My dad is my hero. He is 42 years old and is a brain tumor survivor. He was diagnosed in 2009 at age 35 with an oligodendroglioma. Twelve days later he had his first brain surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. Since then my dad has had two more craniotomies and radiation, and he is now on chemotherapy for the third time.
Sometimes it is hard for me to think about my dad and know that he has a brain tumor. Sometimes I feel scared because I don’t know what is going to happen. When I feel sad, I think of our best memories. One of my favorites is when my dad came back from the hospital on my 8th birthday after his second surgery. He was tired and weak, but lifted my spirits by giving me the best hug I’d ever had. I was not expecting that and I cried tears of joy.
My family has turned this into something positive by doing the National Brain Tumor Society Long Island Walk at Jones Beach for the past three years. We have a team called Tumor Tacklers. This year more than 80 people walked with us and we raised more than $8,300 to find a cure. My dad even made a speech this year. I was so proud of him. We will all continue fighting this brain tumor together!