Eight years ago I began a journey of a lifetime. Arriving at the hospital early that snowy morning, I was rolled into the operating room just before 7am to have brain surgery on a symptomatic arachnoid cyst, which was pressing on my brain stem. I am missing my cerebellum and the tumor is wrapped around my facial nerves; therefore, doctors could not remove the cyst, though they were able to fenestrate it. This journey continued as I had my second brain surgery in this past August to have a cystoperitoneal shunt placed.
I fight every day for my health as I live with my tumor, which is approximately 1/6 of my brain. I have spent the last eight years seeing specialists, undergoing medical tests, and working to regain my balance and coordination in the absence of that part of my brain, which controls those things. This has been a long road with lots of unknowns, uncertainties, and continued treatments. I am constantly humbled by the number of people who check in on me, constantly care for me, and have stood by my side every day for the past eight years.
I have been lucky, as I have navigated this life of a young adult and have been blessed with a maturity, which has grown from my experiences. Someone once said to me, “it’s not what you’re being saved from, but rather, it’s what you’re being saved for.” I am quite certain that I was saved in order to help others in the way that I have been helped. I have partnered with the American Brain Tumor Association as a volunteer. I have the opportunity to mentor others who have recently been diagnosed and are preparing for treatment. I get the chance to advocate for all people with brain tumors and share the great things that can come from an experience like this.
On June 3, 2017 I will be participating in the American Brain Tumor Association's BT5K Breakthrough for Brain Tumors Run & Walk. Money raised by the BT5K will provide critical funding for brain tumor research and for supportive patient care. I would be humbled if you would join me in supporting this cause – there are two great ways to get involved!
JOIN THE TEAM!
The more the merrier! I’m inviting all of my friends to join my team, Brain Tumors are Toast, in support of the nearly 700,000 people currently living with a brain tumor. Your donation not only supports brain tumor patients and their families, but it also supports the breakthrough research to improve, extend, and ultimately save lives. You can join my team by clicking the join button on the right of the page.
If you can’t make it to the BT5K Columbus on June 4, 2016, please consider making a donation to the American Brain Tumor Association in support of my team’s efforts. To make a donation click the donate button on the right of the page.
Thank you again to my friends and family for supporting me through this journey, for helping me succeed despite my illness, and for walking with me every step of the way. I am excited to walk with you all the way to the finish line as we take on this 5K.