Taking a swing at curing brain cancer
Patient raises money through golf tournament in Mississippi hometown
Fulton, Mississippi is a close-knit community of 4,000, where Martin Richardson, 32, lives with his young family. He loves coaching his 4-year-old's T-ball team, so it was not unusual to see him on the field on May 11, 2015.
He was feeling fine but soon began feeling strange and lost consciousness. Martin, who was having a grand mal seizure, was taken by ambulance to the hospital for a CT scan and MRI. His diagnosis was a grade II oligodendroglioma, an incurable, slow-growing brain cancer. Martin's doctor suggested he travel to Houston and see his former colleague, Jeffrey Weinberg, M.D.
Within days, Martin, wife Leah, mother Sharion and father Randy headed to MD Anderson and met Weinberg. Surgery was five days later, with 80 to 85% of his tumor removed. About five weeks of proton radiation followed.
"Everyone we talked to says MD Anderson is the best, and we felt comfortable right away," says Martin.
"The doctors sincerely care about the patients' quality of life," adds Leah.
In October 2015, the Play for the Cure Golf Classic in Fulton, along with a silent auction, raised more than $44,000 for brain cancer research.
"We're grateful to Martin and his community for helping support the Brain Tumor Center and the Glioblastoma Moon Shot," says Weinberg, professor of Neurosurgery. "This contribution enables us to buy two spectrophotometers, which are vital to our work. They project a beam of light through a sample to measure light absorption, which provides insight into the sample's molecular composition, and ultimately, the tumor."