Monday, August 4, 2014

Helping My Brother In His Fight Against Brain Cancer

If you only read one of my blog posts ever in this lifetime, please read this one.  I'm opening my heart to allow you to see what my family and I are up against as we help my brother Greg's fight against brain cancer. 

See when Greg was just 20 he was diagnosed with brain cancer, medulloblastoma for those that are wondering.  Typically this type of cancer is found in children... so it was rare to see someone his age with a brain tumor.  At that time a team of doctors did brain surgery and successfully removed the tumor.  An extended hospital stay and radiation later and Greg was healing and on the road to getting his life back.

In October of 2012 Greg's routine MRI revealed that his brain cancer had returned.  He now had 3 tumors and the cancer had spread to his spine.  Due to the locations of the tumors, these are inoperable.  Greg underwent radiation and chemotherapy at UW Hospital in Madison, WI to help shrink the tumors. 

Last week we had an MRI checkup and found a new abnormal spot on Greg's spine.  It's a very small spot, so we cannot yet tell if the cancer has spread or if it's necrosis the result of extensive radiation. We have to wait 4 weeks and do another MRI to determine.  It was not the news any of us were hoping to hear. 
The only time you'll see Green Bay Packer anything on my blog... for the love of Greg!
Mom & Greg

 Since Greg's medical treatments, his mobility has been severely affected.  He has no feeling from the knees down in either leg.  Picture walking and not knowing where or how your feet are landing.  That's how Greg's feet are every day.  He has increasing pain in his hips due to avascular necrosis from prolonged steroid use to prevent brain swelling. 

Currently, Greg is living with my Mom & Dad, in their bi-level home (translation lots of stairs).  He was forced to sell his home he worked so hard to buy, and has since sold one of his cars.  He's currently in the process of selling his beloved Camaro because "it deserves to be driven like the machine that it is."
Daisy Duke loves Greg!

If I had one wish, it would be to take Greg's cancer away.  But I cannot do that.  So I'm doing the best I can to help him maintain his mobility as his body decides not to cooperate.  Right now, my parents need to make modifications to their home to keep Greg safe & mobile.  The largest of those being to installed an electric Stairglide to allow Greg to get in & out of the house.  They also need to renovate their bathroom to accommodate his walker & wheelchair.  Additionally, because of the design of their home, they need to change their front door to one that opens outward so it doesn't bump against the track for the stairglide.  As Greg's mobility continues to deteriorate, an electric wheelchair will be the only way he'll be able to get around safely. In addition to Greg's medical bills, these modifications are quite extensive and my parents cannot do it on their own.
Click photo to lend a helping hand!

Several of my friends from around the globe have personally emailed me asking if they can help.  Up to this point, as a family we've been balancing and managing through sacrifice & love.  Give & take... but together we've been able to take care of things. 

However, with these latest requirements, we are no longer able to do it on our own.  It takes a whole village!  If you feel in your heart you'd like to contribute, I've set up an online fundraiser to help Greg's Mobility Fund.  If you cannot donate, but want to make a difference, can you share Greg's story with a link to his fundraiser.  Every donation helps! The love & prayers we've received since Greg's cancer returned have been amazing!  Love can & will make a difference!  And I appreciate you for helping me make Greg's journey more comfortable and safe for as long as we're blessed to have him on this earth. Sending love & light! xo, Dawn

Donate to Greg's Mobility Fund:

September 30, 2012 - Photo by Matt Mason Photography
July 5, 2014 - Photo by Ashlynn, 6 years old. ;)


Shelly Owen said...

Dawn, I'm in tears after reading this. I will be praying for your family and share your post to garner support and prayers from the people I know.

Saturday Sequins said...

*Hugs.* I've spread the word on Pinterest and will continue to do so. You guys are in my thoughts!


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