Marie and I traveled to Egypt for our 25th anniversary celebration. It was to be the trip of our life time, seeing the Pyramids and the ancient history of a great civilization. On our first full day, while waiting in line for the Cairo Museum to open, Marie had a seizure, and our life was changed forever.
The doctor asked me to tell my wife that she had a brain tumor the size of my fist, and I did so as gently as I could. Marie’s reaction was to laugh and say let’s get this taken care of as if it were nothing more than a scrape on her knee. She kept that attitude for 12 years as she went through three surgeries, four radiosurgeries, and countless chemotherapies. Together we exhausted our local hospitals for treatments, but the tumor kept recurring until it was growing in multiple locations of the brain.
We traveled to the Houston Medical center twice where she was taken as a patient at the M.D Anderson Cancer Center. When there was nothing left that they could do, we found out about the National Institutes of Health, where I was able to convince them to accept Marie as a patient, even if the treatment was experimental. Marie took that roll on gladly, as someone that NIH could learn from, and maybe help someone else in the future. In December 2012, Marie lost her battle with brain tumors as she rested peacefully in a hospice facility. She never gave up and forever will be my hero.