On July 14th 2016 Craig was diagnosed with a Grade 4 Glioblostoma tumor, the most deadly and aggressive form of brain cancer there is. He was told then that the median life expectancy is 16 months. But I would venture to say that news would shock most everyone who's ever come in contact with Craig since.
Craig doesn't live like he is dying.
Craig lives like he is living.
And he always has. My brother has an enthusiasm for life, like I've never known. He effortlessly fills a room. He's not just a piece of a part, he's the whole show. He tells the jokes, and then he laughs at them too. And once you've heard his laugh you'll remember it all your life. It bounces off walls and echoes down halls and it is unbelievably and undeniably infectious. Craig isn't just living,
Craig is life.
He is the pulse of our family. The heartbeat of our home. And the first love of my life.
I have watched Craig fight, everyday these last 5 months. Everyday he fights. But he's not just fighting cancer he's fighting all the sadness and headache that comes with its demons.
That come with dying.
But you'd never know.
If he gets down, he gets back up.
Every. Single. Day.
He fights for happiness, for love and for joy. He fights for laughing and smiling and living out loud. He fights for Kim and for Evan and for Anne.
And everyday he wins.
I will be in awe of his strength, determination, and optimism for the rest of my life. I will be devoted, admire and respect him, for the rest his.
This week we learned that Craig's tumor despite being cut out, despite being radiated, despite being starved with a ketogenic diet, despite being poisoned with chemotherapy, is back.
And has very aggressively grown and spread throughout his brain.
But here's the thing, you'd never know that either. Craig's entire brain is swollen, shifted past midline, and infected with tumor. And yet he's still just laughing, loving, living Craig. I think it's sheer willpower, there's no other explanation for it. I've prayed for a miracle everyday to save him.
Only Craig is the miracle.
Because despite it all, the fact that he's still just right here, his same silly, totally neurologically intact self, defies all versions of any reality.
And that alone, saves me.
Craig has decided to go forward in two weeks with a very involved tenuous second craniotomy where they will remove all areas of tumor, a significant part of his brain and then inject a trial vaccine into the cavity to try to eradicate it.
To be clear, it's not what I wanted.
I wanted to keep him whole.
I wanted to take him home.
I wanted to just hoard him and selfishly enjoy every last second with the brother I know and love...just the way he is.
But I'm not Craig. Not many are. Craig fully understands the risks and possible outcomes being wagered.
But he wants to go down swinging.
He wants to live life living.
Because Craig knows that regardless of the outcome, the knowledge gained from this trial will eventually help others survive. He is our living breathing hero in every sense of the word.
So at this point going forward, Craig will permanently not return to work. His wife Kim has taken an immediate indefinite leave of absence from work to devote herself to his round the clock care. I have watched them hemorrhaged money into investigating countless studies, trials and equipment in pursuit of any glimpse of hope. I have watched the way Kim looks at Craig, the way Craig looks at Kim. They define in sickness and in health. Her look is one of unconditional, unwavering, endless love. She has been our rock. Craig's is one of a man completely still smitten, 20 years later. I see gratitude in his embrace and the hardest part is, I see an apology in his eyes.
I'm sorry we didn't get forever.
I'm sorry you'll raise our children alone.
I'm sorry I can't stop this.
It breaks my heart. It's not your fault brother bear. None of this is your fault.
I asked Craig the week of his diagnosis 5 months ago if I could make him a "Go Fund Me" page, knowing very well the catastrophic cost that come with terminal diagnosis's. His pride just smiled, shook his head and declined.
"We're okay he said, we don't need it now."
This time I didn't ask him.
This time I'm asking you.
There's so much I can't give him. I can't give him walking Anne down the aisle and I can't give him teaching Evan how to shave. I can't give him his 50th wedding anniversary.
But I can give him this. He needs it now.
I want to raise money so Craig can enjoy these moments free of financial worry. So he can have some relief to spend time with his family stress free. So he can continue to spend his time living his life living, for all the days of his life.
And I would be absolutely grateful beyond measure, if you would help me. #oursuperman
Click here to view a video I made for Craig from morning of diagnosis forward.