My Brother Walking is Why I'm Walking
John O was always an active kid. He played basketball, briefly ran track, raced motorcycles, and spent endless hours at the gym.
My brother was diagnosed in High School with an Astrocytoma in his cerebellum.
It was benign - we are lucky.
It was just something we pushed to the back of our minds (pun unintended). John O went to check up appointments to ensure the tumor wasn't growing but other than that there was no reason to worry. Doctors didn't recommend surgery at the time because it wasn't affecting his day-to-day life as far as they could tell.
Years later I got a phone call from my mom - the tumor had grown. Still don't worry they'll monitor it.
A few months later - it had grown more. It was time to operate. Operating was his only option.
It was operable - we're lucky.
The operation was scheduled a few weeks after his college graduation.
My brother is the bravest person I know. He walked into surgery head high.
He didn't walk out. In fact, he didn't walk for a few days. When he did walk, he made it about 5 feet.
Weeks went by of intense therapy at Columbia University, then Kessler, and then the Rusk Institute. John has put all of his strength and effort into his recovery. He's had to re-learn how to sit up, how to stand from a chair, how to get a utensil to his mouth, how to turn the dials on a car radio, how to walk, and how to get up and down stairs just to name a few. His determination has never wavered during his recovery.
John has made tremendous progress since those first few weeks. He is currently back at the gym for endless hours, learning how to run, and riding a bike.
We are still so lucky.
His brain tumor has forever affected our family.
My brother walking is why I'm walking.
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