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Keeping the Faith




Submitted by:
Ashley Hopkins

Garrik is a 31 year cancer patient who wears many hats. He is a father, husband, brother, son, and the main provider for his family. Garrik works with his own father, and together they run a family owned hardwood flooring business. Garrik’s diagnosis knocked a whole family to their knees but grew a love so strong it cannot be challenged. Garrik was diagnosed with a grade 2 astrocyptoma glioma on 7/14/2016. The only warning sign of the impending diagnosis was 2 seizures. The first occurred while Garrik was alone and driving. It was suspected that his blood sugar had spiked but an MRI was ordered as a precaution. Garrik has his second seizure while home with his family prior to his scheduled MRI. This confirmed a tumor in his right frontal lobe and he was admitted for an immediate biopsy. Garrik had a craniotomy on 8/3/16. There were complications as a result of the craniotomy and Garrik developed an infection. This resulted in an additional surgery to clean the infection and remove the titanium plate that protected his brain. While this was out, Garrik was required to wear a seizure helmet and required antibiotics. The antibiotics caused an allergic reaction and he was seen be an infectious disease medical team as he suffered minor liver damage and his overall health declined. Garrik pushed through all of this, even an emergency hospitalization for the allergic reaction. He didn’t feel well. It was quite obvious. But he was still able to joke and kept his sense of humor. On 12/28/16 Garrik had his last surgery of 2016, and his last surgery to date. He received a prosthetic skull covering so he no longer had to wear the protective helmet. In the Spring of 2017, Garrik started working again. Garrik never quit fighting. I don’t think he knows how. I know he will never stop. The real hero’s in life wear Gray. I’m blessed to run beside them.