A Story Of Hope
The Young family would like to thank you and the HEADstrong Foundation for this gift. It brought us “more than smiles” and the financial help for two public school teachers is amazing. My wife Amanda who you’ve conversed with is the “go getter” in this family (shocking, I know). After receiving the gift and looking at Nick’s story and the Foundation, I feel like this is the best way to give back, to share our story of hope.
Like Nick, I was a three-sport athlete. Baseball, soccer, and wrestling. I was a part of NCAA D1 Wrestling teams at Slippery Rock University and Bloomsburg University. And yes, most of all life lessons I learned were in practice rooms and competition. So, as soon as I graduated from Bloomsburg I started coaching. It is the best way that I can give back to the wrestling community, which gave so much to me.
In 2010, coaching at a wrestling competition I had a seizure. Once at the hospital, they found a golf ball sized tumor on my left temporal. After the surgery, we were given great news that it was benign. Epilepsy and MRI checkups occurred for about 7 years. During that time Amanda and I were married, 2011 and had our first child Wesley, 2015. Life was good. Full of hope
In the fall of 2017, we had our second child, Parke, and life was continuing. Over the next 3 months, headaches and seizures intensified pushing my wife to schedule an MRI I hadn’t had in over a year. In less than 24 hours I was back in the hospital. Another tumor in the exact same spot was surgically removed, yet this time it was diagnosed as stage 4 Glioblastoma. Radiation and Chemo followed for roughly a year. After that year, things looked great, headaches and seizures mitigated. MRI’s were showing little to no change or growth of new cancerous cells. So, life and hope continued with in our family.
In the fall of 2021, we found out that we are adding our third child to the family. A week later we also found out that there was activity in my brain again. Over the next couple months growth continued, both my wife’s belly and cancerous cells in my head. Some months no growth, some months significant growth. In the beginning of April, 2022, I began radiation, chemotherapy and Lynparza. I am still on the medication cycles and the baby is due in mid-July. We are hopeful that the upcoming months are positive and continue with life.
As a husband, father, teacher, wrestler and coach, I know that everyone is different. If one person can get positive thoughts from this short story, it’s worth it for me and my family.
Ben, Amanda, Wesley, Parker and boy #3