Meet John

John and his devoted wife, Elaine, live in Sierra Vista, Arizona. John was diagnosed with a Stage 4 Glioblastoma brain tumor on September 11, 2006. Prior to this diagnosis, John was a healthy and hard-working man who enjoyed playing pool and listening to rock and roll music. He began having headaches that were so bad they forced him to leave work early. This was very unusual for John and concerned Elaine greatly. After trying to deal with these headaches and unusual weakness for a week, John and Elaine went to the ER where they performed a CT scan and discovered the brain tumor.

JohnNeedless to say, September 11, 2006 is a day that John and Elaine will never forget. The first neurosurgeon that they saw gave them no hope and would not even consider performing surgery. They went for a second opinion, and this neurosurgeon did perform surgery, removing as much of the 5-inch long tumor as possible. The surgery was followed by radiation and chemotherapy, and by Christmas 2006, John was feeling well enough to visit his parents in New Mexico and to enjoy the holidays with his family.

Unfortunately, the headaches began again in January 2007, and an MRI showed that the tumor had begun to grow back, necessitating a second surgery. John’s sisters, determined not to lose their dear brother, began researching his cancer online and found the CNI Clinic in Englewood, Colorado. John and Elaine made an appointment with this clinic and met with the doctors there in February 2007. They started John on a different type of chemotherapy, which began shrinking the tumor. Every MRI that John has had since February 2007 has shown shrinkage or no change in the tumor, and John and Elaine are very grateful to the doctors and nurses in Englewood for the wonderful care they receive there.

Due to the distance involved between their home in Arizona and their doctors in Colorado, John and Elaine have been blessed with help from a group called Angel Flight West, which is a group of pilots who donate their time to transport sick patients to their doctor appointments. When available, John and Elaine take advantage of this service to save themselves the trying 15-hour drive each way.

Despite the encouraging MRI reports, John has battled seizures and depression throughout his journey with brain cancer. However, with the help from his family and friends, he has remained strong and continued to fight every day. He even returned to work in January 2008 and works a few hours each day when feeling up to it. John and Elaine have overcome the odds since his diagnosis and continue to persevere, showing us all that life is a gift that should never be taken for granted. They continue to make the most of their lives, enjoying their time together with their fur “babies” Spicey, Toby, Sammy and Brady.

God Bless all of you!