Team Fighting Irish
We are Team Fighting Irish!
We walk together for our Team Captain, Ruth Kavanagh, and for all those affected by brain tumors. Many of us are survivors ourselves and caregivers brought together to fight this terrible disease.
Please visit each of our Personal Pages' to learn our individual stories.
Ruth's Story (In Short)
I could truly write a book about what the last 5 years of my life have been like after being diagnosed with a Grade III anaplastic ependymoma at just 34-years-old.
The very, very, short version is that I’ve undergone 4 brain surgeries in these last 4 years. I’ve developed epilepsy, which although controlled as best we can with medication, a seizure can still happen anytime, anywhere. I have serious mobility issues on my left side. I can no longer work or drive. I can no longer swim, or hike, or do so many of the activities I loved and took for granted. The girl, who rocked 4-inch heels, now requires a custom leg brace, which only fits in sneakers. Although I LOVED buying beautiful clothes, I now live in fitness gear. The girl, who worked out 4-5 times a week, continues to struggle through physical therapy. There are days it’s difficult to walk a block, or even open a jar due to issues with my left arm and hand. I can’t hold my family and friends’ children because of my disabilities. I have 4 separate hairpieces to cover my scalp, which is now 1/3 permanently bald. I’ve survived two major infections as a result of my treatment. I’ve been hospitalized more times than I can count. I’ve “toured” just about every major NYC hospital and quite a number of E.R.’s in NJ. I've seen my family and friends suffer simply for loving me, and having to see all I've been through. Despite all this, I am one of the fortunate ones.
The absolute, pure heartache I’ve seen in the hallways of hospitals is indescribable. What I’ve witnessed just alone at the Urgent Care at my hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSKCC), is horrible. PTSD for cancer patients is a very real thing.
Yet, I do my best to appreciate every breath I’m given. As the saying goes, cherish every day because there is someone out there fighting for their last.
Being thrown into this “cancer world”, I’ve met some of the greatest, strongest people on Earth. Yet, I also watched my dear friend, Jaclyn Sabol Patton, battle for her life, only to succumb to this horrid disease on May 9, 2017. REST IN PEACE, Jac.
This is why I am so deeply dedicated to raising funds, raising awareness and advocating on behalf of those affected by brain cancer. I will NEVER give up until there comes a day, when no single person has to ever bear the burden of this terrible disease!
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
We are uniting with The National Brain Tumor Society to raise both money and awareness in the fight against brain tumors. We have joined the fight as advocates for action so that we can continue researching and ultimately finding a cure for brain cancer.
The facts alone demonstrate just how much we need more funding and research for brain tumors. Today, nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. are living with a primary brain tumor and nearly 80,000 more will be diagnosed each year. Yet, the average survival rate for malignant brain tumor patients is only 34%. Brain tumors are also the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children under 10.
JOIN US IN THIS FIGHT!
DONATE. WALK WITH US. SHARE THE STORIES OF THE PEOPLE AFFECTED BY BRAIN CANCER.
National Brain Tumor Society is fiercely committed to finding a cure for brain tumors. They are aggressively driving strategic research and advocating for public policies that meet the critical needs of the brain tumor community. Your support ensures this important work will continue.