2019 Sacramento Brain Freeze

Team Norman

A message from Norman,

On January 24,2016, after returning home from a work trip in San Diego, my wife Rachelle met me at the door and could see I was pretty tired from the drive. We had some lunch and I took a nap. That evening we watched the football play-off games and went to bed around 9:30pm. Sensing that something wasn't right Rachelle asked me to go look at myself in the mirror and talk to myself. I noticed the facial drooping right away and thought I was possibly having a stroke. We both got dressed and went to the ER. I was admitted to the hospital so I could be monitored and get an MRI in the morning. The ER doctor then suggested a CAT Scan, even though it would most likely not show a tiny blood clot, considering my signs were pretty mild. About 20 minutes after the scan the doctor returned, sat down and said "I've got bad news, you have a mass on your brain and we're sending you to San Francisco immediately. Rachelle and I locked eyes knowing that our lives had changed completely in a matter of seconds. It was undoubtably hard on Rachelle as she had just lost her brother to a Glialblastoma about a year earlier and though we knew any mass was not good, we needed a biopsy done. Four days later I had my surgery for the biopsy. It was determined to be a Grade III Anaplastic Astrocytoma and was basically non-operative, without leaving me paralyzed.

I recovered from surgery relatively quickly and spent the rest of the summer trying to live life as normal as possible in between the six weeks of radiation and chemo. The second round of chemo was a bit tougher and I lost 12 lbs in two weeks. Not wanting to continue loosing weight we switched to a more tolerable dose. MRI's 2, 3, and 4 showed no progression which was nice to hear.

I had had some numbness on my left side since brain surgery, but in January 2017, I started to lose mobility in my left hand, I had another MRI which did show progression in two different locations. Disappointing in the least but no reason to give up the fight. I continued with treatment for an additional two months and my last MRI revealed that the tumor was continuing to progress. At this time I am immobile and it seems cancer is winning the battle. I am no longer receiving curative cancer treatments but I still urge you to support the fight for a cure of this terminal disease by participating in or donating to the Sacramento Brain Freeze.

Thank you for any support and God Bless you,


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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.

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