On September 3, 2019, Mike was diagnosed with brain cancer. He had gone to see his doctor several times for a list of symptoms and his tests had always come back with normal results. That morning Mike saw our children off to their first day of school, kissed me goodbye, and drove to work as he normally would. By the afternoon he began to feel ill and tried to rest his head in an effort to make himself feel better and come home. When Mike did not call to say he was coming home that night, I began calling his desk to see where he was. After some phone calls back-and-forth, I began to realize Mike had been falling asleep at work and was not responding to my questions as he normally does. I left our sleeping kids with my mom (Carolyn McGovern) and I drove to his work to get him and figure out what was wrong. I brought Mike into St. Mary’s hospital, where the ER doctors told me he had a softball-sized tumor within his right temporal lobe. Mike was transferred to Pennsylvania Hospital and underwent surgery on September 10 to remove the tumor. The surgery was complicated and took 7 hours to perform, but Mike made it through wonderfully. After a brief stay in the ICU following his brain surgery Mike was transferred to a rehabilitation center to develop the cognitive and physical weaknesses he developed as a result of the surgery and tumor. Within a week Mike had progressed well enough that he was able to come home! As he continued with biweekly physical, occupational, and speech therapies, we worked with his doctors on a plan ahead. Mike’s tumor was diagnosed as a Type 2 Astrocytoma. It was determined that 80% of Mike’s tumor had been removed during the initial surgery, and he was to undergo radiation and chemotherapy to treat the remaining tumor tissue. Thankfully, Mike is responding very well to these treatments: he has astonished his doctors and therapists with his resilience and ability to fight the odds. He has been surrounded with the help and support of our family and friends, who have been such an instrumental part of his road to recovery. However, his fight is not yet over. His oncologist informed us that there is an almost 100% reoccurrence rate for his type of tumor. While Mike continues to do well and strives every day to fight his cancer, we are also fighting to find a cure for brain cancers! Please consider donating to our team for the Race for Hope, Mike’s Monsters. Proceeds from the event support research to find a cure for brain tumors, public policy advocacy, and patient information to make sure the critical needs of the brain tumor community are met, through the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS). We are uniting with others to make a difference in the fight against brain tumors, and we need your help in this fight! National Brain Tumor Society will not rest until a cure exists - but more needs to be done. Please join in our effort!
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.