In 2011 I was diagnosed with brain cancer, at the time my youngest daughter was 4 and her age shielded her from the reality of the situation. Now she is 11, and being with me on a daily basis she witnesses my good days and my bad. Until I saw this video that she made in 2015 I didn't realize how perceptive she truly is.
Since my diagnosis and surgery in March 2011 my friends and family have walked together at the Race for Hope in Philadelphia every year. This year will be our seventh year and by the Grace of God, I have been able to run this race. As I jog around the Navy Yard I feel incredibly alive! I must be honest when I see the memorials on people’s backs that say “In Memory of...” I have to hold back the tears. I am quickly reminded of the beast growing in my brain. It is easier to convince myself that I am there for someone else’s cause.
In January 2013 it was confirmed that my surgical report was definitely wrong, it said that I had a total resection but I did not. Unfortunately the “area of concern” was a part of the tumor that was missed and it is growing. In February of 2015, it was recommended that I have surgery again. With alternative medicine, I have been able to slow its growth. My most recent MRI in September 2017 once again shows growth. I am told that I need surgery and treatment. I am truly blessed as the long-term survival rate (5 years or more) for brain cancer is below 35%. There are no known cures for brain cancer. Only 4 new treatments for brain tumors developed over the past 20 years.
Times are tough, especially in South Jersey so I completely understand if you can’t spare a donation. If you would like to join us for a beautiful walk in Philly, this year it is Saturday, October 7th at The Navy Yard. Walkers are $25 for adults and free for youth. If you are feeling competitive and decide to do a timed run it is $35. The more the merrier! If you aren’t able to join us but would like to support the PHYTERS there is a link for a donation.
The Race for Hope is truly just that, it gives me the hope that the National Brain Tumor Society will find a solution for the 210,000 Americans that are diagnosed each year. It would be amazing if something was found to make the disease manageable like diabetes. That is what keeps me going, the belief that something will happen so that I can be present at my daughters' milestones. In the meantime, we will be making the most of, "All The Time I Have".
National Brain Tumor Society is fiercely committed to finding a cure for brain tumors. They are aggressively driving strategic research and advocating for public policies that meet the critical needs of the brain tumor community. Your support ensures this important work will continue.