BEAUTY for BRAINS
In May of 2020, at age 33 Anthony was diagnosed with a Grade III Anaplastic Astrocytoma with an IDH mutation.
Anthony and his wife Alexandra are highschool sweethearts, last may they celebrated 16 years togehter. By choice, they don't have kids, they find they have a very full and busy life with just the two of them. Family is at the heart of this couple, both having been raised in upstate New York with aunts, uncles and cousins around nearly as often as their parents and siblings, though they no longer live close by to most of their extended family, they are always catching up with especialy their parents and siblings, neice and nephews. Once a year they celebratre Sibling Thanksgiving where they gather, just their brothers, sisters and the kids, to laugh, love, joke, cry, bond and make new memories! They love to travel and were even marrie abroad in Salzberg, Austria at The Palace Mirabell in 2010.
On May 2, 2020 Anthony and Alex were home watchin a movie when Anthony started feeling warm and clammy, about an hour later he had a grand mal seizer, something that had never happened before. An ambulance took Anthony to the ER at Duke in Durham where Alex had to meet him because, in the middle of a COVID lock down, she was not allowed to accompany him in the ambulance. The ER started running tests, and a CT showed the first indication there was something wrong in Anthony's brain. Anthony seized again that evening in the ER. Between sedation and the exhaustion from 2 grand mal seizures, Anthony could not get a clean MRI done that evening, the test that would determin exactly what they were dealing with. Due to COVID restrictions Alex could not stay with Anthony once he was admitted to the neuro ward at Duke, she hadn't been able to talk to him since before this nighmare had begun, and she had to leave him, not knowing if she would ever see him again...
The next day a successful MRI was run and a tumor diagnosis was confirmed. Anthony had a 7cm mass in his left frontal lobe that needed to be removed. And the journey began; from seizure to brain surgery, 33 sessions of full-brain radiation and 14 months of rotating chemo doses.
Thank you to family and friends for all of your support over this first very trying year we have experienced as we have learned to live with brain cancer. This is a journey we never imagined walking, and it is a little less scary with you here too. We are incredibly greatful to our wonderful, knowledgable, talented and compassionate medical staff at the Tisch Brain Tumor Treatment Center, we would be lost without you!
Please look at these resources on brain cancer, learn a bit, and help us spread awareness. There are so many types of cancer in this world, and ours is not as well know, but it is more prevelant than we would have guessed.