“When my husband was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme brain cancer, our world was turned upside down.
The dream we worked so hard for (moving out of the city to the country to garden and enjoy our retirement) suddenly became 100-mile trips to Wake Forest Cancer Center for radiation, chemo, surgery, and more surgery.
Tom was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme IV in July 2018, the same devastating disease that took the life of John McCain. Tom had emergency brain surgery, six weeks of radiation and chemo, and monthly MRIs at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem.
As the tumor pressed on Tom’s brain, it impaired his comprehension and communication. My intelligent husband was, at times, very childlike and appeared not to understand much of what was happening. He had to go at his own, slower pace to avoid being stressed and overwhelmed.
Caring for him by myself was a full-time job. I needed a safe place for both of us to sleep, eat, and prepare for the next MRI.
With so many logistics to attend to, and little funds, the SECU Family House was a true blessing.
We truly appreciated the space. And to also be able to get a dinner, a breakfast, or some comfort food and hot coffee made it feel like we were staying
One of the blessings of this awful journey is that we discovered the kindness of humanity.
Tom and I learned there are far more good people in this world than we ever imagined!
The generosity of good people helped make our situation a little easier, and made it possible for my husband to get the very best care possible for his rare brain cancer.
Watching the news and TV, you would never know the good souls who exist to help, care for, comfort, and assist those in need. And to learn that there are so many good people in this world is astounding. Thank you and bless you!”
— Jackie Irwin, Ashe Co., NC
In loving memory of Tom Barbehenn