NYC Marathon Update!
October 08, 2016
BENEFITING: BRAIN TUMOR FOUNDATION
ORGANIZER: BRAIN TUMOR FOUNDATION
Brain Tumors Don’t Discriminate!
Brain tumors are real and there’s a good chance it will happen to someone you know or someone you love in your lifetime.
-- Mark Ruffalo, Award Winning Actor
My name is Kelly Everoski and I am a brain tumor survivor. 9 years ago at the age of 26, I noticed a persistent ringing in my left ear. I was diagnosed with a large acoustic neuroma, also called a vestibular schwannoma, which is a rare benign tumor of the balance and hearing nerves. My tumor was engulfing all surrounding nerves and leaning on my brainstem. Surgery was the only option.
My diagnosis came as a shock and completely flipped my young life upside down. It was traumatizing to say the least. I was fortunate to have the support of my family and friends.
After a very lengthy and intricate (13 hour) surgery by one of the best surgeons around, I began my recovery. In order to preserve my facial nerve, my surgeon felt it best to leave a small piece of residual tumor. This tumor will be monitored every couple of years for the rest of my life. The surgery took my hearing, leaving me deaf in my left ear, unable to produce tears in my left eye and with an enormous amount of anxiety and stress. I was very fortunate that the outcome was not worse based on the reality of the situation.
I eventually healed and got right back to teaching and life. A few years later, I was blessed with my two beautiful children. The one thing I did not have was peace of mind that the small bit of tumor left behind would not grow. Each time I would prepare for an MRI, I would struggle with much anxiety and stress. I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This disorder was taking over my life! I was anxious all the time, especially when it came to my children and their health. I was a mess!
Finally after years of living like this, I came across an article on how running reduces anxiety and helps manage stress naturally. I was never a runner! Running was never something I thought about or wanted to try. I figured it was worth a shot. I started slowly, increasing my mileage. It did not take long before I began feeling better! It was an amazing life change for me. I decided to enter 5k races, which became 10k races, half marathons and a full marathon just last year! Today, I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. I’m happy, strong, and a survivor! My last MRI was stable and my surgeon thinks I may be out of the woods! I am proud to be running on The Brain Tumor Foundation Team for the NYC marathon 2016! I look forward to fundraising and giving back to people who need hope and support. Nobody should go through this alone!
The Brain Tumor Foundation (BTF) guides and supports patients and families during the turbulent times when their lives are touched by a brain tumor by offering support groups, medical referrals and informational events.
BTF’s Road to Early Detection campaign was launched to increase public awareness about early detection of brain tumors and the urgent need for brain scan screenings.
With the expanded Sponsor-A-City Tour, BTF is providing free MRI brain scans nationally, in the hope of understanding the relationship between patient factors and brain tumors. In collaboration with a multidisciplinary research team at Columbia University in New York City, we are gathering key information from these scans that will hopefully help us to better understand the epidemiology of brain tumors – whether it be environmental, genetic or some other still unexamined source.
* This year, close to 700,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with a brain or central nervous system tumor.
* Close to 1 million people are living with brain tumors that have yet to be detected.
Please support our runners’ efforts to raise awareness of the need for early detection of brain tumors. DONATE TODAY!