On January 18th, 2017, my older brother, Alex, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme. Alex, a 3rd year Medical Student at SUNY Upstate Medical University, an avid runner, one of the funniest people I know, and my best friend, decided that he wouldn’t let this obstacle get in the way of his overarching goal; becoming a doctor.
The past three months have been a rollercoaster of emotions and a journey that no one in our family saw coming, completely turning our world upside down. Without hesitation, from the moment Alex woke up from the 8 hour long surgery to remove an eight centimeter tumor from his brain, he made us laugh and was determined to fight. Our Alex was still very much there despite the trauma he had just went through.
Seeing Alex’s ability to find the sunshine in a dark situation has inspired our family and friends and has given us hope when we needed it the most. Day in and day out, Alex encourages us to be strong and hopeful through his positive attitude and outlook on life. He is a silent, but a strong leader.
Some of Alex’s toughest moments came immediately after surgery. Even though he was in excruciating pain, he wasn’t feeling sorry for himself or wallowing in the new journey he was embarking on but instead was asking us how we were doing and thanking us for being by his side. I will never forget these moments and the strength he demonstrated will forever be etched in my mind. I will always remember his courage, kindness, and tenacity when I need to overcome a difficult obstacle. One of the most remarkable things about Alex is the hope he radiates for living his life.
Alex is using this experience as something he can learn from and ultimately something that will make him a better doctor. Having this goal in mind has given him the drive to push through and keep going, even when he may not have wanted to. Alex inspires me every single day. He constantly reminds me to stay positive and that just because you were dealt an unfortunate hand, doesn’t mean you can’t be happy and laugh. He is the reason I know he will beat brain cancer. He won’t take any other outcome as an answer.