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July 11, 2013 - Madison, Wisconsin

On October 5, 2012 I was peacefully sleeping next to my boyfriend, Corey, when I awoke to him having a seizure. I started freaking out, and called 911. The paramedics came, and woke him up. Of course my stubborn man didn't want to go to the hospital. He said he was fine, and at first didn't believe me that he had actually had a seizure! His mother and I finally got him to agree to go see a doctor later in the day. When he was leaving the doctor's office, however, he began to have another seizure and this time had no choice but to be whisked away to the hospital. We received the terrifying news that evening, after a long day of testing. He had a brain tumor, and would have to be scheduled for surgery the following month. Corey was 24 at the time, and I was 23. We were (and still are) so young, I spent that night with him in the hospital, and we just held each other and cried. Corey's tumor was a mixed glioma, meaning it has two kinds of cancer cells in it. He had a Grade II which is the lowest grade an adult can have. It did, however, have an elevated "proliferative index" meaning that the cells looked to be reproducing quickly. In the beginning of November, Corey had his first brain surgery. It took about 12 hours. Those were the longest 12 hours of my life. While at first we thought it was completely successful, he went back in a few weeks later for a check-up MRI and they found that they hadn’t gotten the entire tumor. So back to the operating table he went. The surgery the second time was just as long, however, successful! He had brain surgery 2 days before Thanksgiving, and was discharged on Thanksgiving Day. He went home, took a nap, and then wanted to go to my extended family’s house for Thanksgiving dinner! Corey has had MRI check-ups every couple of months, and is currently taking chemo pills as a preventative measure. His oncologist told him that he always schedules Corey’s appointments for the end of the day so that he can end his day on a good note. I’d say that’s pretty positive! The oncologist also told him that he has never seen anyone’s scans improve so much in such a short period of time. Corey proposed to me on May 18, 2013 and we have an August 2, 2014 wedding scheduled. I can’t wait to marry the love of my life, and I am forever grateful to every single doctor, nurse, etc. who has been there to help Corey fight this awful thing. I am also grateful to the American Brain Tumor Association for all of their research and helping me to get through this. I get to marry the most amazing man in the world! :)