Brian is hopeful about his future thanks to a cutting edge brain tumor vaccination clinical trial being offered at Cedars-Sinai. Brian had a third brain tumor removed on December 20, 2013 at Cedars-Sinai by Dr. John S. Yu. Once again, he was grateful that the pathology revealed a grade III and not something worse. His doctor told him that between the radiation therapy and this clinical trial, he has "real hope to beat this:not Mexican jumping bean hope!"
All we have to do is get Brian to California. His trial is scheduled to begin May 15, 2014. We would love your help and support to raise the money necessary to get him out to California for this vaccine trial, which requires 5 roundtrip visits over two months.
"I have to beat this, I have such a great life and so much to live for. Failure is not an option." - Brian
For more information about the vaccination trial, visit: http://www.imuc.com/pipeline/ict-107
Brian was that "geek in high school who never drank, tried any drugs, or smoked anything of any sort in his life." In 2006, he started having hallucinations and severe headaches. He was given an MRI of the brain which revealed a small tumor deep in his right temporal lobe. At that time, Brian was at the height of his career, working in upper management at his father's car business.
Brian was very fortunate to have sustained very little impairment from the first surgery, although he was seizure prone. He went back to work for his father, albeit a lower position within the company. The tumor was determined to be a grade III. He was advised that a grade I was nothing to worry about (benign), grades II and III were considered malignant and needed to be dealt with and grade IV was a death sentence. Instead of feeling devastation or despair from the news that his tumor was malignant and serious, Brian woke up each day grateful that he did not have a grade IV glioblastoma. For 5 years there was a calm before the next storm, as Brian pursued alternative treatments. Just as Brian's life was beginning to normalize, he had a grand mal seizure which led to the discovery of his second tumor. This second tumor was much larger than the first although as it was growing, it presented fewer symptoms. Brian underwent his second surgery on August 23, 2012 and suffered a stroke during his operation. He woke up paralyzed on his left side. Through extensive physical therapy, occupational therapy and sheer determination, Brian regained the ability to walk and most of the use of his left arm and hand. He still struggles with fine motor control on his left, but he works diligently everyday to regain whatever he can. Despite his left sided weakness, he continues to work on cars, primarily as a "weekend warrior." He resurrects old cars with his best friend, Andy, just about every weekend. However, said weakness prompted him to take an entry level desk job to pay the bills.
A HOPEFUL FUTURE
Brian has recovered to the point where he can walk again, is independent in most all tasks of daily living, and even holds a job:all while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Despite whatever life throws at him, Brian keeps his head up, lives in the moment and never gives up. His father's words have inspired him, "When you stop living is when you die, kid." Brian lives by this and says, "If I'm going to drop dead, I'm going to do it while living my life my way and while doing the things that matter to me. The only moment you've got that matters, is the one you're in right now." Everyone who knows Brian believes that his resilient optimism and determination will see him through this problem!
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