I am Larry Berg and am Chief Executive Officer of Smart Precision Marketing & Consulting. I like to spend time with my family, travel, and being on the water.
What was your initial introduction to the brain tumor world and what has changed since your introduction?
Our youngest daughter Kaitlyn’s life changed in January 2011 at age 13, after what we thought was a routine MRI for frequent headaches. Less than two hours after returning home from the test, we were told Kaitlyn had a Pilocytic Astrocytoma brain tumor and sent to the ER.
A few days later most of the tumor was removed in a 12-hour surgery at Mott Children’s Hospital. She spent the next six months recovering from the physical and language impact of the surgery while she also finished the school year. She had regular MRIs and the small tumor fragments were stable until spring 2012.
After experiencing double vision, an MRI showed the tumor had started to grow again. She had surgery again in July [of that year] to try to remove the rest of the tumor, but the amount of scar tissue from the previous surgery prevented the surgeon from getting anywhere near the tumor. A few weeks later, she began her course of 30 radiation treatments over six weeks, which left her nauseous, fatigued and weak.
How did you get involved with the American Brain Tumor Association?
Since 2013, I am the Michigan Breakthrough for Brain Tumors 5k Walk/Run race chair.
Why do you think it is important for people to support organizations like the American Brain Tumor Association?
It’s critical because of the need for funding additional grants, educational series, clinical trials, as well as on-going support to patients and caregivers. The organization has done a great job over the years, but there’s much more to be accomplished.
What else would you like the brain tumor community to know?
I am proud to do my part to help all those who have been impacted with life-changing events and I encourage everyone to attend a BT5K.