Positive Outlook Key For This Survivor

Positive Outlook Key For This Survivor

Dan Reddick has the ability to connect with people going through just about anything. He is friendly and open and has boundless knowledge, like there are 28 flavours of Jell-o but they only serve three or four at Hamilton General Hospital.

In 2008 he was diagnosed with two brain tumours and the journey this has taken him on has found Dan becoming a steady rock for the brain tumour community in Guelph. On May 14, Dan hopes that the community will come out in support of all of these patients, survivors and their families at the annual Guelph Spring Sprint  (now Brain Tumour Walk).

Symptoms like falling down and being wobbly led Dan to see his doctor. Following tests, two very rare, non-malignant, unrelated tumours were discovered. “This led to three operations and two ‘procedures,’” Dan explains.

The after effects of these surgeries Dan copes with every day illustrate the severity of even a [so-called] benign brain tumour. He has learned to live with a damaged cerebellum, the leveler in one eye not working, and the removal of one inner ear. “That was my choice,” Dan explains. “I avoided additional cognitive damage by having the left ear removed.”

As part of his rehabilitation, Dan began walking, “walking saved me,” he explains. Today Dan walks three to five miles a day and has walked the soles off of two pairs of shoes. “Because the leveler in one eye doesn’t work, I can’t read while walking,” he explains.

Because of the location of his tumours, Dan also faced the challenge of relearning how to read. “Because I couldn’t read, I was starved for information and so I watched educational DVDs.” He watched a least 85 that first year and now Dan can talk to anyone on an impressive array of topics.

In December of 2008, Dan began attending the Guelph Brain Tumour Support Group run by Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. There he met others also on the journey with a brain tumour. He has quickly become a committed member of the group. “I’m the fun one,” Dan explains laughing. “I refer to it as ‘The Club’.” One of the people Dan’s enthusiasm and energy has touched is Mark Zamin, Coordinator of the Guelph Spring Sprint. “Dan is insanely positive and has a great outlook,” Mark explains.

Dans positive outlook and determination to go forward makes him one of the many inspiring people supporting those affected by a brain tumour. Thank you Dan.

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Story posted: May 2011

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