This year, I am participating in the Head for the Cure race on June 23 in memory of my mom, Cheri Massa. Our goal is to celebrate her life with the people who loved her and also to help raise money to fund research that will result in better outcomes for people diagnosed with brain tumors.
Cheri was diagnosed with a Grade 4 Glioblastoma in September of 2017. Before then, we knew very little about brain cancer, but her life and the lives of the people taking care of her quickly grew to center around her disease and her treatment. Over the next 13 months, Cheri underwent 2 brain surgeries, grueling chemo therapy, radiation, and participated in studies for new treatments. During this time, she suffered from aphasia which made it difficult for her to express herself - she would often mix up words and also struggled to read and write. As time went on, the cancer continued to effect her brain function and she became less and less independent.
On October 11, 2018, she lost her battle to cancer making it just over a year since her diagnosis which is the typical life expectancty for someone with her diagnosis. She was 55 years old. Before she was diagnosed with cancer, she showed no signs of slowing down - she was healthy and full of life.
Each year, over 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. More than 120 types of brain tumors exist, making effective treatment complicated. Cutting edge research is needed as we continue to make strides in this fight. During Cheri's battle with cancer, we met other people affected brain tumors. We hope we can be part of finding a solution for those people who are still fighting.
Cheri cared deeply about helping people and trying to leave the world better than she found it. She touched many lives and we know it would mean a lot to her to know that people are trying to help others who are suffering in her memory.
Please consider joining our team or making a donation today to help us reach our goal and to help Head for the Cure defeat brain cancer.
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