Today, Glioblastoma Awareness Day, is a day devoted to bringing attention to the most common and deadliest form of brain cancer; but more importantly, it is a day for honoring those who have fought and continue to fight this terrible disease. We felt that today would be a good day to share some of our personal connections to glioblastoma. As many of you know, my mom, Karen Stevenson, passed away from glioblastoma in February 2018. She battled courageously until the very end, and she continues to inspire and teach us to this day. She did not lose her battle with cancer, in fact, she won her battle with cancer. Despite her diagnosis, she continued to live her life the only way that she knew how: by bringing everyone together and with a smile. My mom won her battle with cancer, even though she sadly died from it.
Karen Stevenson’s heroic fight is what inspired us to form The Fierce Foundation. Throughout her diagnosis, she was constantly talking about how she just wanted to get better so that she could help people who were in a similar situation. Even when she was facing something many of us will hope to never have to face, my mom was thinking of others. She wanted to beat cancer so that she could be here with her family and see me and my brothers grow up. She wanted to be here to be with her friends and to help others. That is why we started The Fierce Foundation. Even though she may not physically be with us, she lives on through all of us, her friends and family, and those of you whom she never got the chance to meet. The Fierce Foundation will last longer than any of us, and it will spread Karen Stevenson’s legacy further than any of us can possibly imagine. Long after the world has forgotten all of our names, people will know who Karen Stevenson was. Through this foundation, we will achieve my mom’s goal and will help those like her. My mom knew that not everyone has the fantastic support system that we have so she wanted to create a place where people could find it. Through this foundation, we will create that support system in her name.
My mom’s fight with glioblastoma did not just lead us to create The Fierce Foundation. As I am sure is the case with many of the people she knew, my mom has inspired me personally and continues to do so every day. She has motivated me in more ways than I could possibly explain, but watching her face glioblastoma is what has led me to pursue a career in medicine. I remember a few months before she passed, I told her how I wanted to become a doctor to help people that were facing what she was dealing with and how she was the reason behind that calling. Me telling her that had made her emotional and may have been the only time I saw her upset throughout her entire battle. But it was the good kind of emotional, the proud kind. Ever since then I have pushed myself to be the best that I can be. I will be successful for her. I will accomplish what I told my mom, and I will help people who are facing what she faced. I am sure that I am not the only one who can say this, but I owe that to Karen Stevenson.