I wanted to take a moment to share my personal story of why this team is so important to me:
I still remember being in the hospital for what I thought at the time to be a quick diagnosis. (Because I was going to France in a few weeks on vacation!). Needless to say, when my primary physician told me it was a brain tumor, I was in denial and I remember thinking “ but I’m going to France!” (Again the denial part...)
I remember joking with the doctor saying “that’s why I keep forgetting where I put my car keys” (obviously he was not amused ).
The next day I had my surgery which is when the reality of what was happening hit me!
Fast forward a few weeks, when I met my Duke doctor with my family: Dr. Henry Friedman. He came in with jeans and shirt, no white lab coat that you see all doctors wear and told me the average survival rate for GBM was 18 months. I recall feeling the shock of that statement, but then I also recall the conviction in his words when he told me how he wanted to change that outcome.
21 years later I'm still here (along with a husband and a son!)
As I reflect back over the years since I’ve been a patient I think of all the people and friends I’ve made over the years. Whether we’ve met for only a few moments or been lifelong friends, know that you have all had an impact on my life. Some say I’m an inspiration for them but I really don’t feel that way. I just feel very, very fortunate that I could survive this awful disease and the desire to support others in the same situation. That is why this team was created!
Thank you for your support and I hope to see you on April 22!
21 year Brain Tumor Survivor