Around the time when I was five years old, headaches and migraines were a big part of my day. You could say they were like an additional sibling to my sister, Laura, that I got to hang out with—but not as much fun. After many, many visits to various doctors to figure out what in the world was going on, my parents made the great decision to visit a neurologist in New York City. Little did any of us know that trip would result in being admitted to the hospital, after learning the cause of headaches was a tumor that had decided to become friends with the cerebellum of my brain.
My memories of being in the hospital are spotty, but I remember a few pieces. At the time I had fairly long hair and I remember the fear I had that I may need to get it shaved off for my upcoming operation to remove the tumor. Fortunately, that fear ended up being a non-issue. I was able to retain my hair, but the operation did result in me having a scar on the back of my head to be self-conscious about. I remember the tremendous staff at NYU, the great care I was given, and how they always tried to make me laugh (especially Adam the clown). Most important, I remember, and always will remember, meeting Maya and Edward Manley, who supported my family and me during this time and long after. And how could I forget the awesome Beanie Babies that were given to me after being purchased in the hospital gift shop?
After successful surgery (thank you Dr. Jeffrey Wisoff) and treatment (thank you Dr. Jeffrey Allen), I was released from the hospital. With the location of my tumor being the cerebellum, physical therapy was required to relearn some everyday skills—to name a few: balancing, walking, and picking up and holding an object.
Fast forward a handful of years to age 31: I have a full-time career in golf administration, where I get to follow my passion every day, and my wife Jenna and I are awaiting the arrival of our first child. Most people would never know what I went through when I was younger, but I’ll never forget it, and am fortunate for every day. I have so much to be thankful of and so many to be thankful for, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say thank you to Maya, Edward and the Making Headway Foundation for all that you’ve done for me and everyone else in need. That scar that I was once self-conscious about is now something I’m proud of, as it shows where I was and how far I’ve come.