a one month break. An MRI was done and showed no signs of regrowth. He then began a 6 month cycle of chemo. All seemed to be going well until April 2016 when Mike had his first grand mal seizure. A MRI was immediately done which showed a mass in the same location as the original tumor. Mike and his wife Lisa then went to Johns Hopkins and Duke University to see what treatment options Mike may have. They decided upon Johns Hopkins and the tissue was removed, sent for pathology, and showed not active cells. Chemo was continued until October 2016, almost one year since diagnosis, when Mike had his second grand mal seizure. A new mass was discovered on the MRI, surgery was performed, and active cells were found. Following this surgery Mike has had some pretty rough times, in out of the hospital for blood clots and seizures. Also in and out of therapy to help him increase his strength. Every day Mike faces challenges such as constant headaches and dizziness. Mike is so fortunate to have his wife Lisa who has supported him through his journey so far. Lisa and Mike are so thankful for the support from their family, friends, and their church family. When Mike was first diagnosed he kept saying “I want a quote to wrap my head around all of this and something to live by.” I(Kim) went shopping right after he told me this with no intention of finding something. The first store I walked into I immediately saw a sign that said Let your faith be bigger than you fear. As a family, this is now our motto and what we live by everyday.
Update to Mike's story:
On the day of the walk, May 6th 2018, marks one year and one day since heaven gained an angel. It's hard to believe this amount of time has passed. We, the Brenneman's, constantly share memories we had with Mike to reminisce on all of the good times we were fortunate enough to have with him. There are countless times where it would be so great to talk with him, hear his voice, and just see him again. However the most amazing feeling is when you sense his comforting prescence and just know everything will be okay with him as your guradian angel. This year we walk in memory of Michaei A. Brenneman.
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