This year a group of us will be completing the Fort Knox Spartan Sprint and would like sponsors to help us raise money for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). This charity is very special to our family, as my wife, Corinna, needed specialized treatment for dangerous tumors and the SCCA was there for us with more than just medical care. Corinna genuinely felt better about everything in her life after spending 2 months with so many people who cared genuinely for her beyond just the clinical treatment. Here is her story in her own words:
"In 2011, my life turned upside down. Not only did I have a baby who was born with defects which would turn out to be fatal, I also had the first of many MRIs and found out I had a brain tumor called a meningioma. A meningioma is a tumor on the meninges which is the membrane that surrounds the brain. This was the last thing I worried about as my full attention was on my dying son, Connor. His death came and he became a memory which is so beautiful but painful at the same time. After all of that, I finally had to focus on my own health for the sake of my other boys. I got an MRI to track the progress of the spot they noticed from a previous MRI. Not only was it growing, but there was another worrisome spot surrounding my optic nerve. Doctors recommended surgery, so I went ahead with it, hoping it was the best solution."
"My surgeon at Walter Reed was able to remove a large bit of it, so it was considered a success. Horrifyingly, about two years later I was sent for a second surgery. This would address the tumor around my optic nerve, which at this point was affecting my vision to a greater degree." "This time, not much could be removed without risk of harm to my vision. Radiation therapy was recommended and that is when I recalled reading about an advanced treatment called proton therapy. This advanced form of radiation therapy sends protons directly to the tumor so that it hits them with the greatest amount of energy and quickly dissipates so that the surrounding area is less affected by the radiation. This method sounded like it was exactly what I needed in order to help my vision. After finding the locations where proton therapy was offered, the obvious choice was Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy Center since my family was nearby."
"My oncologist at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii got things in order so that I could get the best possible care for my condition. After speaking on the phone multiple times with SCCA arranging dates, I was hesitant to commit until they told me they would fund my treatment even if my insurance denied it. This put me at ease and I went ahead and set up dates. I finally got a flight to Washington so that I could begin my treatment."
"Everything went so smoothly, everyone was so friendly and I felt at ease. I felt like I mattered. Before I knew it, I had made it through two months of treatment. My hair begun to fall out around my temples, but other than that I felt miraculously normal. Slowly, my vision returned and it seems like it is still improving even now, nearly three years later."
"I am so thankful for everybody at SCCA, who gave me my vision and hope back. While there are traces of meningiomas with a third appearing, they are stable and hopefully will remain that way. I am participating in this Spartan race in order to help my team raise money for the SCCA so that others who are in need of proton therapy and may not be in a position to receive this extremely vital treatment will have a way to make it a reality."
"Thank you for reading my story and helping out if you are able so that another person may be given a hopeful future."