In 2007, mere months after retiring from a lifetime career of teaching elementary school, my mom was diagnosed with a glioblastoma grade IV...the worst, deadliest form of brain cancer there is.
Not wanting to accept the prognosis and life expectancy of only 14 more months, my mom battled on, traveling to Duke University regularly for treatment as part of a clinical trial.
Through the power of prayer, positivity, and wise doctors with a sound treatment plan, our hope overcame the odds. My mom battled this merciless disease for nine years. With it occurring three times during her battle, my mom endured life-changing physical and cognitive deficits that affected her memory and speech, mobility, and independence. It was incredibly painful to helplessly watch cancer steal parts of who she was and what made her happy. Yet she never gave up, and she didn't complain. She just kept fighting.
I am so proud of my mom for her courage to fight and her will to live. I cannot deny the devastation this cancer caused our family. Our lives are forever changed. Yet I am so grateful for the "borrowed time" we had with her, far beyond what doctors could have ever expected. We made meaningful memories together, remembered to appreciate each time we spent together, and enjoyed each other. She got to see four more grandchildren join our family, and with each one, she had a new reason to fight. Our hearts and minds can't help but wonder what life might be like had glioblastoma never entered our lives...
I don't want anyone else to have to suffer through this disease. Not as a patient, relative, friend or caregiver. It takes so much. We have to find a cure.
Today nearly 700,000 people in the United States are living with a primary brain tumor, and more than 69,000 others will be diagnosed this year. It is my dream that a cure will be found in my lifetime. May lives be prolonged and saved by the power of research and treatment.
Please help support this progress by sponsoring me. One hundred percent of profits go directly to brain tumor research and patient assistance through the Musella Foundation. I believe in the work they are funding, and I believe that work and the people behind it have the potential to break this disease down the way it breaks down those it infiltrates. Please be a part of finding the way to a cure.