Elizabeth F. Harrah

Patient Leader

We left Atlanta on a mission to surprise our son-in-law returning from Iraq to Rhode Island, with our daughter and one month old grandson. A good friend had been in an accident a week earlier and was still in ICU at UT Medical Center in Knoxville. His fiancée was without a car having gone up to be with him and staying, so the logical thing to do was take our daughter's car and leave it for her, say hello and keep on our trip to arrive before the plane in RI. We arrived around midnight. Catie and the grandson of course couldn't come into ICU, so Kelly and I slipped in briefly to see Athan, gave Sheila the car keys and away we went, only we made it to the van, no further. The last thing I remember was Catie asking if she was ever going to get to drive my new van, then I woke up on a stretcher in the Emergency Department with a nurse leaning over me saying, 'Welcome back, you had a seizure, do you know where you are?' The dreaded news came and I was groggy, but clear enough to know what it meant, around 0400, the doctor was leaning on the rail and told us I had a mass in my right frontal lobe. Around 0700 Kelly and Catie started making the calls to my mom and family to rally the troops. We sat the kids around the bed and I explained what was going to happen as a nurse clinically. I told them everyone would react differently and we'd have to be patient with each other and understanding. Kelly stepped out, being a typical nurse, I got on the computer to look up brain tumors, Glioblastomas, and saw the statistics, one year 46%, three years 10%, and five years 1%. When Kelly returned I was crying, full wail, he saw and slammed my laptop down, yanked my phone and posted to Facebook I was officially in timeout and on restriction until further notice. The next morning, rolling down the hall to surgery, we had a prayer and one last look at the world before emerging as ~ Liz 2.0

Location

Canton, GA

Nominations

Best in Show: Community

Liz manages a Facebook group for people diagnosed with GBM brain cancer. The group was formed in 2013by a GBM patient who has since died. Liz has managed to keep the group true to the founder’s idea of a safe, nonjudgmental place for people diagnosed with GBM to come together in mutual support and respect and discuss anything  — Beth

Elizabeth F. Harrah

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