Mark Dahlem

2018 Grant Recipient

  • November 27, 2017 our whole world changed. A terrible headache was revealed as a brain tumor requiring immediate surgery on November 30th, 2017 to reduce brain swelling. December 4th came the diagnosis of GBM Grade IV we never expected. It was tough news to receive as a 47 year old husband and father of two. Several weeks of an intense chemotherapy and radiation regiment accompanied by a myriad of medication became the new daily regime. Our family was led to a second opinion that discounted the diagnosis of GBM and crediting a diagnosis of Pilocytic astrocytoma. Irregardless, brain cancer changes lives.

    We are blessed to have Harley Helping Hands enter our lives at the first turn or our journey. Our family received a grant to assist with initial medical bills, travel expenses, and unforeseen needs that come up when you are thrust into the cancer journey. Four months now into the ups and downs brain cancer brings to a family it is still a very tumultuous road. There have been more hospital stays than we are able to count and more ahead.

    We are hyper sensitive to time. We do not know how many memories we will have the opportunity to create. We continue to pray for enough grace for the day ahead. There are daily challenges with executive functioning, daily living tasks, cognitive functioning such as weakness, sensory symptoms, and conceptual dissonance. That being said, HHH and other supports from our family in blue have allowed us to explore the best ways to attack this brain cancer beast. RULE #1: You ARE bigger and stronger than a diagnosis. #2: You choose how to fight and how to live your life #3: You are NEVER alone. You go this and please know to hand these tough days to your higher power.

    The Dahlem Family
    Cary, IL