On August 2, 2017, my sister, Melinda Greenwood, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was only found through a sinus cavity cat scan. She had no prior symptoms whatsoever, and is a healthy, happy, intelligent, loving mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. She is 35 years old and the mother of an adorable two-year old boy, Myles. Melinda teaches gifted and talented students at Fort Thomas Schools in Ft. Thomas, KY, working with children who have some of the highest IQ's/brain function in town, ironically.
Initial reports indicated a 3 cm tumor in the front left lobe, likely benign and easy to remove. My family began working with The Mayfield Clinic team and reports were favorable. Surgery was scheduled for August 23 at Good Samaritan Hospital and the doctor predicted an 80-90% resection. She was ready to get it out and move on with life.
Much to our surprise, the doctor was not able to remove any of the tumor at all during surgery. When he was able to look inside her brain, the tumor had already invaded her cortex area and wrapped around her speech pathways. Removing it would have meant losing all of her speech immediately.
In the operating room, only a biopsy was performed. A pathologist took a portion of the tumor tissue to test for malignant vs. benign cells. Unfortunately, initial pathology reports of the frozen section indicate malginant cells, meaning brain cancer. The exact type and final grade is still being determined, and a final prognosis will be made based on the detailed pathology report. We are hopeful that the final report shows it will not be a grade 4. Until the detailed report is outlined, we won't know for sure and we will hold onto hope that the cell type and grade are cureable.
That being said, there will be, and already are, a number of significant expenses on Melinda and her husband, Chris. The surgery and hospital stay itself, plus immediately she will start on chemotherapy and radiation, as well as an extensive list of anti-seizure and other medications, and possibly steriods. We are also looking at noteworthy brain cancer research centers across the country to find the best, most aggressive treatment possible, which will be costly but worth it and may involve temporarily moving out of state. We will fight this monster together and we will win. Mel has a long life to live, a child to raise, students to teach, and adventures to explore with our family.
Melinda and Chris greatly appreciate any contribution you can share in their fight against the brain tumor. Our family has a long road ahead and any support helps ease their financial worry.
I am starting a Caring Bridge website as well, and will keep friends, family and supporters up to date on the progress and developments as they become available. Everyone is asking how they can help, and the Caring Bridge site will provide ways you can help through meals, babysitting services, visits, and more.
On behalf of Melinda, Chris, Myles, and my parents, Jim and Betsy, we thank you for your support, and most importantly, your prayers. Let's attack this monster and win the battle. #faithoverfear #beatmel'smonster
- Benjamin Apt
- Terry Carr
Organizer and beneficiary
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