Jerry Dunaway’s Story, Part 1

Codi is a brain cancer warrior and offering her experience to the Chris Elliott Fund blog. She is a patient advocate for her brother Jerry Dunaway who at 29 years old was diagnosed with Glioblastoma brain cancer.  Please join us and follow her story and experience as a patient advocate and brain cancer warrior.

The first part of the series will tell you about Jerry’s tumor discovery and the initial stages of treatment. We will have 2 more segments over the next two weeks offering Codi’s perspective in her brother’s journey.

 My name is Codi and I am a brain cancer warrior for my brother Jerry Dunaway.

My brother was twenty nine years old in 2011.  He was strangely good at everything, everyone loved him, he was handsome, funny, generous, and overall good-hearted person.  He was probably one of the silliest people I have ever known.

 The Last Time I Saw My Brother Healthy

Sunday, December 4, 2011, this was my daughter’s 2nd birthday party at chuckie cheese.  Little did I know this would be the last time I saw my brother healthy.  Unfortunately this would be the last time I saw my brother healthy, we had such wonderful time acting like kids, playing skee ball and winning tickets. This all changed a few days later, and as we have reflected over the last year we always knew something was not quite right, but we did not know what.

 Tuesday December 6th, 2011

My brother lived in an apartment with his girlfriend Becky and on December 6th, he had complained to her  that his head was hurting worse than it ever had before so she suggested that he lay down and she would be there after work ( like we all would).  My brother decided to shower when a vessel in his brain ruptured causing a major bleed and causing grand mal seizure. Jerry drug himself to the foyer screaming for help and by the grace of God, the maintenance man just happened to be walking by his door who opened the door and called 911. My brothers phone rang it was Becky checking on him, the man answered and said “I don’t know who you are, but you better get here now.”

The Phone Call

On December 6th, I received a phone call stating there was something wrong with my brother.  It was one of the worst phone calls I ever received, my mind began to race, and I started asking questions to myself and others, and of course no one had any answers. My husband quickly came home to our two year old daughter and six month old son. And soon after my mom called to tell me that I needed to get to the hospital, immediately, they don’t think Jerry is going to make it. As anyone might, I had a scared feeling in the pit of my stomach.

We will continue Codi’s story of her brother’s brain tumor next week and continue Codi’s & Jerry’s story including the initial hospital visits, seeing the neuro-oncologist, navigating treatment and insurance.

Have a story to share? Let us know in the comments below.