August 11th was one year from the last day I had radiation. Last year was the year I was sick, this year has been the year of recovery, and this next year is the year I’m moving forward. I can feel it.
Last year at this time I could hardly walk the two blocks to the hospital for treatment, today I can walk two miles, next year (June of 2010), I’m planning to walk 227 miles from my house to Mass General Hospital to raise money and awareness for Brain and Skull Base Tumor Research.
Some information about Brain Tumors...they are relatively uncommon, especially when they are compared with lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. These “big three” cancers are responsible for 44% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States. Brain tumors constitute less than 2% of the total number of cancers diagnosed. My particular type of tumor, a chondrosarcoma (is a cancerous tumor, and difficult to treat-I’ve been quite fortunate). Because of the effective screening for breast and prostate cancer, these diseases are often diagnosed at earlier stages, and less than 20% of the patients die of their disease. In contrast, 77% of cancerous brain tumor patients will die of their tumor or complications related to their tumor. Non-cancerous brain tumors can be just as deadly. There are no effective screening strategies for brain tumors, even “early” diagnosis of small, operable tumors may not be associated with favorable prognosis. Fundraising for brain tumors is very minimal, a few afflicted celebrities have come out to support the cause-but have not lived long enough to make much ground.
The decision to “Walk”, was spiritual…strangely guided. I’ve never felt this way before. I woke up about three weeks ago, feeling that this was something I had to do…not could do, not like to do, but had to do. I feel I’m on an important path, one with grand meaning and purpose…after these last two years where I could barely find the path…this is amazing.
Over the next ten months I’ll be reaching out to corporate and medical sponsors, as well as friends and family. I plan on filming the process of creating the “walk”, as well as the walk itself. I’ll be blogging about the project’s progress.
I’m a believer in “strength in numbers”. Last year I couldn’t even consider such an undertaking, but it’s because of everyone’s contributions that I will be able to make this come true. Thank you. Let the Walking Begin!