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Keeping the Faith




Submitted by:
Laura Towne

Wow! Where do I even begin with sharing how amazing my nephew Joshua is?! At the young age of 4, doctors finally did an MRI of his brain and found a golf ball-sized tumor just above Joshua’s brain stem. They quickly did surgery and finally, after 2 weeks of recovery, Joshua was able to go home. What they found was an ependymoma. After recovery and treatment, for 6 years, Joshua lived a pretty normal life! At 10 years old, the tumor came back and that’s when life as a cancer patient would really start. At 10, 12, 14, 16, and continuously since, Joshua has had reoccurring cancer, needing 8 craniotomies, multiple rounds of different chemos, every kind of radiation (including full brain and spine), so many different trials, and trips to different hospitals. Joshua, at 21 years old is now fighting his 10th recurrence of this horrible diagnosis. Joshua has been wheelchair-bound since high school, but he was voted as Cominghome King (Michigan’s winter homecoming) his senior year, attended his prom (he was so handsome), and then graduated and walked on his day of graduation! If that’s not amazing enough, Joshua has attended several college classes, just to keep learning. Several years ago, Joshua became septic with a severe infection and we were uncertain if he would make it through the night. He had stroke-like activity at that time and is now hemiplegic and hearing impaired with a cochlear implant. During that time, Joshua was placed in hospice, but shortly after he was doing so well that they stopped hospice. How often do you hear that? Has that ever stopped Josh from fighting? No way! His goal is to make it back to Austin for the next central Texas Head for the Cure event in 2022 and I can’t wait to celebrate that day with him. Josh has always been an inspiration to me, but after I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015 and 2018 I knew I could never give up because the coolest dude I know never has! Thank you, Joshua, for always being so awesome and inspiring!