Many moments in life impact us and change our lives forever, July 30th, 2014 was just a date. At the time, my brother Jake and I were in Duluth, MN. I was training to get ready for my first season of college basketball and my brother was working camps as he began his coaching career. (Thank the Lord he blessed us with two years together in Duluth). I was in the gym shooting some baskets when my phone was ringing nonstop. I answered the phone to my dad in a shaken voice telling me that I need to drive to my brother’s apartment and that we needed to be together in order for him to tell us something. Once I arrived at Jake’s place, my dad shared with us the news that my mom, Dawn Schalow, had a mass slightly smaller than a ping-pong ball on the left side of her brain.
My mom worked in human resources for a Healthcare organization in Appleton, WI. The day before the phone call, my mom complained of a headache that she described as “the worst of her life.” Luckily, she was leading a training in the very hospital that she was getting treatment. She still claims that if she was somewhere else, she most likely would toughed it out and slept on it. That toughness has not waivered to this day, you’re a champ Mom.
Surgery was set for the following day. As the minutes passed by hours, I could not wait until surgery was over, because the doctor’s had shared of the potential complications that this type of surgery could bring. The location of the tumor was in the left frontal cortex, so doctors were worried about speech, memory, decision-making etc. I will never forget as my dad, brother and I walked into the hospital room after the surgery, the relief we had when she said “Hi guys.”
Treatment consisted of chemotherapy and radiation. Even though my mom lost most of her hair during that period, she still looked as beautiful as ever. Since the completion of treatment, I am happy to say that all check ups and precautionary MRI’s have been excellent. My mom is cancer free and is living life without taking one day for granted.
To support and honor my mom, I decided to sign up for the 2019 Chicago Marathon and run for the American Brain Tumor Association and Team Breakthrough. For those that know my mom they would say that she is a loving, selfless, and caring person that loves the Lord with all her heart. As training and running the marathon is going to be one of the more difficult things I will experience in my life, it does not compare to the fight that she has had to endure since July 2014. I love you more than anything in this world Mom and I am forever grateful I continue to share this life with you!
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.
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.