I grew up in rural western Maryland and that is where my father was living when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2007. He lived for about a year after his diagnosis. He had four children at the time and we asked doctors if this disease was passed on through genetics and/or whether we siblings should get MRI's or other screenings. We were told absolutely not - there is not a genetic connection.
Fast forward to 2012. My older sister - who was only 36 and in great health - started to experience horrible head and neck pain. After many false diagnosis an MRI revealed a large mass very close to the top of her brain stem. Surgery revealed a glioblastoma. She received radiation treatments but because of the location of the tumor, radiation could not be as aggressive as it typically would be. She suffered tremendous pain every last day she lived after her surgery. She endured multiple spinal taps to relieve pressure but nothing helped. She died less than 6 months after her diagnosis.
My father would typically run 6 miles every day around the campus of Frostburg State University. He ran a few races as a young man but settled into this routine and spent his free time pursuing other hobbies and of course, raising four children. My sister started running shortly after his passing after her then boyfriend completed his first marathon. They later married. A year or so later I started training for my first half marathon. I had never been a runner but she motivated me to try and I grew to love running. She ran her first marathon in DC - Marine Corps in 2009. I ran the last 10 miles of the race with her. A year later she and I crossed the finish line of the Baltimore marathon together. It was wonderful. She suffered from severe asthma and allergies from birth so to see her work so hard to be fit and endure distance running was absolutely an inspiration.
Each day, 500 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumor. To show my support, I will be participating in the American Brain Tumor Association’s Team Breakthrough Endurance program. Money raised will provide critical funding for brain tumor research and for supportive patient care.
I am incredibly thankful to find an organization so focused on this seemingly mysterious and malicious cancer.
You can support me in my efforts by making a donation to the American Brain Tumor Association.
Click on “Donate Now” to donate safely and securely.
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.
And remember, your donation is tax-deductible! You can learn more about the American Brain Tumor Association at www.abta.org. Thank you in advance for your support of my efforts on behalf of brain tumor patients, their families, and the researchers pursuing the breakthroughs.