It was about 3 years ago that my husband lost his beloved younger brother, Dave Norris, to the disease simply known as a brain tumor. I remember that dark and dreary March day oh so well. I was pregnant with our son and stuck home alone while Gary took off for some chimney sweep convention or another. His first stop was his mother’s house since the original plan was for her to drive him over to the Boston Airport in the morning. However, he never made it that far. Fate had its own sinister plans in mind. The very next day the flue had him in its steely grips and word had come of his brother’s untimely death. So, here I was in New Hampshire, alone, heartbroken for my loving husband and unable to comfort him at all as he grieved and lay ill at his mother’s house in Massachusetts. I knew he was in good hands but I just wanted so badly to be there for him. I knew what it was like. I had seen death far too many times in my life. Worse yet, I had seen the evil grip of brain tumors grab hold of several of my own family members. Anger welled up inside of me. I just wanted this disease to leave us alone already. But what could I do? I had no money to give to the cause, I could just barely pay my own bills and I was far too pregnant to ride a bike, even the minimum of 10 miles, to raise the money.
Angry and heartbroken I thought I had no other choice other then to let it go and try to move on. I could do nothing else, or so I thought. Then, on 3/31/09, I got a message from Jane, David’s wife, saying that the brain cancer awareness ride was happening in just two months. At first my heart broke in two. What could a family in bankruptcy do to help? Yet I didn’t want to say no to Jane because she is such a special person in our lives. At first I ignored the email, but it just wouldn’t be ignored. It churned about in my own brain as I remembered the last Thanksgiving we had with David and as I remembered my own Grandmother, Kay Luciano’s, struggle with a brain tumor. A struggle she survived but her brother did not. Then I began to think of those whom I knew that didn’t make it. Far more people then those who did. There was my Uncle Fred “Sonny” Rocchi, my ex-father-in-law, Walter Waring and then of course, David. Only one survivor out of 4 people I knew with brain tumors. Not very promising odds to say the least.
That is when it struck me. Why can’t I pass the information that Jane emailed me on to all my readers from Associated Content? That would be my way of helping get the word out and honoring those whom I know that have fallen victim to this disease. So what is it that you can do to stop this monster from striking any other families again? There is a lot you can do, even without money. If you live in or near the Waltham, Massachusetts area you can join the Dave’s Head team for a 10, 25 or 50 mile bike ride Sunday, May 31, 2009, by signing up at http://www.braintumorride.org . If you don’t live in or near Massachusetts, you can pass a link to this article on to your friends and then ask them to pass it on to their friends and so on down the line. This done, eventually the information will make it into the hands of someone from Massachusetts who is able to donate themselves and their bike for this very important event. Should you be able to donate money you can do so on-line to any of the Dave’s Head team members or send a check paid to the order of “National Brain Tumor Society” and mail it to Jane Norris at 314 Village St, Medway, MA 02053. If you work in the TV or other media industries you could pass this information on to your fans, viewers and/or readers as I have done here as your way of helping out the cause. Lastly, if you are a doctor specializing in the brain, you could donate your time to help find a cure for this disease that is ruining so many lives. Just go to the website above to find out how to volunteer. Who knows, maybe you will be the one who finds the cure that will end all of the suffering.
For a final note from Doc, I would like all of you to understand that this disease doesn’t discriminate against age, race or religion. It will take a child as easily as it will take an elderly adult. So this is not just a certain groups problem. This is a problem that can afflict anyone, anywhere and at any time. You can never know if and when it will strike your own family so be prepared by helping the cause now. That way there just might be a cure in place that will help you to avoid the heartaches our family has endured. And, in advance, we would like to thank all of you for your help. It is not only appreciated by our family but it is also appreciated by all of the millions of families out there who have suffered as we have.