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Brain Tumor Awareness

By , Glenview, IL
Running with the bulls in Spain, riding on camels in Egypt, skiing in Prague, and sailing in the Greek Isles were some of the “activities” Will Hicks was a part of while in his twenties. He studied a semester in Rome and in the interest of travelling around the world and international politics, he eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He was living to his fullest potential, as though every day was his last. But at the beginning of 2010, Will Hicks was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died that same year fighting with all his might and courage. He was only twenty-six years old. It’s unfair for such a kind-hearted, courageous, and ambitious man to die and have his dreams taken from him because of a brain tumor. Action must be taken in order to prevent success stories being stopped short by the second leading cause of death relating to cancer.

The simplest action could begin with a donation to American Brain Tumor Association, because no donation is too small to change the life of a diagnosed patient. Calling American Brain Tumor Association and asking how to donate takes less than a minute, and is well worth the time. There are also many ways to raise awareness. This can range from telling your neighbor about the issue, to running/walking a 5k for the American Brain Tumor Association or even volunteering at events for awareness. Remember, every action taken is much appreciated by the patients and others around you. Also, joining American Brain Tumor Association’s Care Campaign by simply calling them or sending an email, you will directly create funds for brain tumor research and send personalized Care Packages to raise awareness around the community. It is the idea of helping those in need that provides support and hope for the kids and adults who are diagnosed every day this devastating disease.

It is also very important to understand what a brain tumor is. Brain tumors are created by a large or abnormal amount of cell division in a part of the brain. The tumor then damages the cells which surround it through inflammation, and this creates pressure inside the skull. Tumors can be contracted from genetics is mainly caused by radiation exposure to the head. Children who have received radiation to their head are more likely to contract brain tumors as an adult. Also, the older you are, the more likely you are to contract it. Simple ways to lower your risk of contracting a brain tumor is wearing a hat during the summer, or grow longer hair. Also, staying away from pointless activities like tanning beds. Taking simple steps like these can lower your risk of getting a brain tumor and prevent yourself from becoming one of the thirty thousand people who are diagnosed every year.

Even though radiation exposure can cause cancer, radiation is also used to kill cancer cells, and this process is called chemotherapy. Although radiation kills cancer cells and normal cells, it is the only way to get rid of the cells, but causes the patient to become and feel very weak. Because of this, they have to take medication to regain their strength and support their immune system. A patient’s immune system is very weak while undergoing chemo because radiation kills many white blood cells. Chemotherapy is very expensive which is why there is much needed financial support. Chemo operations can range from nearly $40,000 to $700,000 in extreme cases for those without health insurance. Very few people have enough money to pay for chemo which is why any donation to ABTA can alter the outcome of someone’s life and make a real difference.

As Will’s legacy leaves behind the power of hope and courage, he showed us to live everyday like it is the last. Leave a legacy behind you and know that at the end of the day, there wasn’t anything you wanted to do that you couldn’t accomplish. Whether it’s skiing in Prague, or giving a homeless man a meal, there is always a way to make this day your best day.




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