Help Toms battle with Brain Cancer

I feel selfish by writing this message, knowing it is a plea for support for my young family. There is a new reality in our life - a world-renowned neurosurgeon has told us; my husband Tom has 6 months to live. I refuse to believe this and although we are staying positive and hoping for the best outcome, we are also preparing for the worst. We need your support, even if it’s just a prayer.

My husband Tom, 40 and a loving father to our beautiful five and two year old daughters, has been diagnosed with a Brainstem glioma, classified as a high-grade diffuse Astrocytoma with piloid features. As foreign as these words are to us, it’s a rare brain cancer. Due to insufficient data and research available, experts can’t provide a precise prognosis for his condition. The online definition of this cancer is horrific and there are only a few stories of 'surviving' this cancer. The already mentioned world-renowned neurosurgeon gave my husband 6-12 months, while another neurosurgeon reluctantly gave an estimate of 2 years or a possibility of the cancer going into remission.

A neurosurgeon recommended a $45,000 invasive surgery to 'resect' the tumor; to reduce the size; to improve effectiveness of other treatments. We have opted against this (for now) because there is a high risk of damaging the brainstem, controlling core functions of his head and body.

Tom is being taken care of by a team of doctors at our local hospital who deserve more credit than I can give them, who specialise in the treatment of cancer and will undergo treatment of radiation and chemotherapy. We have taken steps to change our lifestyle and diet as recommended by these doctors as well as information from Cancer Council of Australia and we are also exploring alternative therapies that do not interfere with the main treatment plan.

We are hoping the cancer reacts well to the radiation and chemotherapy and for the best case scenario to happen, but the outcome is difficult to predict even by experts. Although we've decided against invasive surgery now, this is an option we may have to consider.

Even though we are taking this with a positive attitude, we know things can change rapidly and the last thing Tom needs, is to worry about his young family financial situation during this time .

Thanks for reading.
Wong Family


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Shaline Anna Malay 
Sydney, Australia
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