Hi Family and Friends,
Just a quick note to let you know that we are scheduled to participate in our 2nd annual Angels Among Us 5K Run/Walk on Saturday April 29th, 2017 at the Duke Medical Center in Durham, NC. Our team name is once again Friedman's Fighters in honor of Shawn's amazing surgeon, Dr. Allen Friedman, for whom we will be forever grateful! We are hoping to raise funds for the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center via Angels Among Us. This the largest source of unrestricted funds and most critical for the research and development of advances in brain tumor treatment. See this excerpt from 60 Minutes if you missed it: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/promising-duke-university-polio-brain-cancer-trial-given-breakthrough-status-60-minutes/
Feel free to read below for a quick update on Shawn and Click on the Donate Link if you are so inclined - please do not feel pressured - we know there are many great causes - this one just happens to be near and dear to our hearts (and brains:).
Shawn Update 3/2017:
Aside from 2 minor bumps in the road in the form of grand mal seizures (one in March and one in May -at Torrey Pines of all places), Shawn has been doing awesome with stable MRIs every 8 weeks alternating visits between Duke and Emory. We know we are lucky and just pray for Shawn's positive attitude and STABLE scans to continue! Latest MRI on 3/8/17 at Duke was STABLE!
Shawn Update 3/2016:
As most of you know, Shawn was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October of 2014. After initially being told that this 5cm tumor "looked" benign, he decided to have surgery to remove it less than 2 weeks later at Emory (Oct. 28th). Unfortunately, not only was the tumor not benign, but because of it's location and the risk-tolerance level of the surgeon, only a small portion, equivalent to the size of a biopsy, was removed. A week later pathology confirmed our fears and it was determined to be an anaplastic astrocytoma -grade III. Although this was not the news we were expecting or ever wanted to hear, it forced us to do more research and to seek 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinions. We were told that Shawn would have the best prognosis if the entire tumor was removed prior to starting radiation and/or chemo. We ultimately decided on Duke based on their state of the art Brain Tumor Research Center, and most importantly, the experience of our surgeon, Dr. Allan Friedman, and his confidence that the tumor could be removed without permanently altering Shawn's quality of life. On Dec. 29th, the tumor was removed in it's entirety in less than 2 hours and with ZERO impact to the vision and motor/sensory areas of the brain (which were the primary areas of concern). Shawn was released less than 24 hours later and able to spend New Years 2015 watching college football with 2 good eyes:). Following this 2nd surgery, he completed 6 weeks of radiation at Emory and now, just this past March, finished his 12th and hopefully FINAL 12th month of oral chemo (Temodar)!! Thankfully all of the MRIs have been stable/good up to this point but he will continue going to Duke for appts/MRIs every 8 weeks for at least the next year.
We are so appreciative of everyone's continued thoughts and prayers and are hoping to raise funds and awareness for this devastating disease by participating in the Angels Among Us Walk this year. Please feel free to join the walk with us either in person this weekend at Duke or as a silent Angel by donating.
Whitney and Shawn
Why Give to The Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke:
Public research funds are distributed based on the incidence of a given disease. Because brain cancer causes just two percent of all cancer deaths each year, it is officially classified as an “orphan disease” – a term that sums up its place in the eyes of federal funding agents.
Corporate sources are also limited. There are more than 120 identified types of brain malignancies, each with different chemical profiles and behaviors. Developing an effective new drug comes at a very high price. The market for such narrowly targeted drugs is simply too small for pharmaceutical companies to make big investments in clinical investigation.