My late wife, Jackie, was diagnosed with Brain Cancer in September of 2015, six weeks after our wedding. After initial treatment, unfortunately, in the spring of 2017, the tumor started growing again. Jackie had one craniotomy, three types of Chemo, six weeks of Radiation, two biopsies, CAR-T cell immunotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor iummunotherapy. Still, the cancer continued to grow. Near the end, she became reliant on a wheelchair for most of her movements due to weakness on her left side of her body. She was a fighter with barely a complaint through all of the treatments.
Just about a month after the 2018 Brain Tumor walk, in July 2018, Jackie ended her fight with brain cancer. She raised nearly $70,000 for the National Brain Tumor Society in the two years she participated in the walk and we plan to honor her and keep her legacy alive by continuing in the walk. We had over 120 people come out in support of Jackie at the 2018 walk and I can tell you the overwhelming support was a sense of pride and encouragement for her.
Please join us in the walk or donate on behalf of Team Jackie to help find a cure (either register or click any Team Jackie member's link and you will see the green "Donate Now" link on the top right of the Team Jackie page, detailed steps also below)
Please join us!
PS: I wanted to mention that we welcome all friends and family of friends and family to 'Team Jackie' even if you may not have known or been close to Jackie. She held her friends and family in the highest regard and was always excited to meet new friends and welcome them to the 'family'.
Share this team page:
View our TeamJackie video from 2017: https://youtu.be/ZfrEpVq86IM
Why is Brain Cancer different from other Cancers?
These are some of the interesting facts I (Robert) have learned over the years. There are about 25,000 people diagnosed in the US each year with primary malignant brain tumors.The unique challenges of treating a tumor in the brain require specialized research and tactics:
- The blood-brain barrier means that it is hard or impossible to get some chemotherapies or other drugs to the tumor
- The confined space of the skull means even minor tumor growth can cause problems
- Depending on the location of the tumor, it is impossible to operate on the tumor without causing mental deficits.
Also, there are several unique aspects of brain cancer. For example, if it starts in the brain, i.e. a primary brain tumor, then it does not (typically) spread to other parts of the body like other cancers tend to do. And, depending on the type of tumor, it can start off as a lower 'grade' and progress to a higher, more aggressive 'grade' over time, so early detection and treatment is important.
There are many unknown aspects of brain tumors that require more research including what causes them in the first place. Most primary brain tumors (95% estimated) are not hereditary or genetic and they do not believe cell phones or other devices cause them. In treatment of brain tumors, doctors are often able to 'put the tumor to sleep' or 'hibernate' it, but it will often start growing again at some later time for unknown reasons. The current goal is to extend the amount of time it is 'hibernated' to allow for new research and treatments to become available.
Steps to make a donation:
- Go to the Team Jackie page (http://www.braintumorcommunity.org/goto/TeamJackie2020)
- Either Join the team (Blue Button) or Click on a team member to donate on behalf of.
- On the team member's page, click the 'Donate Now' green button in the top right.
- Enter your payment information, submit, and print a receipt and file away for your taxes if you itemize deductions.
Info on the walk:
This year (2020) will be the fourth year participating in the walk and given these unprecedented times, we will be holding a virtual Happy Hour 'walk' for the Team Jackie supporters. Please contact Robert (or if you don't have Robert's contact, he will reach out to everyone that donates) for details on the Zoom video call.
National Brain Tumor Society is fiercely committed to finding a cure for brain tumors. They are aggressively driving strategic research; advocating for public policies that meet the critical needs of the brain tumor community; and providing comprehensive patient, family and caregiver resources. Your support ensures this important work will continue.