Gray Matters to Us

On November 26th, I am volunteering for

Bob's Buddies

. It is a radiothon benefitting the Preston Robert Tisch Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation at Duke. I would love to support them with a donation from those who have directly and indirectly supported my family over the years as my Mom is currently fighting her third brain tumor.  We've received a tremendous amount of support through prayer,  phone calls,  texts, Facebook messages, meals and much more. For that,  we cannot thank you enough. 

Our Story:
   My wonderful, loving, caring Mother, Kim Rines, has been fighting brain tumors for 26 years. In 1988, at 31, she was diagnosed with a Meningioma. Brain surgery successfully removed the tumor but she would forever need anti-seizure medications. The years went by and she had mild seizures but through routine MRI's she was in the clear.That was until 2002 when she was diagnosed with another tumor, this time an Oligodendroglioma. Again, she had brain surgery and recovered. Since then, we thought she was okay. Wasn't 2 brain tumors enough?! Unfortunately, it wasn't. On July 22, 2014 she had a 5-level back surgery (her 3rd back surgery!). Surgery was a success but by day 3 post-surgery, she couldn't stand up and her cognitive functions weren't all there. Dreadfully, we received news that there was "a mass." On August 28th she had brain surgery...for the third time. Mom went to Duke and surgery was performed by world-renowned surgeon, Dr. Allan Friedman. He was able to remove 70% of the tumor (about the size of a pear). The tumor has "tentacles" that intertwine in her brain so any more removal could've done more damage. The pathology report indicated that she has a Grade IV Glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. On September 29th she began radiation and chemotherapy (an oral pill), concurrently. After 9 days on radiation and after fully understanding the severity of this type of tumor, she decided to stop radiation. On October 12th she went back to Duke so the Doctors could work to find the right balance of medication and care. Sadly, on October 28th, my Mom lost her battle and died peacefully at home surrounded by family. Cancer Sucks!!!

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Allison Rines Phillips
Willow Spring, NC

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