Jason Mattax, Brain Cancer Warrior
Our son’s Journey (our journey) with brain cancer (Glioblastoma Multiforme) began on March 1st, 2008. Our Son, Jason, at 24, went to the emergency room at 10 in the morning because of a severe headache. After an exam and CT scan, the physician discovered a softball-sized tumor in the right frontal lobe of Jason’s brain. Jason was medevac’d to the nearest hospital, 70 miles away, while we got on a plane in order to be at our son’s side. Jason had emergency surgery within 12 hours of diagnosis and then the battle to beat this disease began.
It took 2 weeks, but we finally received the diagnosis and began researching it. Researching who, what, when, where and how, a daunting task under any circumstance, but add the life or death of your child, the life of a loved one it can be overwhelming.
Within a few days, two separate people highly recommended we contact Dellann Elliott and the Chris Elliot Fund (CEF). Dellann, though herself very busy as a single mother running this organization, made time in her busy schedule to meet with our family and friends. She informed us of how important it is to seek medical treatment at a designated Brain Tumor Center and the value of trial treatments compared to standard protocol. She gave us so much helpful information (where each Brain Tumor center is located, contact information for each treatment, protocol and trials), but more than that she gave us love, support and comfort in a time when we felt overwhelmed. Dellann answered our many, many questions, put us in contact with doctors, and helped us get needed information to who needed it…. she got us on the path of best treatment for our son!
Through the next several years, Jason went from clinical trial, then surgery, to clinical trial. Each worked for a time, but eventually each stopped working and a new treatment needed to be sought. During that time, we were able to attend the Brains Matter conference put on by the CEF.
The conference was amazing on many levels. Speakers from various cancer facilities around the country shared their expertise, thoughts, ideas and opinions on current treatment options as well as ideas on what they see and hope for in the future. The speakers also took the time to listen to the audience and answer questions and offer ideas and suggestions. On top of it all the audience provided a support network of people sharing ideas, stories, and suggestions from their own experience either as patients or care givers. The wealth of information provided was a huge blessing.
In August of 2012, we were running out of options. Because of the recent conference we knew CEF would be a wonderful resource for us. So again, the Chris Elliot Fund and this time Maria jumped into assist our family. Maria met with us for several hours, going over every clinical trial available to Jason not only at the Brain Tumor centers but at other cancer facilities. She helped us contact doctors, send records & images, make appointments and helped us keep and stay organized but more than that she too shared herself, her love, her caring and her passion for beating this disease with Jason and our family. She got us on the path to continue the journey of fighting this disease and kept in touch with us during the process.
Our Son Jason’s battle with this disease ended on April 24th, 2013, 5 years after diagnosis. We know that we were blessed to have those 5 years, as this disease has a life expectancy of 9 months, and we know that the reason we were given those 5 years is because God led us to Dellann, the Chris Elliot Fund and the wonderful doctors who treated Jason. Without each of them our journey would have looked quite different.
We are so very grateful to Dellann, Maria, and to all the people at CEF for the work they do and for the love and support they give to those of us on the journey of fighting Brain Cancer.
THANK YOU Everyone!!
Sharon & Brian Mattax