Team Melton Crew would like to welcome you and thank you for your interest in supporting Duke and the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center fight against brain cancer.
Duane Melton was certainly one of a kind and left his mark on this world. He was a Mountain Dew drinking, skittles eating, fun loving person. Everyone that knew him loved him. He was an amazing father, husband and friend. He had such a passion for serving others. He was always so generous and just a joy to be around. In October 2014, our whole world changed. Duane had a seizure in our front yard and was unresponsive. I called 911 and he was rushed to our local ER. Once we got to the hospital, he began to wake up. He was able to answer basic questions. They started running tests to determine what was wrong and what could have caused the seizure. After a CT scan and MRI, we were told he had a mass on his brain. He was admitted to the hospital and had surgery three days later. The surgeon said he was able to remove the entire tumor. He said he would send it off to be tested. He told us he couldn’t tell what kind of tumor it was but he could tell that it was not Glioblastoma and that we should be very thankful. He said if it had been Glioblastoma, it would most definitely be fatal. The nursing staff made the same remark a few times which made us hopeful. It was now just a waiting game for the results. Duane was discharged from the hospital and was doing great. He was able to stay at my mother’s house so I could work. Several days later, Duane received a call that the test had come back. The nurse gave him the results over the phone. It was in fact Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4. I was in total shock and could not believe they would even give that kind of information over the phone. They scheduled him to come in for an office visit to go over the report and give us our options. We were told that he could do radiation/chemo at our local cancer center or we had the option to go to a larger hospital. The doctor also said he needed to go ahead and get his affairs in order because he most likely only had 4-6 months to live. It felt as if they had given up on him before his fight even began. We made the decision that we were not going to take their word for it. Duane was a fighter and was not willing to accept that and just give up. We made the decision to start treatments at Duke. Duane was hesitant at first because Duke is almost a 4 hour drive from our house. He didn’t want to be a burden and wanted to do anything he could to make things easier on his family. For me, it didn’t matter how far away Duke was. We were going, we were going to fight this beast with everything we had and with no regrets. We had heard so many great things about Duke and it just felt like that is where God wanted us to be. From day one, the staff was amazing. They wanted to see the MRI from before the surgery at our local hospital and the MRI from after. We told them they never did an MRI after the surgery. The doctor at Duke said it was standard practice to do another MRI after the surgery. He ordered one so it could be compared to the first one. The MRI showed that the first surgeon actually left ¾ of the tumor. Duane was scheduled for a second surgery. They were able to remove the entire tumor but did let us know there were cells around the tumor with the cancer in them that would be impossible to remove. I asked if we were still looking at 4-6 months. The doctor told me that we should have never been given a timeline. This doctor gave us hope. That’s what Duke does. They give you HOPE. They don’t give up on you. Duane did radiation, the chemo pill and was part of a trial study at Duke. While he was never cured from the horrible disease, he was able to spend another 13 months with us. Duane entered heaven on November 3, 2015. Duke was able to give us one of the most precious gifts we could have ever received which was time. We treasured that time and we are so very blessed that we had that.
If Duane were here today, he would not hesitate to help raise money for the research at Duke. We wanted to be part of this walk and fundraiser to help support the research. We want to help others have hope. We want others to be given the gift of time. We are hopeful that one day there will be a cure. Even though Duane is no longer with us on earth, he will always remain in our hearts. We hope that you will join us in this fight. We would love for you to join our team and do the Walk of Hope with us. Or you may also donate online. Any donation, big or small is greatly appreciated.