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Keeping the Faith




Marcos Heras is my son in law and I am honored to be able to tell you his story and about how special he is to us and many others. He is a phenomenal father to my grandchildren, husband to my daughter, and one of the most thoughtful and caring people that I know. Marcos was diagnosed almost two years ago now. His initial symptoms were very vague. He would describe them as something funny in his head, but that was pretty much it. One day he had many of those funny things in his head so my daughter brought him to an urgent care where a wonderful physician had a feeling that he should scan him. It was difficult to determine what was going on because the scan looked as if one side of his brain was sort of wiped out. They questioned a stroke. A neurologist was consulted as well as well as a neuro surgeon who then determined that it was indeed a tumor. Unfortunately this was not a pleasant visit and was one filled with hopelessness and despair. The good news is that my daughter and Marcos met Dr. Morris Groves and of course, Rachael, his PA. (Who by the way has been at my daughter’s beck and call ever since answering countless questions). Dr. Groves’ approach was much different, one filled with hope and a plan. His attention to the emotional needs of his patient and his patient’s wife were quite unbelievable, really. They were both feeling much more at ease and knew that they were supported. Marcos’s brain biopsy was done and it was determined that he probably had a grade II Astrocytoma. The plan then was to begin oral chemo, and began him on medication for his seizures. There was much difficulty in adjusting his antiseizure medications for some reason and he was on enough of them and high enough dosages to kill a horse, but Marcos prevailed and he managed to stay upright although was quite tired. He tolerated the chemo without any problem; however the steroids were not something he enjoyed too much. Marcos continued to have seizures during this time despite all of the med changes. Throughout the entire time he persevered, staying at home and raising their two small boys and kept very busy volunteering at their church taking care of their sound board. He really never gave up and just kept plugging away each and every day. He would tell us that when he conquered this he wanted to pay it forward. After about 8 months or so it was decided that they needed to look at a different approach. The seizures were continuing and he was on the maximum dose of medication. Dr. Groves remembered a colleague that he had worked with at MD Anderson in Houston, Tx. He was a neuro surgeon that had removed many of these types of tumors. He thought that Marcos needed to meet him to see if it was possible that he could help. Off to Houston the two of them went to meet Dr. Ian McCutcheon, neuro surgeon who specializes in these types of tumors. He gave them much hope and encouragement and on Feb 20, 2013, Marcos went through the biggest test of his life. Brain surgery that could have destroyed his independence became one that made him stronger and more compassionate, caring and loving then ever. You see, as afraid as he was, he did this for his family and for us, because he knew that we needed him to. Dr. McCutcheon told us that though there was risk, Marcos was not going down under his knife and after 14 hours of surgery and in recovery he was moving all 4s, smiling with both sides of his mouth, and news of a successful surgery we praised God for sending us Dr. McCutcheon. Three weeks after surgery Marcos was filming the Head For The Cure Event in Austin, Tx. He is simply amazing. Although he tried easily and his memory was not at 100%, he followed through and was there for the entire event. He has improved to the point where he takes care of both children, cooks all the meals, cleans the house, pays the bills, and waits on my daughter. We love him so much and I know that God’s hand has played a part in his recovery because he has a plan for him on this earth. He and my daughter have grown in their faith and their relationship has blossomed. The grandkids are beautiful and thriving and we are forever grateful for everything and every God given day on this earth.