My husband’s eulogy was titled “Our Brave and Courageous Champion,” because that’s what Marc, Jr. (“MJ”) was to all who knew him. When MJ was diagnosed in April of 2007 with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), our family’s life entered a state of desolation. Our only son was diagnosed with an inoperable, incurable, and terminal brain tumor that strikes children usually between the ages of 5 and 11.
Marc was not only our son, but he was our friend. Marc cherished his family very much. He loved to play with his sisters, he loved to goof off and laugh with his mom, and he loved to hang out and tag along with his dad. Marc had a variety of hobbies. He studied Taekwondo in which he was a redbelt. He enjoyed the outdoors where he loved to fish and snowboard. He enjoyed playing basketball and envisioned himself one day playing in the NBA. Throughout the duration of Marc’s sickness he never gave up. He never complained once and was all about courage. He displayed an awesome amount of determination and will. He loved life to the fullest. In this we are so very proud of him. Marc is our family’s inspiration to live on. We loved to care for Marc, to watch him laugh and have fun. We thank God each day for allowing Marc to be a part of our life.
About a month after being diagnosed with the DIPG, Marc started to suffer from weakness and headaches, so it was decided to start radiation. According to his doctors, Marc’s symptoms would dramatically improve (after the radiation), and they did. However, the symptoms recurred six months later and we were told that Marc would not survive longer than 12 to 14 months. (Incredibly, even saying it and having gone through it, I am wondering how does a parent handle this kind of news). After a difficult, courageous and heartbreaking struggle, Marc peacefully passed away on February 8, 2008.
The months to follow were filled with heartache and a complete sense of emptiness not only for ourselves but for our entire family and our circle of friends. We questioned our faith; went to grief counselors; tried to talk about it, but nothing made a difference because Marc was still gone and nothing was ever going to change that!
Please join us in getting the word out about the deadly childhood cancer that DIPG is and help us to help others in fighting and surviving this devastating and horrific disease.