Saturday, May 4, 2013

Race for Hope

Every year in May, Linda celebrates her friend Carol's life with The Race for Hope. She is very excited to go to DC tomorrow for the race.  If you watch this David Cook video, you will need tissues.  (Linda and Carol are at the 3:56 mark.)  All the survivors, including lots of little kids, are wearing yellow shirts.  Everyone runs in memory or celebration of someone with a brain tumor. Carol has an amazing story that you can read on her blog.  This is just the first paragraph on her welcome page:

 Welcome to my website!  My name is Carol Welsh and I'm a thirteen year survivor of an adult ependymoma, a rare brain tumor. I've had three brain surgeries, one gamma knife radiosurgery, a placement of a shunt, a course of radiation and oral chemotherapy called Temodar which did not stop the growth of my tumor.  On March 22, 2005 I started a different "heavy duty" chemotherapy regimen, a combination of IV carboplatin and IV etoposide (VP-16).  I completed three more rounds of the chemo (April 12-14, May 7-9 and May 28-30) to buy some time while I investigated the possibility of a third surgery, which I eventually had on December 13, 2005.  With the recurrent tumor I had headaches, balance problems and severe double vision.  In fact, I had so many physical complaints that I was overwhelmed.  For over eleven months I took a daily dose of Decadron which has its pros and cons  - it is a vital steroid to control edema (swelling) around a brain tumor but it has horrible side effects.  Since my third surgery I have struggled to both accept and overcome my deficits. 

From another race. Carol is in the white jacket/yellow shirt