Call to boost brain cancer research
WIFE DETERMINED TO RAISE AWARENESS AFTER LOSING HUSBAND
TARRYN Crawford is determined to raise awareness of brain cancer so more funding can become available to fight the disease that claimed the life of her husband, Jason, in May.
Mr Crawford fought a threeand-a-half year battle against glioblastoma multiforme cancer. He was diagnosed on December 4, 2012 after having a seizure at work.
“Our lives were turned upside down in instant,” Ms Crawford said. “I’ll never forget that phone call. He had never had a seizure and was fine the night before.
“The last three-and-a-half with Jason with brain cancer have been a constant battle between wanting to make sure that you are trying to beat it but knowing deep down that there is no cure.
“That was very hard for me as a person who likes to know there is an issue and this is what I need to do to solve it. The last thing that I can do for him is his legacy to raise awareness.
“As an orphan disease it’s extremely rare but it has hit our family twice – now his father is suffering from the condition.”
Orphan diseases are defined as those that affect fewer than 200,000 people nationally.
Glioblastoma multiforme is extremely aggressive and lethal.
Ms Crawford said after his initial diagnosis and surgery in late December 2012, he was given a prognosis of between nine and 12 months to live.
Their daughter, Makaydee, was just 10 months old when Mr Crawford was diagnosed.
“He was never a quitter and always thought that he was going to beat the disease,” she said. “Right up to two days before he passed he had plans for the future.”
Three years later to the day – December 4, 2015 – his father Allan was diagnosed with the same disease.
Ms Crawford said research was trying to pinpoint the causes of the disease, but more funding was needed. “It’s extremely rare for his dad to also have the condition and supposedly not have a genetic component, not that they’ve found.”
Ms Crawford said Jason had scans through the public hospital system after his initial diagnosis.
“They thought it was a lowgrade tumour so they gave him some seizure medication and discharged him. They said ‘you’ll be fine, we’ll do surgery sometime in the future’.
“I wasn’t very happy about that so we got a private neurosurgeon and the tumour was removed on December 28.
“The pathology report came back on January 9 as grade four cancer with a suggested survival rate of nine and 12 months so he did extremely well to get threeand-a-half years.”
Ms Crawford said the family was lucky their private health insurance covered part of the $30,000 bill for infusion injection.
“Without that he would not have had access to some of the treatments,” she said.
“We knew it wasn’t going to save him but in terms of quality time with Makaydee, who was only 10 months old when he was diagnosed and was four when he died, at least she’s got three years of really good memories.”
To contribute, visit www. curebraincancer.org.au\tribute\ jason-crawford.