Saturday, April 10, 2010


I have a friend whose name is Josh. He's 25 and this past october was diagnosed with a stage 4 inoperable cancerous brain tumor. I always thought " inoperable " meant they do not operate on it at all. Apparently that's not the case since he's had multiple surgeries now. It just means that surgery can only give him more time. These surgeries can not get rid of the cancer. By the time he found out he had it it was as bad as it gets.
He had his first surgery back in November, I went to visit him a few days after and he was having trouble working his hands but he could walk, talk, he was upbeat and telling me this cancer would not get the best of him. Soon after that he started his chemo and radiation.

Josh is a dad. At that time he had 2 son's and his girlfriend was pregnant with his 3rd, a little girl, just like he wanted.
When they found out how bad things really were they decided to get married. They were given the news that Josh wouldn't make it until Christmas so they planned a quick little family wedding December 16th. I was honoured to be there. It was definitely the saddest wedding I have ever attended.
I got Alyssa, his wife, into her dress, helped her with her make up and pep talk until the final minutes. She was only 10 days away from her due date at this point.
About a week, maybe less later Josh started to lose his eyesight and was told he needed immediate surgery. Which he refused. He was too afraid of the outcome.
I went to visit him and talked to him about the surgery and all the different outcomes and I told him his family wanted him to have it but I would support whatever choice he made. The next day Josh went in for immediate surgery. He wouldn't have made it without the surgery. The tumor was pressing on too much.
After this surgery Josh lost most of his vision, he could only see directly infront of him, he was paralyzed on his left side ( which was happening slowly ) he needed to be put in diapers etc.
He'd lost so much weight and it was hard to visit at times. Things didn't look like they were heading in a good direction.

Leighland was born January 3rd. Josh was there and held his wife's hand and got to see his baby girl. He was so happy. This is what he held on for. The very next day Josh had gone completely blind.
His doctors say he'll never get his vision back, they are however working on his mobility and think he may get some movement back.
He's in far better spirits than I would ever expect.

I think because he's young and a father it really gives you the strength you need to carry on. He cracks jokes and smiles and is so happy when I come to see him. He's the same as he ever was personality wise. It's hard because I know you can't beat this type of cancer but how do you not hold out some hope?

I took his daughter for the weekend to give his wife a break. She never complains or sheds a tear infront of anyone. She is so strong, stronger than I would be. It's her birthday and I think she deserves some time out to be young and worry free if only for a moment.

Josh and Alyssa's wedding

Leighland 3 days old

Leighland 3 months
The boys and Leighland

Leighland and mama
Leighland and Dada


  1. Oh my goodness, what a terribly sad story- but beautiful too. Thank you for sharing it with us. Puts many things into perspective doesn't it?

  2. Completely heartbreaking, yet so inspirational. Amazing story.

  3. It sure does. I am trying to make a bond with his daughter so she'll always have people around her to let her know about her dad and find all the love she can because of him.