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SEATTLE, WA, April 02, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- John Brace (JB) was a normal guy with a stable job, wife, two kids, and a house with a picket fence. He loved his life, his job at Cancer Research and Biostatistics in Seattle, and loved being outdoors and challenging nature with his long hikes, climbs, and ski adventures. John had a life of envy for sure, until he began to experience excruciating headaches that would soon lead to a life threatening diagnosis that none of us are ready to hear---"you have brain cancer and you are going to die".
JB was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme Brain Cancer in 2002, and he had the routine surgeries, the Temodar Chemotherapy, the Gamma Knife, Carboplatim Chemo and more, only to find himself one day in hospice care making his plans to depart from this earth. JB described his cancer cells as "sand being thrown to the wind dispersing itself upon my brain, and it wasn't quite possible to really get them all, so they kept coming back". The cancer did keep coming back, and JB found himself in hospice care, partially paralyzed from his second surgery, lying in his bed with simply too much time on his hands, and yet not enough.
The difference with JB, unlike many others that cash in their retirement funds, and accept that they are leaving their loved ones soon, JB never believed he was going anywhere. He never made plans to change his life, and never made plans to depart from the planet, and he never really changed his routine. He continued to work out often, if not more often than before his diagnosis, and he continued to believe that he was going to beat the disease even though he was told many times by medical professionals that he had an allotted amount of time to live. JB never ingested this information into his psyche, and he never believed what others were dictating to him. He simply held on to his own belief system that he was going to survive, and remained positive that he would make it through. Instead of focusing on his departure, JB manifested his will to remain, and reaffirmed his beliefs-- "You can't achieve anything unless you believe you can first".
While under the hospice program, JB remembered a technique he learned in India and Nepal regarding healing and meditation. He began to meditate envisioning white light penetrating his brain and exhaling out the dark unwanted cancer cells, and practiced this meditation often. JB reflected back during his travels in Asia when he had an acute respiratory infection, and used this technique that the healers taught him years prior to his diagnosis, and it worked. He continued to meditate, and use his time wisely.
His youngest daughter was at that age where she was just learning to read, and JB had lost a great deal of speech due to his second surgery, so he would lie there with his daughter and they would teach each other to read and sound out words, and practice English. JB recounts those memories, "my daughters were the biggest inspiration to me, and it was this love and connection that gave me extra strength and will to persevere. Our reading time was precious to me, and vital for rebuilding my vocabulary and assisting with my speech therapy".
JB had a great support group of friends and family members that stood by him, including a hospice spirit advisor named Russ, and a friendly visitor (part of the hospice end of life program) named Meg. Meg and Russ were great supporters of JB's meditation, and encouraged him to ask for help while meditating. "One day, while in deep meditation, I did ask for help, and focused my energy on the love for my daughters, as I felt a stream of energy and white light rush through me. It felt as if my cancer was burning away. I felt cleansed and peaceful."
JB had a couple of MRI's after that point and they were clean. He was removed from hospice and continued occupational and physical therapy.
John Brace now has two websites that he operates, www.gliosurvivors.org, and www.seattlegliosurvivors.com/JB. John is looking for other survivors so he can conduct an online focus group and figure out the similarities that exist among the 3% that survive this disease. There must be similarities between those that survive. This will be a long road finding other survivors, collecting, assimilating and assessing the data, but JB is here for the long haul, and is more than willing and passionate to find the answers. "I'm determined to squash this nasty bug that interrupted mine and my family's good life."
John truly believes that medicine, meditation, and love all played an integral role in his survival, but the truly amazing thing is, he manifested and focused on living and he didn't depart from that calling. He stayed steadfast with his belief that he was not dying, and he never believed for one second that he wasn't going to make it. He never doubted this, even while in the hospice program and looking into the end. "Focusing on living rather than dying, might just keep us around awhile longer", says JB.
To this date JB's MRI's are clean and clear, and he has been clear of GBM since 2004. John is currently retired, living independently in Bellevue, and is working as an Ambassador of Hope with the Chris Elliott Fund helping to find a cure and end brain cancer.. He met Dellann Elliott of the Chris Elliott Fund during his first week of diagnosis, and reached out and wanted sound advice and hope from someone who had vast personal experience with this disease. JB insists to this day that "Dellann Elliott inspired me to have hope, and it was this hope that I still carry with me, and share with others. I believe it was this hope that also helped me to beat this disease. Without hope we have nothing, fear takes over and the will within us passes away."
John Brace is dedicating the rest of his life to fighting brain cancer, building awareness, and finding those 3% percent who he knows all share something valuable that sets them apart from all the rest. If you are a Glioblastoma Multiforme Brain Cancer survivor, please feel free to contact JB at www.gliosurvivors.org, and share your story. Through JB's determination, the hope lives, and the desire to end brain cancer lives, and with your help, brain cancer will be a part of our past.
About the Chris Elliott Fund for Glioblastoma Brain Cancer Research
The Chris Elliott Fund for Glioblastoma Brain Cancer Research (CEF) is a non-profit organization that raises awareness and funds specifically aimed at taking on brain cancer. CEF has raised more than $1 million for brain cancer research across the country and provides countless resources, information and support to people living with the disease. CEF funds groundbreaking research in the Christopher S. Elliott Neuro-oncology Lab for Glioblastoma Brain Research and Applied Science Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass. The organization is developing and funding the Chris Elliott Fund Integrative Patient Support Program at the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Cancer Treatment in Seattle's Swedish Neuroscience Institute. www.chriselliottfund.org
About Brain Cancer
Brain cancer is the most malignant form of cancer known to humankind with an average survival rate of two years. It is the number one leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children under the age of 19. Each day 60 people will be diagnosed with brain cancer and each year, 8 of every 100,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with primary malignant brain tumors. Approximately 13,000 Americans die each year from this disease. Unlike some other cancers brain tumors do not discriminate against gender, ethnicity, age, overall fitness, or socioeconomic status. 500 terminal cases of brain cancer will be diagnosed in the Seattle-Metro area alone this year.
Chris Elliott Fund CEO-- Dellann Elliott
Dellann Elliott co-founded the Chris Elliott Fund for Glioblastoma Research shortly before her husband's death (Christopher Stewart Elliott) in June of 2002. She is a skilled public advocate, attending hearings in Washington, D.C., educating doctors/patients through multimedia educational campaigns while driving the research community to collaborate care at all junctures. Dellann has been honored by Harvard University as a National Glioblastoma Patient Advocate, and is also the recipient of the "Spirit of Sammamish" Award for 2009—an award in which the city and its citizens acknowledge "Magnificent Moments of Inspiration". Dellann Elliott, a mother of two children, is also a Rotary Club Member, an Affiliate Member of the American Association for Cancer Research, as well as a Sammamish Chamber of Commerce member. Prior to creating the Chris Elliott Fund, she served as an environmental regulator and as an early childhood educator at a local Washington state elementary school, specializing in educating children inflicted with Down Syndrome.
John Brace (JB) graduated from Western Washington University with a B.S. Degree in Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. He worked several years as an engineer at Boeing, and went on to do programming work for a non-profit (Cancer Research and Biostatistics) housed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, before being diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme Brain Cancer in 2002. JB has two beautiful daughters, and the same lust for life as when he traveled throughout India and South East Asia, kayaked 1000 miles down the Yukon River, climbed to 16,000 feet into the Himalayas, and commercial fished in Alaska. Just recently, JB returned to the ski slopes and considers himself an avid ski buff.
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