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Keeping the Faith




It was an ordinary March afternoon when my mom got the phone call. She was out shopping for the dress she would wear as mother of the bride at my wedding. When her cell phone rang, it was my dad calling to tell her he was trying to write a check and realized he couldn’t write his name. My mom, who is a nurse, knew this was not something to be taken lightly, so she rushed home and took him to the hospital. Later that evening she called me with news that would change our family’s world. The doctors had discovered a tennis ball-sized tumor in my dad’s brain. I had been deep in the midst of planning my wedding, but all thoughts of bridesmaid dresses and catering were pushed aside when this news came. Things seemed to happen in a whirlwind as five days later my dad had brain surgery to remove the tumor. Family came from all around to be by my dad’s side for the operation. There were sighs of relief when the surgeon told us he was able to remove the entire tumor, but the fear and tears still remained as we finally knew what he was facing: stage IV glioblastoma multiforme. After recovering from surgery, my dad spent time in the rehabilitation hospital where he learned to regain abilities many of us take for granted every day, such as walking and writing. After a couple weeks, he regained strength and was able to return home. In June, he walked me down the aisle at my wedding and shared a special father daughter dance with me. Unfortunately in July, we learned the news that every family with a loved one fighting a brain tumor fears: my dad’s tumor had returned. This time surgery to remove the tumor wasn’t an option. But my dad hasn’t stopped fighting. He has been continuing his chemotherapy and underwent Gamma Ray radition therapy. Unfortunately, all the radiation therapy he has undergone hasn’t been without side effects. He has spent some more time in the rehabilitation hospital gaining strenth to compensate for the necrotic effects of the radiation. Through it all, my dad has never given up. He has shown me throughout this trial a new meaning of resilience and hope. While the many afternoons my dad spent on the golf course are no longer possible, he is still an avid watcher of the Golf Channel, determined to still be a part of the sport he enjoyed. Though we don’t know where this journey will take our family in the days ahead, we are thankful for every day we get to be by his side.