David was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in March 2012after celebrating his 14th birthday. Since David’s diagnosis, he has had multiple minor and major surgeries on his brain, spine, and other parts of his body due to removing fluid from his brain, putting in a shunt (to keep the fluid from building up in his brain), and having central lines put in or removed from his arms and chest.
As of today, David has had three brain and two spinal surgeries, but he always leaves the hospital with a smile and a silly comment. After each surgery he wakes up asking for a meatball sub with all the fixings.
David has also had many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation as part of his battle with his brain tumor and had to receive two bone marrow transplants when the tumor spread to his spinal cord in 2014.
David lost function of his lower body in May after a second spinal surgery and in October David started a new chemo treatment; for five consecutive days once a month.
David’s diagnosis has left him with many side effects including short term memory loss, hearing and vision loss, and adverse effects on his processing skills, which made school very challenging. Despite all of the side effects David continues to be positive and take life one day at a time.
Although he was unable to be in a classroom with other young people because of his compromised immune system, he continued to take classes online. He was able to keep up with his school work and is made A’s in his honors high school classes and just graduated with a 4.0 GPA.
Despite all of the hurdles “David the Giant Killer” has been strong, kept his sense of humor, and has been an inspiration to everyone he has come in contact with. His doctors are baffled at his ability to bounce back from all of the setbacks. His teachers are astonished that he could stay so focused on school work and keep up with the honors classes. He continues to encourage other young people dealing with cancer and brain tumors to keep going.
David was featured in an article in the Elon University magazine in November 2014 where he was encouraged the football team to persevere and fight on. He is now an honorary football team member; #49 at Elon.
Today, David has several dreams; to publish the light-hearted book he wrote to help children dealing with cancer and treatment, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, become a Marine Biologist, and to find a cure for cancer.