On November 4th, I will be running the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon in honor of my amazing son Sean and his brave, 6-year battle against a brain tumor. I am running to increase awareness of childhood cancer, and to raise money for the Children's Brain Tumor Family Foundation.
Sean is an incredible kid with a sparkling personality! He is smart, funny, athletic, and makes friends everywhere he goes. He loves his family and spending time with his buddies, is happiest when he's playing any sport, and is the biggest NY Giants fan. You would never guess it to look at him, but at just 11-years old, Sean has also been battling a brain tumor for more than half his life.
On Feb. 6, 2012, eight days before his 5th birthday, Sean was diagnosed with a 5 centimeter tumor in the left side of his brain. The next day, Sean underwent what would be the first of three brain surgeries he would have that year. It was determined that he had a rare low-grade glioma, but early indications were that further surgery was not an option given the size and location of the tumor.
We sought opinions from some of the best hospitals in the northeast and across the country, and after weeks of consultations and additional testing, the decision was made to treat Sean with a risky, two-phase surgery under the care of a team of doctors led by Dr. Jeffrey Greenfiield at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center at NY Presbyterian Hospital. In May 2012, these incredible doctors were able to successfully remove about 80% of the tumor, and it was determined that he did not require additional chemotherapy or radiation at that time. The plan was for "active surveillance" which meant regular MRI's to watch for any changes in the remaining tumor.
After almost 5 years of stable scans, at his regular MRI on February 2, 2017, we were shocked when doctors found a new spot in Sean's brain. Over the next three months the spot doubled in size, and in May Sean underwent a 4th risky brain surgery with Dr. Greenfield to remove this new tumor. Unfortunately, this time surgery alone would not be enough, and Sean's summer was spent undergoing 30 rounds of Proton radiation. At his first MRI, just six weeks after completing treatment, another new spot was found in his brain. Doctors are actively watching it for now, but we know the fight is not over for our brave little warrior.
Cancer is the number one killer of children, and brain cancer has the worst survival rates of them all. Sean's tumor is rare, accounting for less than 1% of all pediatric brain tumors and making it very challenging to treat. Our hope is that one day, doctors will find a cure for Sean, and for every child that receives the diagnosis of a pediatric brain tumor. You can help make this happen by being part of our TEAM and donating today. Your donation will go directly to support the ground-breaking research effort at the Weill Cornell Children's Brain Tumor Project, and bring hope to the children and families suffering from this heartbreaking disease. Together Everyone Achieves Miracles - you can help find the miracle for Sean!
Thank you for your support!