A cancer-stricken man who had only a year to live in 2005 is still alive – 18 years later.
Sharing his story on Reddit, the 30-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee shared how he was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor at the age of 12.
Doctors at the time predicted he would “only live a year or two” – even with surgery and treatment.
The man, who did not publicly share his name, claimed that his last wish was even granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which took his family for a vacation to Hawaii.
The cancer survivor, who is married with two children, now says he works at the hospital where he was diagnosed and treated as a child.
Sharing his story on Reddit, the 30-year-old from Nashville shared how he was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor at age 12 (pictured)
The cancer survivor (pictured), who is married with two children, now says he works at the hospital where he was diagnosed and treated as a child
The man, who did not share his name, claimed his last wish was even granted by the Make A Wish Foundation, which saw his family vacation in Hawaii (pictured)
Describing his case on the discussion website, the man says he was diagnosed with pilomyxoid astrocytoma in 2005 as a child.
The aggressive cancer, which has poor survival rates, usually affects very young children, with an average age of 18 months, according to a 2004 study published in the journal Medscape General Medicine.
Developmental delay, vomiting, feeding difficulties, and weakness are all telltale symptoms, along with neck stiffness or a head tilt.
The man, who goes by the username SilentWalrus92, said his main symptom was being sick, which doctors initially dismissed as stomach flu. But after his parents took him to the emergency department, a scan revealed he had a brain tumor.
He then underwent surgery — usually the first line of cancer treatment that aims to remove as much of the tumor as possible — followed by radiation to kill any remaining tumor tissue.
READ MORE Brain Tumor Symptoms: Five Bizarre Cancer Warning Signs
There are over 120 different types of brain tumors, which means that symptoms vary a lot. Hearing voices, losing interest in hobbies, forgetfulness, blurred vision, and growth spurts, especially in the hands and feet, are all warning signs of a brain tumor
As a result of his treatment, he was left with mild short-term memory loss, which he says makes it difficult to remember people’s names or what he ate.
His last wish – a family vacation to Maui in Hawaii – was granted through the Make A Wish Foundation, expecting him to live no more than two years.
But against the doctors’ expectations, the man is still alive almost two decades later.
He claimed his doctors gave the wrong prognosis because in 2005 he was only one of four people worldwide who had ever been diagnosed with cancer.
The other three cases only lived “about a year or two” after their tumor was discovered, he said.
The man said, “Doctors had no idea why my surgery and treatment were so successful.
‘The hospital sent my tumor away for examination and they continued to give me regular MRI scans every year until now. This year I completed my last MRI check.’
He said he now works at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, where he was treated as a child and organizes charitable fundraisers for children with cancer.
But he has to carry a small notebook with him to write down things he needs to remember as he still struggles with memory problems.
The man said: There was never a ‘congratulations, you are cancer free!’ moment.
“Only yearly brain scans for 18 years to make sure the tumor still hasn’t started growing again.
“My doctor feels comfortable stopping the brain scans since this year.”