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Keeping the Faith



Submitted by:
Matt Anthony

Tom is 25-year Glioblastoma survivor. That’s right, a quarter century since his diagnosis with a GBM. On his GBM Silver Anniversary, just two weeks ago on April 1…April Fool’s Day. Tom reflected
on his good fortune, but mostly on his call to help others since that first day when hearing the news of his malignant brain tumor. On that April Fools Day, Tom noted that silver represents durability.
No fooling, and in fact so fitting for surviving 25 years.

Tom’s Legacy of Love begins with his family. And his first very special thank you is to his wife Jatha, who has been there through every single day of Tom’s 25-year journey with brain cancer. Said Tom,“the love of my life and the definition of caregiver.” With deep pride, Tom talks of his three adult kids who truly are good, caring people. Keeping them fully informed of Tom’s progress was so important to him. As Tom said, “practicing complete honesty with those who love you the most is vital in the coping and healing process.” Tom and Jatha have four grandkids, each special in their own way. They often share how grateful they are to be here with them.

Tom is always quick to give thanks to the medical professionals who provided his care, scores of people over the years, including many at MU Health and Ellis Fischel…most recently Drs, Litofksy, Carr and Chicoine who have followed him and managed his care in recent years. Tom often shares how GBM transformed him in a good way. He learned how to have meaningful conversations and to get to know people he encounters. Tom treasures and can recount each chat. In Tom’s words, “God gave me a gift of surviving GBM, and I share that gift as best I can with other survivors and caregivers. By talking to them and listening to their stories and helping as best I can. Being there for them is one of the most meaningful things I get to do along with supporting our Boys and Girls Club and joining the board of Head for the Cure.” HFTC provides a great resource for survivors and caregivers through Brains for the Cure.”

When I first met Tom more than eight years ago, he shared his personal mantra — Accept, Adapt, and Adjust. He repeats it often. Tom reminded me that when you hear survival statistics ignore them. They’re only math and put an artificial limit on your life. Don’t let cancer steal a moment of your time. There is always cause for hope and joy. Just let yourself be open to them.

Tom Sadowski, you inspire us every day. You embody the central truth of living for others.

(Photo courtesy of M&M Select Properties, LLC)