by A.C. Hall
On Saturday, the National Brain Tumor Society is holding the DFW Brain Tumor Walk to raise proceeds for the funding of critical brain tumor research and to raise awareness of the disease. The NBTS says there are nearly 700,000 people in the United States living with a brain tumor today, and that close to 14,000 will die of the disease this year alone. Brain tumors can cause life altering psychological, cognitive, behavioral, and physical effects, yet the NBTS states that brain tumor research is grossly underfunded and that the availability of effective treatments is severely limited.
For the Harrison family of White Settlement, this cause hits home. Their son, Steven, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in February of this year. Just sixteen years old, Steven is described as being perfectly healthy prior to the diagnosis. His mother, Tanya, originally took him to the doctor for what the family thought were migraines, but a CAT scan revealed that it was actually a tumor. Steven underwent surgery on Feb. 26 and the procedure to remove the tumor lasted six hours. He spent over two weeks in the hospital and then did three months of outpatient therapy.
Despite the success of his surgery, Steven is still feeling the effects of the tumor and will remain under the watchful eye of doctors.
“Steven still has issues with his vision, but it is improving,” Tanya said. “Steven will be followed by an oncologist for ten years.”
Doctors don’t know how long Steven had the tumor or what caused it. He’s now part of the research going on to find out what causes brain tumors.
One thing that both Tanya and Steven did know early on in the process is that they wanted to do whatever they could to help fund brain tumor research.
“He and I decided in the hospital when we found out about the brain tumor walk that we were going to do this,” Tanya said. “It is important to us to raise awareness and raise money to help find a cure.”
Tanya founded Team Steven, and they will be walking this Saturday as part of the DFW Brain Tumor Walk. The walk will be held at Trinity Park in Fort Worth. Registration starts at 8 a.m. with programs and activities running from 8:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.. The walk is a 5k but participants are not required to complete the entire course.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the walk and ways in which they can contribute to this cause can visit http://events.braintumor.org/ for more information. Visitors to the site can register to walk, become a volunteer, or even donate directly to teams like Team Steven.