Jim's Story: Victoria Man's Recovery from Astrocytoma

Jim's Story: Victoria Man's Recovery from Astrocytoma

Seven years ago, Jim Gibson was given a prognosis that shook him and his family to their core: he was told he had less than one year to live. Since then, Jim has not only beaten the odds and survived, but he’s become a passionate fundraiser for patient care and brain tumour research. Now this brain tumour fighter, as he prefers to be called, is lacing up again to participate in the May Victoria Spring Sprint (now Brain Tumour Walk).

Jim’s journey began on February 14, 2005 at a business lunch. “The lighting in the room started to fade and I had an odd numbing sensation that moved down the left side of my body,” he explains. Jim’s symptoms continued over the next several days, bringing him to the local hospital.

After an MRI scan, Jim and his wife, Jane, met with a neurologist who shared the troubling diagnosis: Jim had an Astrocytoma, a cancerous brain tumour on his right frontal lobe, and the medical outlook wasn’t positive.

In the following months Jim battled through a biopsy, multiple surgeries to remove the tumour and stop a brain hemorrhage, a pulmonary blood clot, plus numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.

Looking back, Jim says the thing he remembers most is his wish to live long enough to see his sons grow up. “When I was in treatment and at my weakest, I thought if I can just get ten more years, that’s all I want, so I can see my boys grow, go through high school and become young men.”

Almost ten years later and now 51 years of age, Jim’s health is stable and he’s what Jane calls “a miracle.” On Sunday, May 27, Jim and his family are taking part in the annual Victoria Spring Sprint – a yearly tradition for the Gibsons since Jim’s diagnosis.

Since his first year taking part in the fundraiser, Jim has raised more than $30,000 for brain tumour patient programs and services as well as critical research into the cause of and cure for the disease.

“I want the public to be more aware of brain tumours and their devastating impact, and hopefully I can help in some way – we all have to pull on the rope together.”

This story was published in 2012 

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