A little over a year ago one of my closest friends from college, Rick Deenihan Jr, had a grand mal seizure that led to a brain tumor diagnosis and his first brain surgery. He then had a ten hour, awake craniotomy last July, which resulted in a partial resection of his softball sized Oligodendroglioma brain tumor. The residual tumor on both sides of his brain is being maintained with 12 months of chemotherapy.
It is heart wrenching to watch them go through this ordeal. Ricky is the most fun, easygoing and genuine person to be around and it baffles me why horrible things happen to such wonderful people. I have come to believe in a quote I’ve seen that states “hardships prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny”. I think he is a shining example of this. Together with his amazing, dedicated and beautiful wife, Jamie Bielonko Deenihan, and their two incredible little boys, Nathan and Alex, they have become an inspiration and example of courage and determination. They are proof positive of another quote I’ve seen that states “when bad things happen to you you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.” They chose to stand up and be a pillar of strength and reach out to the community and fight and fundraise for brain tumor awareness and research and I applaud them for their unbelievable strength in the face of adversity. They walked today among family, friends and their community as they rallied for Ricky and walked for awareness of brain tumors and brain cancer. It will be a humbling and emotional day filled with hope, love and support and they deserve it.
I don’t know what caused Ricky’s tumor, but I do know that sometimes it’s due to our environment and the sad state our world and country is in. He and a couple other of my very young friends who battled cancer are a huge part of why I began to detoxify my household cleaning products and buy organic food and how I eventually came to find Beautycounter. I am choosing to do everything I can to mitigate my families risk of going through anything like what Ricky and his family have endured. They are a reminder of how precious this life is and how important each day is. It reminds me when I’m fighting with my husband or locking myself in the bathroom to escape my children that our problems are minor and this life is beautiful and we should live each day to its fullest. I strive to live a healthy and clean life and do whatever I can to protect it.
They have been through hell and he road ahead is long, but he is strong and he is in great hands both with his loving and supportive friends and family and his top notch doctors and I have faith that he will continue to be a true success story. I love you, Ricky and Jamie! We are with you and applaud you as you “support the fighters, admire the survives and honor the taken, all while never giving up hope”. 😘
To that end, this article gives me great hope for future medical advances in brain tumor treatment. May is brain tumor awareness month. Please share any of the pics I’m posting and GO GREY IN MAY!