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Keeping the Faith

Keeping The Faith Award - Nomination photo



Submitted by:
Mitch Ulanski

My brother John turned 29 years old earlier this May. A few months before that in January, severe headaches ultimately led to the discovery of a grade 2 oligodendroglioma brain tumor. A few weeks later, John was diagnosed with brain cancer. It’s really easy to say “why me” in situations like this. But with John, he took on the mentality of “let’s get to work”. Prior to all this happening, John was a very active person. You could find him hitting home runs on the softball field, smashing drives on the golf course, and spending several days a week in the gym. He loves going to the movies, making people laugh, and cheering for his Cleveland Indians and Detroit Lions. In the office, John is a successful account executive at his company, working hard every day. For now, John’s job is winning this battle. He has been knocked down several times. But he continues to get up even stronger. During some of John’s toughest days in hospital, he had music played for him. Gradually, he started tapping his fingers, then moving his hands and arms, and eventually started singing the words to songs. Music is the universal language that touches the soul – and John is the perfect example of this. As John progressed in his recovery, first talking was a big deal. Then it was sitting up. Then standing. Then walking. And now John can proudly say he has walked two different 5k races! That is the definition of determination and having the WILL TO WIN. The way he has handled this has been incredible and he’s shown so much courage. John is the bravest, toughest person I know. He’s an inspiration and hero to so many people. John deserves this Keeping The Faith Award, because that is exactly what he’s done throughout his recovery – he’s kept the faith. He’s kept the faith in God, in his family and friends around him, and most importantly – in HIMSELF. There are many questions I don’t have the answers to, but I do know one thing. My brother John CAN and WILL beat this. #JOHNSTRONG