In April 2020, Dave Emer went to the hospital with what was thought to be Covid related symptoms. After a CT scan, he received devastating news that has changed his life forever. Dave had a 7cm tumour growing on his brain. He was rushed to Toronto Western Hospital to have an emergency craniotomy.
At the age of 43, our friend, father, husband, brother, uncle, son and teacher Dave Emer was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme grade 4 (GBM)- the deadliest type of brain cancer. After a lengthy surgery the doctors successfully removed the tumour. For the next two weeks, without physical contact with his family, doctors and nurses were impressed with Dave’s recovery and mental state. He was released from Toronto Neurological Rehab Institute and went home to his wife and children. For the next 6 weeks, Dave completed radiation followed by continuous rounds of chemo.
This impact on a person of such a devastating diagnosis and invasive treatment is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting, but Dave met these challenges in every way. First, he lost over 40 pounds, by removing sugar and gluten from his diet and exercising daily, so as to fight for his recovery from a position of strength. With up and downs Dave was making progress and continues his fight each day.
In July 2020, Dave woke up with swelling around the surgical sight. After numerous tests he was told he had an infection, which required reopening of his skull to clean the surgical sight. After a successful surgery, Dave once again started his recovery process, requiring tubes of IV antibiotics directly into his body to clear any potential new infections.
In August 2020, Dave and his family set up an annual “CT Cup” golf tournament to raise awareness around GBM. The tournament raised over $4,000.00 which was donated to cancer research and to the nurses who helped in his recovery. This was a testament to Dave’s generosity and gratitude towards the team that helped him battle and recover.
Over the next year, Dave continued with chemotherapy at Princess Margaret along with attending a private clinic in Toronto weekly for additional treatment care. The private clinic is unfortunately not covered by OHIP or Insurance.
After a routine MRI in May 2021, Dave was told that he had another growth on his brain. He completed another round of radiation, which was the only option available to him in the Ontario Health Care system. Dave and his wife decided to look at alternative treatments outside of Canada, due to the limited treatment options available in Canada. After much research, and discussions with people dealing with the same disease, a decision was made to take a trip to Germany for two weeks. The procedures that are only offered there can improve the quality of life significantly and help fight this disease, far beyond the limited treatment options that are available in Canada.
Glioblastoma is a unique form of brain cancer. In Canada, there is a lack of acknowledgement, funding and support for patients with GBM. Patients of all grades – more and less advanced -- are grouped together and receive the same standard of care. There are only three treatments available in Canada for GBM: surgery, radiation and chemo. Dave has done all of them.
After taking the year off from work to recover, we would like raise funds to support Dave and his family with the cost to complete advanced treatments that are available to him through a trip to Germany and time in their advanced medical system.
Dave has spent his life helping others. As a high school teacher, he has always made sure to put his students growth and success a priority. He has been involved with various volunteer organizations. From coaching soccer, volleyball and golf, to starting his own robotics team within his community. As a cherished friend and family member, he has always been there for anyone in need. Now Dave needs your support.
Please help us and be a part of his team trying to defeat this horrible disease. We are looking to raise $30,000.00. Any donations are greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your support and generosity!