Behind The Brainy Bunch
In 2008, we stumbled onto the fact that Brent had a brain tumor. Having surgery in January of 2009, Brent was diagnosed with an Astrocytoma. After enduring radiation and chemo, Brent tumor's enhanced. In 2010 Brent was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme. I no longer think of the word 'enhanced' in a positive light.
Approximately two years before Brent's diagnosis, a very dear family lost their little boy Colby to a brain tumor. We were all shaken by that loss and heartbroken for the entire family. Soon after, my dear friend Karen lost her husband, Michael to a brain tumor. Michael left behind not only Karen, but two teenage children.
In 2009, on Brent's last day of radiation, we met a lovely woman named Stefanie, who was just starting radiation for a GBM. We became quite close with Stefanie, quickly referring to her as Brent's 'brain tumor girlfriend'. Stefanie had a wonderful husband and two young children that she unfortunately left behind in 2010 when she lost the battle she fought so bravely.
This will be Brent's and my third year participating in Florida Brain Cancer 5K 2013 was the first year that the two of us showed up so early on a Sunday morning to this wonderful event/fundraiser. I fought back tears for much of that day. Thank God for sunglasses. There were so few yellow shirts. Only brain tumor survivors wore yellow shirts.
Our walk that first year was in honor of Brent's friend Brian. Brian was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2006. His tumor spread in 2012. Brian had always refused radiation, until then. Brian had just finished up radiation, so he was not well enough yet to attend the walk with us, so we walked for him. Later in 2013, we said goodbye to Brian, who left behind a lovely wife and daughter.
No parent should ever have to endure losing a child to a brain tumor, nor should any child have to endure losing their parent to a brain tumor. Colby, Michael, Stefanie and Brian are not the only people that we held close that have lost their battle to a brain tumor. There was also Jim and Dan, who both left behind children. Unfortunately, we longer can say we have a close friend that is still in this fight.
Although Brent has had setbacks, we have been completely blessed that Brent's tumor continues to respond to treatments prescribed to keep him alive and well. I attribute this to not only Brent's positive attitude and his will to live, but to the incredible Neuro-Oncologist that was meant to treat him. I thank God for Dr. Nick every day as I do not believe Brent would be alive and well today, had Dr. Nick not taken him on as a patient. But having the best Doctor is no guarantee. We are constantly looking for the next viable treatment, should Brent fail his current treatment, that he receives every three weeks. We have no other choice, as he must beat this. He has a son, afterall.
We had a great small group that were kind enough to join us for last year's FBC5K. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for each person that got up so early to walk with us, so much so, that we decided to create a team for this year's 5K . We welcome all to join The Brainy Bunch for a lovely walk on March 29th 2015, with some pretty amazing people, to help raise some money for research for this deadly cancer. If you are unable to join us, please consider a donating.
I am grateful!
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