To me, hospitals have become synonymous with illness. For some visitors, hospitals bring out hope, faith and inspiration. In the past six years, I have not encountered many of these occasions. Today however, it was a whole different feeling. Along with my family members who helped to organize and put together a successful give back concert, we returned with a check in hand.
It’s nerve-wracking seeing my surgeon, no matter when I see him. But today, he and his staff were all smiles. Rather than my family and I thanking them for giving me the chance to live and continue my journey, they thanked us. What stood out to me was hearing him say that at the time he treated me in 2008, he saw my family’s commitment to me and the desire for me to get better, but that what he’s learned over the years is my family’s commitment to this cause.
I’ve said it all along – my battle and struggles fighting my brain tumor have shaped me. The person that I am today is due in great part because of what I went through and how I almost lost it all. But finding preventative treatments and the cure for brain tumors is my new passion. And knowing how my neurosurgeon plans to use this money now and going forward brings a smile to my face.
Today, we donated $10,100 to The Cusano Family Fund, a newly established fund which my surgeon intends to use going forward. Specifically, the money that we donated will be used to allow my neurosurgeon and the doctors to use the money as seed funding. “Seed funding” you ask? As the best that I can describe it, seed funding helps propel projects to important milestones that will bring the research to levels that allow scientists at the Yale Brain Tumor Center to take their work to clinical trials. In particular, Yale will be using this money to help develop nanotechnology that will deliver chemotherapy and other medicine to typically unreachable spots in the brain. It is very special to know that money in my family’s name can have such a major impact!
But what is even better – the fact that the doctors at Yale are excited about the prospect of making this event even bigger and better in the years to come. We already have a tentative date for 2015 and have expectations to make this concert a yearly event. Hopefully, I’ll see all of you readers there.