RobertDuring my sophomore year of high school we found out my dad had a brain tumor. This was shortly after my sisters fight with her brain tumor, who came out victoriously. I remember so clearly how excited I was to shave his head. Little did I know the struggles that were to come ahead. His surgery was 23 hours long.

My mom, sisters and our best friends spent that time in the waiting room at Yale New Haven. The people we dealt with there were beyond phenomenal, bringing us pillows, blankets, board games and snacks. His tumor was located on his brain stem so they had to go in through his ear canal, losing hearing in that ear. Because of its location, they weren’t able to remove all of it.

Shortly after, his body rejected material and he required a stent and radiation. During this time he began to slur his speech, wasn’t able to see clearly, couldn’t keep his balance and overall wasn't himself. I was away when he underwent radiation and when I came home he was clearly speaking and everything seemed to be getting better.

On October 20th 2014 he passed away due to complications. I thought the years spent watching him suffer were the hardest days, but clearly I was wrong. Navigation life with out for the last 10 years proved to be much worse.

- Submitted by Kirsten

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