Tag Archives: brain tumor research

The Best Is Yet To Come

Hope that everyone has been enjoying their summer, whatever you may be doing.  But with the end of summer getting closer and closer, that means September is nearing.   However, September brings Playing for the Cure: Brainstormin’ fifty days from today!2016 Poster

Thanks to all of our sponsors (special thanks to our annual sponsor ShelfSpace Marketing, LLC, as well as our presenting sponsors this year, Carla’s Pasta and Specialty Packaging), family, supporters and the committee assisting us this year, I am excited to announce that we have already surpassed the amount donated in each of the previous two years!  With an exciting new venue, two great new bands and a tremendous raffle, the excitement is hard to contain.  As you know, we are holding the concert in the celebration room of the Stony Creek Brewery.  Gone are the days of drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and on to their craft brews.  And if beer is not your thing, they serve wine too.  If you think you might be hungry, worry not because this year, we are including a $10 food voucher!  Every weekend at the brewery, they have local food trucks come, so there will be something for everyone.  The brewery has been great to work with and I am excited to see our event come to life there!

As mentioned in a previous post, our bands this year are Ja2M and Wise Old Moon.  These bands are the perfect fit for this venue and are sure to please everyone in attendance.  In addition, we have a tremendous raffle and auction full of awesome items donated by sponsors, friends and colleagues.  Just to name some, we have two raffles: one for our grand prize, a 50cc gas street scooter, and the other raffle contains prizes such as a foursome of golf to play a round of 18 at one of two courses at Lyman Orchards, tickets to the Goodspeed Opera House, tickets to a UConn men’s basketball game, gift baskets, gift cards and many more.  Some of our auction items include an Eli Manning autographed jersey and a dinner for eight at the winner’s house prepared by the chefs at Carla’s Pasta.

But most importantly, by coming or making a donation, you will be helping doctors, surgeons and researchers find the cure for brain tumors.  To help a family and spare someone else having to go through what my family and I went through is what this is all about.

I’m not one to ask for much, but please, support this cause and come join us for a beer, some good tunes and some great food at the Stony Creek Brewery!  Hope to see you in 50 days!

For tickets, email me at chrisgreymatters@gmail.com

Can’t make it, but still want to contribute?  Visit http://www.cusanosagainstbraintumors.com

I’m Walking on Sunshine

Today, I walked into Yale New Haven Hospital for my six-month MRI feeling anxious and a little uneasy, because, after all, it is Friday the 13th.  However, deep down, I was confident because I have the best surgeon ever, and I walked out the happiest man on the face of the Earth.  And after eight long years, five operations and one gamma knife surgery, the stars have aligned and it appears that I am now DONE battling my brain tumor!

You pick the adjective – relieved, ecstatic, thrilled – I’m it.  Today’s scans showed nothing, other than a normal looking brain.  Sure, my neurocytoma might have given me a battle at times and it even attempted to break me, but, I win.

I honestly don’t know where I would be if not for Dr. Piepmeier and the staff at Yale.  For a quarter of my life, I have relied on him as my surgeon, allowing him to use scalpels and God only know what else inside my brain, but he has also been a friend.  He has supported me in everything I have done, including rehabilitation, my pursuit of my juris degree, my attempts at the bar exam, supporting my family’s fundraiser and creating a fund at the Yale Brain Tumor Center for us.

The gravity of this morning’s news has not quite sunk in yet, but I know it will.  Ever since I was diagnosed and survived, I knew I had a new lease on life, but this news serves as the assurances I have longed for.GR4ZD00Z

I am not a survivor, but rather a warrior. I overcame some very scary days, but I am alive and able to share my story.  So, I am going to give back and continue advocating for the cure and fundraising to help the doctors and researchers who saved my life.  I would never have imagined that I would take this entire experience and turn it into something good, or into something that I even want to discuss, but it is a cause I care so deeply about.  I want to do as much as possible to help find the cure to brain tumors, and bring hope to the warriors battling.

Thank you family and friends for your continued support and reading about my journey – I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for me!

Something To Believe In

I’m somewhat at a loss for words…

Last week brought about many different reasons for hope and opportunity.  On Tuesday, I was scrolling though my inbox and saw an email from my doctor.  Under normal circumstances, I probably would have taken the contents of that message as bad news.  However, as I began reading the message, I realized that I went from feeling nervous and timid to shocked; my body rendered momentarily unconscious.

Before I head out the door for work, I like to spend some time watching the morning news to get me up-to-speed on everything I need to know for the day ahead.  What I find is that 99.9% of the news is full of sad, depressing stories.  And when I am on social media, I find that I have further found myself surrounded by news not for the faint of heart.

The email that I refer to contained news, but this news was different. It gave me a renewed sense of hope and acted as  a much-needed reminder of all the good and kindness in the world.

So I’m just going to cut to the chase: in that email from my doctor, I learned that through the Denver Foundation, a gift of $53,000 was made to The Cusano Family Fund for Brain Tumor Research!

Cusano Family Brain Tumor Fund - LogoAfter composing myself, collecting my thoughts and having my excitement under momentary control, I sent an immediate email back to my doctor:  Who did this?  Why was my fund chosen?  How did they know of my fund?  There were a litany of questions that I dying to ask.

During a call with my surgeon the next day, I learned that the Denver Foundation first inquired about my fund in late 2015.  Similar to a bank, a donor deposits money into an account managed by the Denver Foundation.  Once the donor decides on a cause, a directive is made to cut a check to the designated fund.  Unlike a grant that I applied for, this was a gift – a completely unexpected, selfless gift that I will be forever grateful for.

Unfortunately, the answer to all of my questions remain unanswered.  I can only guess that the person responsible follows my story.  So to the mystery person that made this donation – I hope you are reading – words alone cannot express my gratitude.  Your generosity and desire to help me in this fight is beyond appreciated, and while I know that I can never repay you, please know that I will do everything in my power to help the Yale Brain Tumor Center put this money to the best use possible in finding the cure for and treating benign and malignant brain tumors.  My fight will continue on for as long as I am able and until the cure is found – I hope.

In a world where we hear a lot of sad and depressing news, isn’t it refreshing and joyous to know that good truly exists?  For me, this is an easy question to answer.

To the generous donor – I will be indebted to you always and words will never be enough.