Karen Russell

At age 15, Marcus kept living life with determination while battling Brain Cancer.

My son, Marcus (age 15), was diagnosed with Anaplastic Astrocytoma (stage 3) on Oct. 2 of 2006.  After a successful removal of the tumor, 6 weeks of radiation along with daily chemo treatments he then went through a year of maintainance chemo.  During every treatment, this boy... this teenager, went to school, played in the band, attended Church, worked on service projects, shovelled others driveways and quietly mentored other kids.  He knew in his mind he was going to beat the odds and get rid of the horrible beast that invaded his brain. He kept living life no matter how he felt, he put in hours of practice and work with his schools Marching Band, became section leader, all with a beautiful spirit of determination. In August of 2008, while on Marcus's Make-A-Wish trip to Hawaii, we discovered the beast had returned, and it came back with a vengence.  It was everywhere!  We tried another chemo to give him a little more time and lessen the side-effects of the tumor, but that just landed him in the hospital for days.  A month later we stopped treatments when we learned it wasn't helping.  Marcus was discouraged for a time, but then accepted his fate.  He was prepared to pass on and knew that God had a specific plan for him.  He passed away on Oct. 26, 2008 at the young age of 17.  I hope by sharing Marcus's story that I can help others realize that children suffer from brain tumors and they are deadly.  I want to prevent other parents from hearing the words "I'm sorry, there is nothing we can do for your son". We miss you Marcus, everyday.