My Hero, My Dad

Thank you for taking the time to look over and read about Angels Among Us, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center and of course my own personal Ray of Hope page in memory of my Dad, Ray Monger.  The support of this program is so important to everyone faced with brain tumors.  Brain Tumors know no age limit and while they are very rare as a primary source of cancer, they are very aggressive and subsequently very deadly.  They carry with them little warning and when the news is given to you, it rips through your heart and soul like nothing ever before. 
Too many people are diagnosed with brain tumors each year and without Hope and our help, they will lose their battle against cancer.  That's where The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke comes in.  At Duke...there is HOPE for people with brain tumors.  They certainly gave us that hope six years ago, when my hero, my Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV Glioblastoma Multiforme.  For 19 months, my Dad beat the odds against him with treatments that were designed by Duke.  Duke is one of the top centers in the world for brain tumors, which is why we took Dad there.  However, it is funding through programs like Angels Among Us that allows Duke to do the research and the studies, which place them at the head of the pack.  These studies are what allow people to beat the odds against brain cancer every day.
My Dad lost his battle in October of 2012, but thankfully he never lost Hope.  It is evidenced by this picture that I took of his hands, just weeks before his death.  In the picture he is holding a rock that he wrote on ~3 years prior to his brain tumor diagnosis when asked to describe our church in one word.  Imagine finding that rock just a month before your Dad's death and discovering that the word he had selected on that day long ago, was Hope.  There were the two other rocks, too.  One my Mom had written "Family" on and one that I had written the word "Love" on.  Something in me changed that day...something words cannot describe.  It was as if those rocks were meant for the day that they were found.  These were three words that we had lived by for so long, but after Dad's brain tumor diagnosis, they became our foundation.  
I think that all families that have the unfortunate brain tumor bond, would agree that these three words along with the faith that brought about the words inscribed by Dad, Mom & I on those rocks, are necessary for families dealing with brain tumors.  In the darkest hours, my Dad never gave up, he never lost that hope that he had all along.  He also lived out his life full of love and surrounded by his family.  I write this now, in hope that with our help one day in the near future the words "brain tumor" will not be a death sentence.  I write this in hope that one day, individuals faced by brain tumors will live on through hope and love, with their families and that they may have many more days to write on rocks together.
That's where we all come, me, our friends, our families, our acquaintances.  Reach out to them, like I am reaching out to you.  That's where we can make a difference.  Support of this fine facility and it's doctors could benefit someone that you love at some point in your life, just like it benefited my Dad in his time of need and is benefitting others with brain tumors now.  Help honor the memory of my Dad, like he may have helped you in the past, or simply make a donation and pay it forward.  Together, we can and will beat brain tumors.
I thank you in advance for your support and for remembering My Hero, My Dad!
God Bless!


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