Travis Vs. Ependymoma

— Categories: Press Release     Posted on June 16, 2017

Travis' co-workers help support their friend in his fight against brain cancer.

In September 2013, Travis was diagnosed with an anaplastic ependymoma. Travis’ tumor is near the brain stem, which causes difficulty because it controls everything like breathing, walking, seeing and more. Travis has had six brain surgeries, four rounds of chemotherapy, five rounds of radiation and one round of immunotherapy. He just completed daily hour-long whole brain radiation and is halfway through seven stereotactic radiation sessions. His tumor and treatments have caused him to lose his left field of vision, which can cause balance issues. He has been through a lot but he’s thankful for his friends and family that have helped him get through it. Travis shares some encouraging words to those who are reading this: “You are not alone. There have been many times I really needed to hear this. So here I am, saying it to you.”

Travis works at American Family Insurance in Madison, Wisconsin as a developer. In the month of May for Brain Tumor Awareness Month, his co-workers dedicated their monthly newsletter to Travis and shared information about ependymoma. Included in the newsletter was a link to his online fundraising page where they were able to support their friend in the fight against brain cancer.  Travis’ goal was to raise $1,010.13, which is a memorable number for him. October 10, 2013 was the date of his first surgery. They also decided to “Go Gray in May” and wear gray t-shirts and hold a pot luck with some of his favorite foods on May 31 in Travis’ honor. Travis was inspired to create a fundraising page because of Awareness month and because he has benefited from the research being done to find new treatments for ependymoma.

“Travis is a hero. With everything he is going through he wears a smile every day and creates a fun work environment. He’s done a surprise sing-a-long during a meeting, he loves playing video games (especially Nintendo) and has been caught wearing a Pikachu hat in the office. He does get tough on himself. When he was out for surgery he told the team he felt he had let them down by being out. We could all learn from Travis because he doesn’t let things get him down…he is always in a good mood,” shares Traci, his co-worker and friend.

With a little help from his co-workers, family and friends, Travis raised almost $8,000 for the CERN Foundation!

Travis was astounded by the support. He shares how he would’ve been happy to just hit his initial goal, but the donations just kept coming. “I am just without words. I love all my coworkers. Their kindness has amazed me on countless occasions and there are people who are not even on my team that have contributed and sent me e-mails of support. My friends across the country also contributed to my fundraising efforts and have supported me with cards, calls and messages. Of course, I have to thank my family, immediate and extended, who support me financially, emotionally and in so many priceless ways.” 

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