Dropping mitts against Cancer Drew Brown
On May 1st, 2014 Drew was diagnosed with a rare form of Bone Cancer called Ewing Sarcoma.
The events leading up to this started back in March with periods of fatigue, pain and weakness in his left leg/thigh. However not enough to prevent him from continuing to play College hockey for Providence. On March 21st during a playoff game against New Hampshire, Drew really took a hit to his left leg. After the impact on the ice, he had difficulty bearing his own weight with exhausting days of ongoing pain. His physicians at Providence ordered an MRI on April 22nd. The following day Drew was notified that the results of the MRI showed a suspicious tumor. Coach arranged for him to be sent to home to receive on-going care at the University of Michigan Hospital. He flew home to Michigan on Thursday, April 24th and had a biopsy scheduled for the following Monday. The shocking diagnosis was Ewing Sarcoma Cancer, which was 1 in a million chance and just…. unbelievable.
Additionally a full body bone scan and many images of his organs reveled that his cancer has not spread. Praise God!
With his family by his side, they immediately scheduled a procedure to have a port placed. He began his first of many rounds of chemotherapy a few days later. He has done fairly well with his first week of chemo.
So with all of that being said, these few weeks have been a challenging time. We were all given this nightmare without any time to prepare and have had to act quickly.
We have many positive things to concentrate on….
Drew has a loving, faithful family standing beside him, a fun and supportive group of friends, a very determined, strong-willed team of Providence Friars fighting for him, many caring Lions from Kent and a very loyal community of Bulldogs from Chelsea.
His diagnosis came very early in the cancer cycle.
His care was established and he was able to start treatment very quickly.
He is young, fit and a very physically and mentally strong young man.
He is a patient at the University of Michigan which is top in the nation and within 45 miles of his home.
It is very evident that Drew has touched many lives around the world, as the outpouring of love and kindness has been extraordinary! Not just from family, friends and team mates but complete strangers who have reached out to us offering sweet words of encouragement, prayers and advice.
Despite the incredible support from family and friends, the financial strain of his care is starting to become a worry. Medical deductibles, specialty equipment and travel expenses should not become an obstacle for them. Please consider lifting the burden with a donation to his family in addition to including them in your prayers.
The next 8 to 13 months are going to be filled with treatment but with all of the sweet words of encouragement, heartfelt prayers and loved filled hearts he will beat this.
Ewing Sarcoma is a cancer that is curable and Drew Looks forward to beating it and being back on the ice with his team as soon as possible! Please join us in the fight as we spread hope and awareness to all. We can and will CRUSH CANCER!
"We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell." -Lance Armstrong.
Oops. I forgot to include the video link on the last update. Hopefully this link works!
Drew is doing great and as you can see from this clip, he is anxious to get back to his team. Physical therapy continues and hopefully within the next 2 months, he'll be off crutches. He walks well with a walker and does several different types/sessions of therapy/strength training. We are so very thankful to know that he is now cancer-free! Yup! Free from Cancer!!
This past month, he was given the go-ahead to put weight on his leg. He said the first time he tried, it took a few minutes for his mind to allow it. He had been so used to "protecting" that leg that it took a dose of courage and "you can do this" to take the first step. Once he got the first few steps out of the way, he was good-to-go.
I never really thought about that aspect of rehab as much as just the physical part of it. Going from playing college hockey and skating every day, to non weight bearing for several months must be very different. He has since done a lot of walking and exercises in the pool which allows for the 50% weight-bearing limit.
On April 1st, Drew will have a follow-up appointment to include x-ray/MRI/Bone scans. That will be the 3 month review. Until then, he continues life at home in Michigan spending lots of time outdoors and with his family and close friend's. Drew is honored to have such an awesome support group that has stood along his side in addition to the Man above! We are blessed beyond measure!
It is difficult to watch this clip without tears of joy! Drew is an inspiration, without a doubt. I can imagine it had to be hard for Drew to hold back his emotion's during that night. What a beautiful dedication to him by his Friar family. Listen to what Coach says....Hockey is life to these guys but watching Drew fight a bigger battle makes you realize how much one person can change your world. The comradery amongst the Friar hockey team and families is unbelievable!
Picture: I wonder who will shoot the first rabbit.... Drew or Merceya?! She is very excited about her birthday gift!