We Heart Brains
Team We Heart Brains will be Walking our Way in the 14th Annual Seattle Brain Cancer Walk on May 2nd! Over the years we have raised more than $75k. These funds go directly to the Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment (a Swedish Medical affiliate), where I've been treated and cared for over the years.
I am a brain cancer survivor of almost 19 years. As I sit down to edit my write-up every year - it's basically the same. Sure, somethings are progressively worsening as far as mobility which isn't fun. But I am still here. And so many others are not. They have lost their battle with this ever so unrelenting disease and it's just not fair. This is the reason we walk every year and have been for 13 years!
Many of you know my personal story and why the walk is so very important to me and my family. For those of you who do not, here we go...
I was diagnosed with a primary brain tumor (astrocytoma grade II) in 2002 at the age of 20 after being blind sided with a grand mal seizure. Since then I've had three craniotomies (fancy word for brain surgery) between 2003-2005. In 2009 there were signs of a recurrence which resulted in chemotherapy and radiation simultaneously. In 2011 my doctors noticed a possible change in my MRI scans which led to a brain biopsy. I heard the word every cancer patient desperately-yearns-to-hear. Clean! And it's been that way for ten years now.
There are many more details within that very condensed version such as learning how to walk again, twice. Battling seizures and the side effects of medication. Suffering from permanent loss of movement that denies me of activities I once loved and being a terrible dancer ;). However depressing this may sound, I consider myself immensely fortunate to defy the odds of brain cancer and become an inspiration. The inspirational patient from whom doctors get a sigh of relief from before entering the room after giving the devastating news to so many others that very day. Over the past few years I've come to the realization that this is who I am now. The inspiration that we will find a cure!
Year after year this on-the-fly spontaneous and rushed procrastinated way of fundraising has worked for us. This time we only have 4 DAYS. Yes, 4. So let's just see what we can do. Please donate!
-The Howes Family and We Heart Brains Team