Having Fun with a Terminal Disease
Karma and Martin know how to have fun despite fighting Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) for over seven years.
Now years in, the couple remains committed to living in the moment, while trying to plan for the future. Together, they continuously evaluate their goals to ensure they’re living their best life in spite of a GBM diagnosis. They recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon and try to make travel a priority when they can.
“We just keep on living,” Karma says. “If there’s a setback, like a recurrence or a procedure, we do our best to not let it derail our entire lives.”
The couple met in 2008 and had great plans for their future. “The sky was the limit,” Martin says. They were married just two years before Martin’s diagnosis. “At this point, I’ve known him longer with a brain tumor than without,” Karma reflects. Martin was eventually let go from his job. “For men that can be quite crushing, we view what we do as an important part of our identity. I had to take some time to accept that I’m not going to be the person I was six months ago. I found purpose in other things.” Martin volunteers at a school dedicated to students with Downs Syndrome and with a nonprofit to facilitate donations of medical machines and supplies to countries in need.
Early on, Karma and Martin connected with the American Brain Tumor Association through a local brain tumor conference in Houston. “For almost a year, we were maneuvering a GBM diagnosis without all of the available information,” said Karma. “Once I realized what the ABTA had to offer, I made it my goal to ensure that every brain tumor family I met going forward was made aware of the ABTA and their resources.”
Together, this dynamic duo remains strong advocates within the brain tumor community. Martin is also a strong advocate for science and research. “I’m of a strong belief that if there’s not enough people trying new things, how are we going to beat this?”