2006 Humor to Fight the Tumor Event
I was diagnosed in 1997 with a grade II-III anaplastic astrocytoma in the frontal lobe near my motor strip. For the first three years after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, I experienced no loss of function. Having had six surgeries since 1997, however, I now need a wheelchair for mobility. I live by the philosophy that the only disability is a bad attitude, and always try to maintain my sense of humor. I credit my wife, Kristen, family, friends, and my doctors for providing me longevity in this battle, and my faith for sustaining me. I feel very blessed.
I went to see the doctor after having daily headaches. After telling the doctor that my mom died of a brain tumor, the doctor ordered a CAT-scan. It was September of 2003 when I was diagnosed with a 3 cm. brain tumor; it was an Acoustic Neuroma. The tumor was successfully removed, however, I lost the hearing in my right ear. The challenges continued for the next couple of years, dealing with many severe headaches. Looking back, I'm very thankful for my family enduring a difficult time and supporting me. Now, with severe headaches gone and less than 1% tumor recurrence, I'm a blessed survivor.
At the age of five, Brooke, a triplet was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma brain tumor. For four months prior to her diagnosis, Brooke had complained of her eyes hurting at night and had difficulty getting to sleep. After experiencing some balance issues, a CAT scan revealed Brooke's brain tumor. A decade ago this tumor was considered inoperable and rarely curable by surgery. Thanks to advances in microsurgical techniques, Brooke has the chance to grow up and be a normal healthy child.
My name is Rachel Woell and I am 9 years old. Last year in January, my handwriting started to change and then I started having trouble keeping my balance. My Dad and Mom took me to the emergency room and the doctor took a CAT-scan of my head. The CAT-scan showed a mass in my brain. On February 24th, 2005 I had surgery to remove the tumor from the pineal region of my brain. The mass was diagnosed as a malignant germ cell tumor. I went through chemotherapy and radiation. I continue to get stronger everyday and I have few residual effects due to my treatments or surgery.
Summary of the Event
The 3rd annual "Humor to Fight the Tumor" event took place on Friday, July 21st at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington. This year a subtle change was made to the name of the event by adding two words to the former "Humor for the Tumor" title. Though the change was subtle, the meaning has a big impact, as the goal of the event is to raise funds and awareness to aid in the fight against brain tumors.
The evening was again a huge success, providing the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) with over $114,000 in net funds to further its' research efforts. In addition, the event provided $12,000 to the Make A Wish Foundation, MN Chapter, to grant the wish of a child suffering from a brain tumor. Gabby Kaiser was the recipient of such a gift and graced the evening with a song she recorded.
The evening featured KARE 11 Meteorologist Belinda Jensen as the Master of Ceremonies and Bill Arnold from Triple Espresso as the comedic entertainment.
Committee Back Row (L-R) Kari Kilbride, Jenny Hardacre, Kristin Gabriel, Tammy Brooks, Lisa Gidlow, Joelle Syverson, Tracy Adams Bottom Row (L-R) Chrisie Weiss, Christine Ringham, Ann Lagorio, Beret Evenstad
Presenter: Belinda Jensen
Comedian : Bill Arnold