As a young girl my dad taught me hope. He showed me how to survive in this world. He taught me how to fight for what I believed in and to follow my dreams; no matter how big or small - with dedication, passion, and courage they could be fulfilled. If I believed in something I could pursue it. All attributes he lived by. My dad, Patrick, was able to turn a pebble into gold. He invested his life into making us, his family, happy. He was a proud business owner, husband, father, and friend. He was a man of good health, and that is why no one expected the unexpected. On October 11, 2010, my dad finally persuaded himself to seek medical help due to his recent headaches and memory loss.
When it came to scheduling a doctors appointment, my dad became quiet stubborn. To him everything and anything could be cured by something in the medicine cabinet. He always believed that if it was his time to go it would happen - he didn't need someone in the medical field telling him so. So when he drove himself to the hospital that day we all knew that something was not right. After admitting himself into the emergency room for an immediate CAT scan, doctors confirmed that he had a brain tumor. He was driven by ambulance to a larger facility. After a biopsy, two days later a neurosurgeon diagnosed him with a glioblastoma multiforme. Surgery would be scheduled immediately due to the rapid growth of his already egg-sized tumor on the left temporal lobe. My dad was extremely nervous about the surgery but knew he had to do it for his family. I was expecting his first grandchild on the 25th of that month, and that brought him such joy. He had big plans of teaching him how to golf, fish, and play baseball (passions of his). My dad was a man of great plans. He never lost sight of his dreams, so he knew that he could not leave this earth without meeting his grandson.
The weekend of his surgery doctors allowed us to take him home. Family and friends gathered; my dad was all smiles. Despite him not being able to put some words together or forgetting the main concepts of his sentences, he held his dignity. He got things in order just in case he didn't awake or if his memory or brain function would worsen after surgery. The morning of his surgery he was awakened with terrible head pain, and was unable to walk or speak. We rushed him to the emergency room where we found that he had suffered a brain hemorrhage, making his tumor inoperable. Doctors assumed that he would only have 24-48 hours with us. After 48 hours, he took no one by surprise and outlived their approximations. He knew that there was no treatments; none were available due to the size and current condition. Surgery would result in a coma, and immediate radiation would cause so much swelling that he would become comatose as well. So, he decided to enjoy the rest of his life as much as possible in a medical facility. Exactly 6 weeks after his prognosis and 5 weeks after the birth of his grandson, he passed peacefully in his sleep. He fought hard through out his short but courageous battle. He wanted to spend as much time as possible with his family and he did it. He dreamt about holding his grandson and he pursued it. He was a man of his word. A battle takes courage, braveness, and self-discipline. It takes love and laughter. To all those diagnosed with brain cancer: you are all warriors. You are all heroes. To my dad, the bravest man I will ever know: my exemplar, my hero, my guardian angel. To all those in the fight, a cure will be found if we keep fighting together.