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Growing Fast: #headstanduptobraincancer is trending now

As the Digital Communications Manager for NBTS, I watch social media a lot. And this week, my attention has been wrapped up in a brain tumor community campaign that just popped up out of nowhere. Like some of the best ideas, it came from the community itself. Heather Horvath’s mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015. While she fights for her life, Heather has been by her side. But they’re not facing it alone. Heather’s best friends started a campaign to raise more money for brain tumor research and treatments called #headstanduptobraincancer. Here’s Heather’s story:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – The day our lives changed forever. The day we discovered a mass on the left temporal lobe of my mom’s brain.

DSC_1073After a few unusual signs the previous days before, my family took my mom to the Emory Johns Creek Hospital in fear she may have suffered a stroke. She was admitted and run through a gambit of tests and exams. Just a couple of weeks prior, we were celebrating Easter together with no signs that anything was wrong. There were no signs that my mom had a brain tumor wrecking havoc inside her head.  Wednesday morning the results confirmed that there was a lime sized tumor on my mom’s brain causing the confusion and speech impairment that seemed to come out of nowhere. It was most likely malignant and she was in need of surgery as soon as possible. She was transferred that night to Emory Midtown Hospital and went into surgery the next morning.IMG_3422

Grade IV Glioblastoma Multiforme or GBM was the official diagnosis. The monster probably started 3-6 months prior to surgery. And now our battle still continues. Since surgery, my mother has endured 6 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, followed by 5 day cycles of chemotherapy every 23 days, MRI’s, doctor appointments, blood work, days in the hospital, therapy, and the list goes on. Once regrowth was confirmed in December, she began chemotherapy everyday along with Avastin treatments every two weeks. This will continue until treatment is no longer an option. I watch my once active, vivacious mother fight for her life on a daily basis. Brain cancer has stolen her ability to speak and write.  It has stolen the control of her right hand and leg; no longer able to mange her daily living activities unaccompanied. Even with all that this life has thrown at her, she smiles through the pain and continues to fight!

Like the thousands of victims and caregivers impacted by this disease, I hold onto hope. Hope that there will one day be a cure. Hope that brain cancer is no longer is a death sentence. I created #headstanduptobraincancer to raise awareness and research funding to find a cure! Please join me!

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Here is how you can participate:

1. Take a photo or video doing a headstand or your attempt at one (if this is not physically possible, get creative and flip your picture upside down!)

2. Use #headstanduptobraincancer on Twitter, Instagram, and Social Media

3. Nominate anyone!

4. Donate to National Brain Tumor Society (http://www.braintumor.org/donate/)

Here’s some pictures and video of some of those participating in the #headstanduptobraincancer campaign. You can also see more Instragram posts here.

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